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MMDAs perform poorly in service delivery-CDD-Ghana Report

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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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