MMDAs perform poorly in service delivery-CDD-Ghana Report

CDD Ghana

A survey conducted by CDD-Ghana has revealed that majority of Ghanaians hold the opinion that Metropolitan and Municipal District Assemblies have for the past five years performed “very or fairly badly” in service delivery.

The survey revealed that over 70 per cent of MMDAs performed poorly in ensuring transparency and openness in the affairs of the Assembly and responding to development challenges of communities of time and soliciting inputs from community members into annual district development plans.

Dr Edem Selormey, Director of Research, CDD-Ghana, presenting the 2021 Local Government Survey Findings said the report showed that majority of Ghanaians considered MMDAs as lacking financial accountability and efficiency in the usage of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) and internally generated revenue.

Over 80 per cent of citizens said they never had explanations from their MMDAs on how DACF was spent, how it was used to address key issues in the district, how local taxes, rates, fees and fines were spent nor used to tackle local development needs.

On support for election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), the report said more than seven in 10 Ghanaians, representing 76 per cent supported the election of MMDCEs, while 20 per cent wanted them to be appointed by the President.

Also, while over two-thirds of the respondents, representing 71 per cent said they preferred MMDCEs elected on non-partisan election format similar to that used in local government councillors’ election, only 20 per cent opted for a partisan election format.

The report stated that the reasons for the preference for non-partisan election format for MMDCEs included ensuring that competent persons got elected; promotion of inclusivity or forestalling “winner takes all” challenges ; prevention of partisan influences or conflicts , and promotion of transparency and accountability.

Among those calling for partisan election of MMDCEs, majority of the respondents believed that the current format for local government election had been tainted by partisan influences and must be opened up to promote public interest in local elections.

Others were of the view that it will promote responsiveness and development, ensure that competent persons get elected, and promote transparency and enable citizens to exact accountability from political parties.

Touching on local government functions, citizens’ perceptions and participation, the Survey revealed that majority of Ghanaians correctly ascribed some service delivery and local revenue mobilization functions to MMDAs.

However, they were split on whose responsibility it was to manage public health and keeping communities clean and that there seemed to be a lack of connection between MMDAs and the community members.

On marginalized groups and traditional leaders’ involvement in local governance, the Survey revealed that there seemed to be a strong approval for the full participation of marginalized groups, particularly women with 89 per cent, youth with 89 per cent, and persons with disabilities with 77 per cent in local governance processes.

Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, Executive Director, Institute for Democratic Governance, said the country must move away from partisan politics to inclusive governance to ensure national development.

The Survey used a nationally representative sample of 2,400 adult citizens selected randomly with a sample distributed across regions and urban-rural areas in proportion to their share in the national adult population.

Face-to-face interviews were conducted in the language of the respondents’ choice using a standard English questionnaire which was translated into Twi, Ewe, Ga, Dagbani and Dagaare.

A sample size of 2,400 cases yielded a margin of error of +/-2 per cent at a 95 per cent confidence level. Data collection was conducted from May 23 to June 3, 2021.

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