The Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Dr. Kojo Essiem Mensah-Abrampa, has urged officials of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to create conditions necessary to link and sustain national policies and programmes in their communities, as some flagship initiatives are suffering due to neglect by heads of MMDAs.
He said although government’s interventions aimed at creating jobs – like the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) and One District, One Factory (1D1F) – yielded good results, there are difficulties linking and sustaining these programmes in some districts.
Dr. Mensah-Abrampa said this at the launch of the Mid-Term Evaluation Report of the Medium-Term National Development Policy Framework (MTNDPF) (2018-2021), and added that because districts view central government initiatives as national programmes they fail to integrate them as part of their plans.
For instance, he said, if PFJ provides seeds, fertiliser and storage facilities to farmers, the district must provide markets, create collection-bulking points and storage facilities to deal with post-harvest losses. “If government provides financial and technical assistance to private investors under the 1D1F, districts must provide ready access to land, water and electricity,” he added
He said together with the Ministry of Local Government and Decentralisation, the NDPC will work to ensure central government’s initiatives are embedded first in the plans of MMDAs, then assimilated as part of their own working processes and mainstreamed into their daily activities.
On his part, a Senior Planning Analysist, Charles Konglo, said the MTNDPF (2018-2021) that served as the basis for development for Ghana between 2018 and 2021 was relevant as it addressed pertinent issues on six focus areas: water and sanitation, job creation, child protection, education, health and nutrition.
He said the mid-term evaluation MTNDPF (2018-2021) revealed that there was an improvement in education outcomes – including transition rates, Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) pass rate, pupil-trained teacher ratio and net enrolment.
Also, he said, there was improvement in healthcare accessibility that resulted in a reduced maternal mortality rate as well as still-birth rate.
On jobs, he said government initiatives to reduce graduate unemployment such as PFJ, 1D1F; Planting for Exportation and Rural Development (PERD) the Nation’s Builders’ Corps (NABCO); and the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation (NEIP) were successful.
Despite these improvements, he said evaluation of the MTNDPF (2018-2021) showed that child abuse and trafficking cases are on the rise, likewise child labour.
“Teacher absenteeism, inadequate infrastructure, teaching and learning materials, and uneven distribution of health professionals continue to persist in the education and health sectors,” he added.
On water, sanitation and hygiene, he said poor quality of drinking water, prevalence of open defecation, high user fees for sanitation and waste management persists.
He further stated that the mid-term evaluation report recommended that NABCO, Youth Employment Authority (YEA) and other job creation opportunities and poverty eradication interventions should be redesigned to create more decent and sustainable jobs for the teeming youth.