Project: Making the Budget Work for Ghana
Country: Ghana
Sector: Education, Public Administration, Health
Executing Agency: SEND GHANA
Grant Amount: US$ 850,000
Closing Date: November, 2018

Challenge

In the last decades, the Government of Ghana (GoG) has embarked on a renewed commitment to implement far-reaching decentralization reforms, as demonstrated by the enactment of the 1993 Local Governance Law and the 2010 Decentralization Policy Framework.  The main objective behind these policies is to devolve decision-making to local authorities and to improve the accountability and effectiveness of basic service delivery. However, the newly delegated authority and resources acquired by decentralized institutions has raised serious concerns due to their weak financial accounting and reporting mechanisms, as well as their lack of robust upward and downward social accountability channels.

In the context of health and education, decentralization processes and the efficient management of resources appear to be fraught with substantial challenges. Public systems do not deliver the services expected, disproportionately affecting poor households. The budget process lacks transparency and district assemblies do not have the necessary capacity to effectively formulate and execute budgets. These factors make it very difficult for citizens to monitor the funds and demand accountability.

Solution

SEND Ghana, an organization with extensive experience in monitoring funds in multiple sectors, has been granted a GPSA award to improve access and quality of public services by enhancing transparency and accountability in the use of public resources in the education and health sector in 30 districts. This will be achieved by implementing three components that are geared towards: 1) fostering an enabling environment for constructive engagement between government and civil society by establishing MOUs with relevant authorities and strengthening capacity of SEND Ghana’s PME (Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation) Network of CSOs to coordinate and implement social accountability tools; 2)  leveraging citizen feedback and improving CSOs capacity to monitor budget expenditure in the health and education sector; and 3) collecting and curating knowledge to improve project design and leveraging media support disseminate lessons learned in a national and international scale.

Expected Results

The GPSA grant will help SEND Ghana attain the following results:

  1. Improved citizen access to key budget information regarding expenditures in the health and education sector.

  2. 70% of PME Network members will increase their budget awareness and capacity for conducting budget analysis by the end of the project.

  3. Around 350 members of the PME Network will receive training in social accountability methods.

  4. The use of MOUs to structure relationships between CSOs and Government authorities will be adopted in targeted districts.

  5. More than 152 budget literacy campaigns will be organized to raise citizen awareness in targeted districts.

  6. 30 citizens’ budgets will be prepared to simplify and disseminate critical budget information in the health and education sector and influence decision-making at the district level.

  7. Increased media coverage around budgetary issues in the education and health sector.

  8. Peer-learning exchanges to share good practices and lessons learned between SEND’s project team and staff from relevant Government agencies.

Project Results

Outcomes in the 30 covered districts:

  • 1. SMS, voice calls and web forms help to bring people’s concerns directly to authorities. Ministries of Health, Education, Finance and local Government actively support the citizen engagement.

  • 2. The Government doubled the basic schools grant and boosted its primary health care investment after persistent requests, reducing out of pocket costs for students and increasing access to immunizations and family planning services.

  • 3. 7,612 citizens were made aware of their local and national budgets, and participated in budget preparation and implementation, while 535,000 were sensitized through radio campaigns.

  • 4. 90% (of 350) District Citizens Monitoring Committees, including vulnerable citizens, are now versed in budget analysis. They influence their local and national budgets for education, health and agriculture sector, and contribute to the Medium Term Development Plans (2018-2021) in their respective districts.    

 

Publications

Social Accountability Stakeholder Forum Held in Accra, Ghana

Year: 
2014
Country(s): 
Ghana
Sector: 
Local Governance