Giving Citizens a Voice in Ghana

Our project in Ghana focuses on expanding public participation in local governance.

MSI’s USAID-funded Local Governance and Decentralization Program in Ghana focuses on expanding public participation in local governance, increasing the amount of revenues generated by targeted districts and ensuring improved community planning at the district level in the country’s Western Region.

When the project, known as LOGODEP, launched in 2010, it quickly became evident that comprehensive development planning would be vital to increasing internally generated funds. As such, LOGODEP created a revenue database for the districts, enabling them to make precise revenue projections and control the revenue collection process effectively.

LOGODEP finalized the “How to Do Manual on Street Naming and Property Addressing,” which the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) launched nationwide in September 2013. The deputy minister of MLGRD and the project’s local governance expert toured all 10 regions to distribute the manual and gave an orientation on methodology to local officials.

The project has also issued more than $1 million in grants to at least 40 civil society organizations, greatly strengthening citizens’ knowledge of and participation in local politics in the Western Region and giving them the ability to demand social accountability at the local level. The success of this pioneering initiative and others shows the necessity of strengthening influence at the national level, although the program was conceived as a regional-level program.

Since 2013, LOGODEP has realigned its mission to also strengthen linkages to local governance at the national level. To support these efforts, a full-time technical staff member has been embedded within the MLGRD, enhancing ongoing relationships with that ministry along with others in charge of environment, science and technology; finance and economic planning; and the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC).

Now on its fifth year, the project will address systemic issues that became apparent during its work at the district level. A third citizens’ survey in 22 districts of the Western Region will inform USAID of trends in areas such as awareness and knowledge of local governance, understanding of the functions of local government and participation in local governance issues.