Skip to content

Wrap up meeting of Danida's Right to Services and Good Governance Programme

14.12.2018  12:15
On Tuesday 11 December 2018, the NCF held its last but very important meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to review the overall performance of the programme, including achievements, high-level synergies built, best practices and lessons learned including challenges and more importantly, sustainability activities beyond the Danish support.


Tove Degnbol, Danmarks Ambassador to Ghana, and Head of the Local Government Service, Ing. Dr. Nana Ato Arthur.

The National Coordinating Forum (NCF) is the highest decision making body of the RSGGP and Nana Agyekum Dwamena, who is also the Head of the Civil Service, is the convenor.  The NCF comprises representatives of implementing partners of the programme namely the Judicial Service, the Office of the Head of Local Government Service, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, STAR Ghana as well as the Embassy. Representatives of the Office of Head of Civil Service, the Ministry of Finance and the Controller and Accountant’s General Department also participate in the NCF because they provide supportive services to the implementation of the RSGGP.

 

The wrap up meeting was well attended and the occasion was graced by the CHRAJ Commissioner, Mr. Joseph Whittal, the Head of Local Government Service, Ing. Dr. Nana Ato Arthur and the Head of Civil Service, Nana Agyekum Dwamena. The Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Tove Degnbol, also participated.

 

During the past five years, Danida’s support to the governance sector in Ghana focused on human rights promotion and protection, access to justice, decentralization/local governance and civil society, but on 31 December 2018, The Right to Services and Good Governance Programme (2014-2018) is ending.

 

Notable achievements included the institutionalization of the performance management system at both regional and district level; development of various protocols for the Local Government Service; establishment of an inter-sectorial collaboration to facilitate service delivery at the local level and the successful institutionalization of the District Development Facility within the framework of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund. Other remarkable achievements were the establishment of gender based violence courts in all ten regions to provide access to justice by vulnerable populations including women and children; expansion of courts connected Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADRs) from fifty-seven (57) at the start of the programme to a hundred and seven (107) courts across the country.

 

A hallmark of Danida’s support has been the reduction in the proportion of remand prisoners’ population from 33% (2007) to about 13% (2018) through the several in-prison court sittings held across the country, facilitated by a non-governmental organization, POS Foundation supported by Danida and working in collaboration with the Judicial Service. Other notable achievements included the formulation of a five-year strategic plan for CHRAJ, which provided direction for the organization in the pursuit of its triple mandate, the development of the national anti-corruption action plan (NACAP) which provided the government a blueprint for fighting corruption. CHRAJ’s outreach in rural areas was greatly improved with the organization having its presence in 110 districts across the country.

 


Tove Degnbol and CHRAJ Commissioner, Mr. Joseph Whittal.

Tove Degnbol’s remarks:

The Danish ambassador expressed deep satisfaction with the achievements and noted Denmark’s support to the awareness raising campaign in relation to the upcoming referendum towards district level multiparty elections was a potential game changer for Ghana. She noted the Embassy had enjoyed an excellent cooperation with the Auditor General’s office in following up on audit findings at the district level for accountability and transparent utilization of funds. She was hopeful that the systemic problem of weak financial management in the utilisation of resources at the district level would be addressed.

 

She noted, “The inclusion of the Justice for All Programme in the 2019 national budget is possibly the best note on which Denmark can end its support to the governance sector”. According to her, it was encouraging that justice reforms was increasingly being discussed, not least the current discussions around the Community Sentencing draft bill, which when passed into law together with the amendment of the narcotics law to redefine use and possession, would hopefully bring a permanent solution to congestion in the country’s prisons. She highlighted the important role being played by civil society and indicated that civil society should still be supported to provide advocacy and watchdog roles in the operations of both the public and private sector. She stated that Denmark’s funding to civil society in Ghana would continue through support given directly from Denmark to Danish NGOs working together with their Ghanaian civil society organisations.

 

Concerning sustainability, she was hopeful that the Government’s vision of ‘Ghana beyond Aid’ will among others translate into government absorbing more of the costs of the Danida funded activities as has happened in the case of the cost for mediators’ allowances under the court connected Alternative Dispute Resolution. Finally, she acknowledged the commitment of the convenor, Nana Agyekum Dwamena, to supporting Denmark’s course in Ghana, which dated back to 2004.

 

Tove Degnbol, Denmark's Ambassador to Ghana, Mabel Amoako Atta, the National Programme Coordinator, and Head of the Local Government Service, Ing. Dr. Nana Ato Arthur.

Convenor, Nana Agyekum Dwamena remarks:

He recounted the impact made by Denmark’s long history of support to the governance sector in Ghana, and praised Denmark for its continued adherence to the principles of aid effectiveness and the good collaboration and cooperation with Ghana, which had made possible for the many important achievements. On behalf of the people of Ghana, Nana Agyekum Dwamena expressed his sincere gratitude to the Danish Ambassador and the people of Denmark for the immense support provided to the governance sector over the years.

 

Handing over of project vehicles:

The Danish Ambassador handed over vehicles purchased under Denmark’s support to the Local Government Service and CHRAJ to the Head of the Local Government Service and the CHRAJ Commissioner respectively. The handover of the vehicles purchased for the Judicial Service will be done later, as documents were not ready during the meeting.

 

A documentation study on the Good Governance programme can be found here.