Good governance and respect for human rights are key pillars of Danish development policy. The Danish Government’s good governance strategy focuses on public sector management, and underscores that the agenda is much wider, encompassing human rights and democratization, the judicial sector and the rule of law.
In order to enhance good governance and bring decision making closer to the people, Denmark supports implementation of decentralization reforms in Ghana. The overall objectives of the reforms are inscribed in the 1992 Constitution of Ghana which stipulates that “Parliament shall enact appropriate laws to ensure that functions, powers, responsibilities and resources are at all times transferred from central government to local government units in a coordinated manner”.
Right to Services and Good Governance Programme (RSGGP)
The Right to Services and Good Governance Programme (2014-2018) is the exit-strategy for more than 20 years of targeted Danida’s support to service delivery, human rights and good governance in Ghana. The programme has a total budget of DKK 250 million. It will phase out activities from previous Good Governance, Human Rights and Decentralization programmes.
The RSGGP is designed around people’s right to participate in their own development, enhanced local governance, access to justice, and improved local service delivery. It applies a human rights based approach (HRBA) by addressing the four principles of participation, non-discrimination, transparency and accountability with an emphasis on ensuring sustainability of essential governance functions for efficient service delivery systems. It addresses the supply and demand side of governance by supporting duty-bearers in delivering according to their mandates and rights-holders in voicing demands for rights while at the same time providing funds for concrete services based on local priorities and demands.
The programme has three components:
1) Support to Human Rights, Good Governance and Access to Justice through institutional support to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Judicial Service (JS) in order to protect and promote human and other legal rights, strengthen good governance at all levels and enhance access to justice for the poor and marginalised.
2) Support to Service Delivery and Local Governance through support to the District Development Facility (DDF) and Local Government Service Secretariat (LGSS) in order to raise Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) capacity to provide quality local services through increased discretionary funding for harmonised, coherent and transparent investments and targeted capacity building activities at the local government level.
3) Support to Civil Society through STAR-Ghana, a multi- donor pooled funding mechanism, in order to enable civil society organisations to enhance inclusion and participation of citizens in public decision-making, influence agendas on human rights, justice, good governance, and access to social services as well as strengthen accountability at the local government level.
In addition, two long term technical advisors have been hired to strengthen the institutional capacity of LGSS and DDF in the first two years of the programme.
Synergies between the programme components and other Danida programmes
By supporting both civil society representing rights holders under component 3 and duty bearers represented by the various partner institutions under Components 1 and 2, give the opportunity for synergies between the programme components.
Support to civil society strengthens citizen’s participation in decentralised governance and enables them to demand their rights to service delivery, access to justice and accountability from the local government institutions. In addition, by improving the capacity of the local government system through institutional support, local government officials have a better opportunity to provide an effective service delivery to the people.
Furthermore, there are opportunities for synergy with Danida’s Health Sector Support in relation to the ongoing decentralisation of the Health Sector in Ghana. Opportunities for synergy with Danida’s General Budget Support Programme through the Multi Donor Budget Support process also exist. Denmark together with other development partners will be engaged in policy dialogue with the Government of Ghana in matters related to good governance, human rights and access to justice.