Advancing Local Government Reforms in Ghana: A Shift not a Shake Up By Ivy A. Adorboe, Institute of Local Government Studies, Accra
The service orientation of Ghana’s local government system has been practiced for over thirty years with reoccurring challenges such as poor engagement between citizens and local government functionaries, ineffective delivery of basic services such as drainage, sanitation and waste management, and uncontrolled development and sprawls to list a few. While the current system has brought government closer to where people live, its weaknesses are overwhelming. Hence the need to shift gear as the Director General of the National Development Planning Commission advocated for in his recent speech on Ghana’s decentralisation
The government’s flagship programme, One-District, One-Factory (1D1F), in the Western Region is progressing steadily as some factories engaged in rubber processing and ceramics have fully taken off.Other factories under the programme are at various stages of completion or are sourcing funding to speed up the process in their quest to add value to the enormous raw materials the region is endowed with.
The Local Governance Practitioners Forum (LGPF) is a broad based membership platform that comprises of key institutions of Ghana’s local governance system. The platform provides an inclusive space for diverse policy actors (researchers, central and local policy makers, local governments, private enterprises, bureaucrats, civil society organizations (CSOs), development partners, politicians and political parties, and the media) to share research and practice evidence on democratic and developmental local governance.
The institute in collaboration with the Local Government Service organised a validation workshop on specific manuals developed to deliver continuous professional courses at the local level.
The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development intends to collaborate with stakeholders to automate its revenue mobilisation using a Centralized Monitoring Dashboard (CMD) to enhance revenue collection.
The Second “Local Governance Practitioners’ Forum” (LGPF) took place on 30th March, 2021 at the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS) Tamale Campus, in the Northern Region of Ghana. The forum brought together a total of seventy-five (75) experienced local governance practitioners in Northern Ghana to discuss the country’s decentralization and local governance practices and collate ideas that would feed into national policy discussions. The event had a mix of both 34 physical and 41 virtual participants including members of the LGPF, mayors and city managers, practitioners, traditional authorities and other key stakeholders. The theme for the event was “Setting the agenda for decentralization and local governance transformation in Ghana”.
The Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS) is rebranding its identity, image, organisational culture and staff orientation towards transformation, with the hope of upgrading to the status of a university by 2023.
The ILGS in collaboration with the OHLGS offers the enhanced Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Programme for staff of the Local Government Service. These programmes, referred to as the Local Government (LG) Scheme of Service (SoS) Training Programmes have a menu of courses that is fit-for-purpose for the various professional classes clustered as follows:
- human resource managers;
- environmental health and sanitation officers;
- finance, budget and rating officers;
- planners (development and physical);
- engineers and;
- management information system officers.