UNICEF works with partners to ensure that children access the services they need for a better life
Although various service providers such as the Ministries of Education, Rural Development, Health and Sanitation work to ensure that the lives of children are improved, there are gaps between policy makers, service providers and the average citizen for better service delivery.
There are also gaps when it comes service providers being accountable to the groups of people that they are responsible for.
The lack of reliable data is also an issue as it is not readily available at the district level on an annual basis. Data on elements like the number of children who go to school, number of households with a household latrine or availability of trained health officials in a district is not updated or made available.
Enhancing social accountability with the District League Table
The District League Table, produced by UNICEF Ghana and the Center for Democratic Development-Ghana is a simple ranking tool that assesses the level of development in each of Ghana’s districts. Instead of rating districts by administrative compliance, it ranks them in terms of service delivery in six key sectors: health, education, birth registration, sanitation, water, security and governance.
The District League Table aims to increase accountability for social development across all districts to improve state responsiveness in service delivery. It also supports the government to better understand and monitor development across the country and to ensure that all citizens have access to information regarding their rights to development.
Various agencies collaborated to produce the District League Table - the Ministries of Local Government and Rural Development, Health, Education, Sanitation and Water Resources. Other entities include the Office of the Head of Local Government Service, The Ghana Education Service, the Ghana Health Service, the Environmental Health and Sanitation Directorate, Community Water and Sanitation Agency, Ghana Water Company, the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Statistical Service.
There has been progress in firmly embedding the District League Table and promoting its use in national planning. UNICEF has been working with key stakeholders, including parliamentarians to revise the formula for allocation of local resources and to consider the use of the District League Table for it.
The Social Accountability Platform
For the past three years, UNICEF in Ghana been organizing a social accountability partners’ annual meeting to generate discussions, synergies and partnerships aimed at strengthening and monitoring social accountability initiatives in Ghana.
The Social Accountability Platform will serve as the coordinating body that will help bridge the gap between policy makers, service providers and ordinary citizens for better service delivery.
The objectives of the platform are to enable civil society, Non-Governmental Organisations and government actors to better understand the current social accountability environment – issues, challenges and opportunities – in which they work, to provide a forum to share ideas and initiatives for greater social accountability and better service delivery and to social accountability actors the opportunity to regularly network and develop partnerships for implementing initiatives and programmes at the national and district levels.
UNICEF has supported the Government of Ghana to achieve a lot in the area of social accountability. In collaboration with the National Development Planning Commission, citizens’ assessment of the capitation grant became a reference point for several policy recommendations for a review of the operations of the grant.