The Evidence for Development (E4D) project has helped to build capacities of local government policy actors as well as created awareness around the need for evidence in policy and planning to facilitate development.
The E4D has also led to improvement in terms of the processes of decision-making where all stakeholders, including civil society organisations (CSOs), were engaged in planning processes at the district level to help to facilitate an informed decision-making process.
This came to light at a multi-stakeholder workshop in Tamale on the theme: “Using Data and Evidence in Policy Planning and Programme Implementation at the District Level in Ghana: Reflections from Practice”.
The workshop brought together local government policy actors, CSOs, development practitioners and researchers to reflect on the current state of evidence use in policy and practice, and to identify lessons learned to advance the institutionalisation of evidence-informed decision-making practices at the district level.
CDD-Ghana, with support from Hewlett Foundation, implemented the E4D project in three districts from 2019 to 2021 to strengthen capacity of government policy actors in evidence-informed policy making to improve social development outcomes.
It was also to motivate government policy actors to access and use the best available data and evidence to inform policies and programme implementation at the subnational and district levels of the country.
The districts are Sagnarigu, Bolgatanga East and Dormaa East.
Mr Toyiba Abdul Hamid, the Municipal Development Planning Officer, Sagnarigu Municipal Assembly, who shared the experience of the Assembly during the workshop, said the project brought on board CSOs, who were key partners in development, and the need to seek data from academia to aid planning.
He said the inputs from the CSOs helped to fill some of the data gaps the Assembly had been battling with and their programmes and projects incorporated into the document.
“So, we hope that as we plan together, we will implement together because we have been doing things advariance with each other though with a common goal, which leads to duplication, waste of resources….”
“If we implement together, it will help address some of the resource challenges that we face during the implementation, which will make judicious use of the available resources and hence make higher impact on our development agenda.”
Mr Mohammed Awal, E4D Project Team Leader at CDD-Ghana, lauded the districts for their attempts to institutionalise the E4D in their decision-making processes and urged them to find some internal resources and mechanisms to integrate some aspects of the project to sustain the gains made.