DLT isn’t meant to undermine MMDAs – VR Minister declares, as 2017 report goes to Volta and Eastern regions

The Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Letsa has said it is vital for government agencies to utilize resources offered by the District League Table (DLT) in the development of their various districts.

He explained that, rather than seeing the DLT study as a machinery to undermine operations of the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies,  the mechanism should instead, be considered as the standard in measuring the growth of the various districts and indigenes.

Dr Letsa was addressing dignitaries and participants at the opening of a day’s lesson-learning forum for selected districts in the Volta region on the findings of the 2017 District League Table study in Ho.

“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.

Many districts in the Volta region improved on their scores this year, hence the overall average pushed the Region from bottom last to ninth on the 2016 and 2017 DLTs respectively.

Even so, none of the 25 Districts made it into the top twenty. The format for this year’s regional launches has been altered to serve as a lesson-learning engagement between key officials of the higher and lower ranking districts, to enable them share ideas and innovations for improving the well-being of their citizens.

Seven districts in the Volta region, were represented by their District Chief Executives, Coordinating Directors and Department heads from education, health and sanitation.

Fred Owusu-Akowuah, Munincipal Coordinating Director for Krachi East, the district that scored the least marks in 2017, said: “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”

He explained that, the biggest problem the district faces is open defecation which has led to them scoring zero percent in the area of sanitation over the last three years.

The menace, Owusu-Akowuah noted, has become a way of life by the indigenes and a great worry to the assembly.

“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 district had a score of 58 but 4 years on, the highest district scored 80 and many districts are now doing over 60. It means we have made progress but there is always room for improvement”,

“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 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.

Mr Yaw Owusu Addo, MCE for Kwahu West Municipal Assembly (seated in the middle) at the Eastern regional event.

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.