Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Letsa has underscored the need for government agencies to take advantage of the resource provided by the District League Table (DLT) to help develop their districts and give their citizens a better life.
Rather than seeing the DLT study as a tool to name and put the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to shame, it should be used as a baseline to measure their growth, he says.
Dr Letsa was speaking at the opening of a day’s learning forum for selected districts in the Volta region on the findings of the 2017 District League Table study in Ho.
Though many districts in the Volta region improved on their scores this year, none made it into the top twenty.
“We in this region have taken this up seriously and I am charging each Assembly to work hard in moving up the ladder, this should not be a matter of naming and shaming”, he said.
The format for this year’s regional launches have been altered to serve as a learning engagement between the best and worst performing districts.
“It has brought a lot of attention of the whole country to Krachi East. Any meeting we attend we are mentioned because of the DLT. We are planning a development conference with all our partners to help change our ranking next year”, said Fred Owusu-Akowuah Munincipal Coordinating Director for Krachi East, the district that scored the least marks in 2017.
According to him, the biggest problem the district faces is open defecation which has led to them scoring 0 percent in the area of sanitation over the last 3 years.
“It has become a way of life so we are working on attitudinal change we are targeting to get about thirty communities Open Defecation Free by close of this year so next year, things would change” he said.
Charles Dzradosi, Social Policy Specialist at UNICEF said “When we started the DLT, the highest scoring district had around 50 but 4 years on many districts are now doing 80 and over. It means we have made progress but there is always room for improvement”,
Seven district were represented in the Volta region by their District Chief Executives, Coordinating Directors and Department heads from education, health and sanitation.
“Development at the local level should be a shared responsibility between the citizenry and government. With the DLT, the citizens can play their role in national development by holding the local assemblies to account whiles the assemblies themselves can track their own growth”, said Mavis Zuopork Dome, Research Officer at CDD Ghana, UNICEF’S implementing partners for the DLT.
The Eastern region also saw a well-attended forum with 7 districts participating.
Many of the districts present spoke of initiatives they were taking following their positions on the previous reports to better their stands.
“We, the districts are taking the DLT up as our development guide. I have urged my colleague DCEs that the results is not about them at all but how to make the institution better” said Yaw Opare Addo, DCE for the Kwahu West Municipal Assembly said.
Now in its fourth year, the District League Table is a tool that assesses the level of development across the entire country, ranking all Ghana’s 216 Districts by their level of wellbeing. It is Ghana’s only tool that allows stakeholders to track progress across the country and see which Districts are doing well in Ghana and can be learnt from, and which are struggling and need greater support. The Table aims to improve transparency and accountability in national development by making progress public.
The learning engagements in the Volta and Eastern regions is the first in a series of events to bring the report to all ten regions in a bid to educate stakeholders on how to improve the situation of non-performing districts while encouraging top-ranking districts to do better.