The African Development Programme (ADP) has held the 2017 first Social Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (SPEFA) Forum in its project areas with participants giving strong signals of dwindling satisfaction in service delivery.
The SPEFA forum, an educative public meeting took another twist to get the citizens to experiment with critical tools in engaging duty bearers on issues that affected them.
The Community Score Card(CSC) was used to assess some service delivery indicators, and rating score of 1 to 5 with 1 being poor, 2=not so good, 3=average, 4=good and 5=Excellent and reasons for the score was administered.
The situation in Ga East- SERVICE DELIVERY IN GA EAST MUNICIPALITY BELOW “AVERAGE”
Service delivery is below average, ranging from a score of (1.4 to 2.8. District Average).
The only service (Ease of obtaining Business Operating Permit) crossed the district average score with 3.2. The lowest score 1.4 was ease of obtaining building permit followed by 1.6 for access to good roads and drainage.
In relation to the electoral areas, Abokobi scored excellent for accessibility and quality of water. Haatso and Dome scored good whiles Atomic scored average and good for accessibility and quality respectively. Persons living with Disability also scored average for water related indicators.
However, Agbogba, Taifa, Kwabenya and Musuko scored poor for accessibility and quality of water. Of the four, only Musuko scored average for quality of water.
Of all the 11 indicators, Agbogba scored poor for all except ease of obtaining business permit and education on local governance which had a score of not so good and average respectively.
Again, computing the average scores per electoral area, Dome had 2.7, Haatso had 2.9, Atomic had 3, Agbogba had 1.2, Taifa had 2.1, Kwabenya had 2, Musuko had 2.1 and Abokobi had 1.9. Persons with disability in Abokobi also averaged 3.3. But worried bitterly about absence of sign language interpreters at health facilities.
From the above, it can be deduced that Atomic electoral area is the well served whilst Agbobga is the least served in terms of services.
Majority out of the 94 participants opined that even though they expected the Assembly to provide good services, they had a pivotal role in ensuring that services were actually provided. Thus paying rates, acting as watch dogs to safe guard state property and liaising with assembly members and unit committee members to ensure that development reflects the will of the people.
The Ga West Case- SERVICE DELIVERY IN GA WEST MUNICIPALITY “NOT-SO-GOOD”
According to participants the situation in the Municipality is not so good. All the service delivery indicators had a score below 2 (not so Good), ranging from a score of (1.3 to 1.8. District Average). Only two services (Responsiveness of public health workers in the district and Accessibility of Water) equaled the Not so Good score with a score of 2.3 and 2 respectively. The lowest score 1.3 was ease of obtaining building permit followed by 1.4 for Responsiveness of assembly staff to the needs of citizens.
In relation to the community/electoral areas, Okushibiade scored good for accessibility and excellent for quality of water. Manchie also scored excellent for access to information, responsiveness of public health workers in the district and ease of obtaining Business Operating Permit. Manchie again scored good for assembly education on local governance. Kuntunse community scored good for water and waste management related services.
Considering all the 11 indicators, Medie scored poor for all except Customer Relations of Waste Service Provider which had a score of 2. Fise-1 also scored poor for all except Regularity of Waste Service Provider and Education on Local Governance which had a score of 4 and 2 respectively. Samsam Community scored poor for all the 11 indicators.
Shockingly, the Municipal capital (Amasaman) scored poor for 9 indicators, with Responsiveness of assembly staff to the needs of citizens and Ease of obtaining Business Operating Permit indicators recording a score of 2 and 3 respectively.
Computing the average scores per community/electoral areas, Medie had 1, Fise-1 had 1.3, Samsam had 1, Kuntunse had 2.4, Amasaman had 1.2, Pokuase had 1.7, Omanjor had 1.7, Okushibiade had 2.2, Manchie had 3, Afiaman had 2.1, Manhean had 1.6 and Fise-2 had 1.7.
From the above, it can be deduced that even though service delivery is generally not so good some areas such as Samsam, Medie, Fise and Manhean need serious service delivery improvements.
A section of participants decried the high level of apathy in the system as an impediment to development in the areas. For others it was a case of the negligence and failure of the authorities to identify its demarcated jurisdiction to generate adequate internal resources for the total development of the Municipality.
Participants from Manhean had this to say “We know Manhean is under Ga West Municipal after authorities in Ga South revealed to us. Now we came to the Ga West office to pay our property rates the assembly rejected us. Against this background we think the Ga West assembly is not up to task”
The Acting Executive Director of African Development Programme (ADP), Mr Charles Othniel Abbey noted that the Community Score Card (CSC), aims at strengthening citizens’ voice by creating a channel for direct feedback about a public services between service providers and service users. He also stressed that the process can also lead to quick and tangible results in terms of service delivery improvements, enhances community empowerment and helps build a trustful relationship between service users and providers.
Mr Abbey hinted “this exercise is one of the best to track development in the future so we intend to conduct same by the end of the year, hopefully the 4th quarter to see how services have improved overtime”. “We will also share the finding and reasons for the score with the office of the assembly for them to have a clear feedback from the citizens on the services they are providing”
Madam Sarah Agbey, SNV Advisor and SPEFA Project Manager called participants to always seek to know “how” rather than “what . She reiterated that development thrives on Knowledge, Wisdom and Money and that the knowledge acquired must be put to use by asking state officials questions on issues that affected service delivery. She charged them to be active citizens not just passive participants in the communities. She also encouraged them to remain active in civic activities.
In all, the ease of obtaining building permits remains a challenge affecting both district. Of key concern, and new to us is the case for our readers to join advocacy on pushing for sign language interpreters in our health facilities in the country.
Report of Community Score Card to be published soon.