Land Services and Citizenship project (LSC I&II), targeted building the capacity of the urban poor for inclusive development in Ghana. LSC was a country programme and a partnership initiative with a focus on the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) to align urban development efforts at the national, local and community levels.
The project achieve the following objectives;
- increased public knowledge and information available on the magnitude and characteristics of settlements of the urban poor in GAMA.
- strengthened capacity of communities and local government institution to actively engaged in constructive, result-oriented community-local government dialogue.
This was done through;
- creating city-level profiling and mapping (includes informal trading spaces for selected MMAs)
- activating advocacy platforms and city-level dialogues for communities and organised groups
- capacity building for local government institutions and communities for effective engagement
In 2013, the People’s Dialogue on Human Settlements and Women in Informal Employment: Globalising and Organising (WIEGO) in Accra, Ghana initiated The Accra Local Economic Development (LED) Forum as part of the Informal City Dialogues process which sought to understand the relationship between the formal and informal in our cities and to envision a different, more inclusive and resilient future. This Project was under the sponsorship of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Institute of International Education, Inc. (IIE) ICD city grants with fund leverage from the Slum Dwellers’ International (SDI).
The Accra LED Forum was an institutional framework for developing collaborative strategies to support informal traders, led by the traders themselves. Its main aim was to enable Accra’s informal traders to build their capacity to engage private sector, traditional, local and national authority around urban spaces, an enabled environment for income generating activities, affordable basic infrastructure and livelihoods.
Some key achievement include;
- Creating Board Level Governance of the LED Forum
- Creating the Informal Traders Local Economic Development (LED) Forum
- Savings Groups Formation and Development
- Background Research and Knowledge Database
- Negotiations and meetings with City/National Government
The Queensland School which was originally a wooden structure has a pre-school, primary and junior high school (JHS). The intervening led to renovation and furnishing of a storey building school facilities and giving scholarships to 20 children from Agbogbloshie to attend the PQ School, support the parents/guardians of the children to from a savings and loans group (within the GHAFUP microfinance scheme), explore ways of strengthening KAYA as representative group of female headporters in Old Fadama and Accra in general.
SPEFA was the third component of Local Government Capacity Support Project (LGCSP) to stimulate demand for financial accountability from Urban Assemblies by the civil society. PD implemented SPEFA in 4 MMAs (Ga South, Ga West, Ashaiman and Accra Metropolitan Assemblies).
Through Fora and Town Hall meetings community stakeholders were imparted with knowledge in Public Financial Management processes, participation and demand for accountability in governance.
People’s Dialogue under the American Jewish World Service (AJWS) grants implemented community-led response to HIV/AIDS programme in Ashaiman. The project was implemented from July 2007 to July 7 2009. The 2 year project,Community-Led Response to HIV/AIDS through Care, Campaign and Economic Empowerment’ programme had remarkable impact in the target communities through effective collaboration between Peoples Dialogue (PD) and the Ghana Federation of the Urban Poor (GHAFUP).
Some of the key results under the project were:
- High use of condoms as a means of protection against HIV/AIDS contraction especially among commercial sex workers and the youth
- Access to information on personal rights become easy due to the free interaction of GHAFUP members in the target communities and absence of fear, especially in talking about condoms, sex and HIV/AIDS, which sometime past were considered profane within the target communities
- Women were encouraged through this project to be more active in community change processes. Most women involved in this project were seen as more active GHAFUP members than before, earning them several opportunities to participate in both local and international exchange events.
- The project improved the income levels of over 60 vulnerable women in the target communities through micro-credit support, entrepreneurship skills training and business management strategies.
- Stigma and discrimination against PLWHA has decreased over the period as a result of the consistent community education campaigns, workshops and regular involvement of infected and affected persons in GHAFUP activities.
The Social Inclusion Transfer (SIT) Scheme at Local Level was a sub-component of the Social Capital and Investment Support component of the five-year Urban Poverty Reduction Project (UPRP). This was aimed at contributing to Ghana’s efforts to achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) that calls for a reduction by half of the proportion of the poor living on less than a dollar a day.
The development aim of this sub-component of the Social Capital and Investment Support component of UPRP was to integrate the critically poor and non-viable households into the GPRS policy and budgeting process. The development and strengthening of social inclusion at local level targeted people below the extreme poverty line to receive Social Inclusion Transfers (SIT) through a scheme that promoted principles of social protection provision to the poorest as a “right”.
People’ Dialogue consistently worked with local assemblies to involve the urban poor directly in development planning activities at the local assembly. Based on this experience, PD developed a data on poor households in 3 sub-metro districts of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) namely – Ayawaso East, Ayawaso West and Okaikoi North for Social Inclusion Transfer. The beneficiaries included children of school going age, youth for skill training, lactating mothers, people living with HIV and AIDS, people with disability and the aged.
ENERGY JUSTICE PROGRAMME (EJP) is a flagship programme within SDI being implemented in 10 countries across the SDI network including Ghana that delivers sustainable energy solutions to the urban poor. The programme’s fulcrum is the use of iterative models that improve access to energy provision and services. Access to clean, reliable, safe, and affordable sources of energy is identified by SDG-7 as a key driver of development. Specifically target 7.1 that enjoin us to ensure that by 2030 ensure universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services is achieved.
Over the years energy access and availability to the urban poor has been characterised by informal setups where ‘Informal Energy Entrepreneurs’ have taken centre stage and arbitrarily deciding the cost of accessing energy especially electricity. This contributes largely to what is called the poverty penalty where the poor tends to pay more for the unit used.
EJP in Ghana is being implemented in two (2) fronts; solar energy and clean cooking stoves and fuels. The solar energy leg is targeting solar lamps for homes and PV. The clean cooking stoves and fuels ensuring that women and girls can cook without ‘buying’ diseases that come as a result of inhaling air pollutants.
The Ghana Federation of the Urban Poor who are the main benefactors of the programme do not have expertise in manufacturing any of these products but work with relevant agencies and non-state actors to ensure accessibility and affordability. The programme started in 2017 and is expected to continue even after funding regime in 2019 because of the revolving fund created for repayment by beneficiaries.
- Reduce carbon footprint
- Reduce deforestation
- Reduce internal air pollutants exposed to especially women and children through the use of solid fuels for cooking
- Improved living standards of women and children
- Ensure more than 2,000 households have access to clean cooking stoves and fuels
- Ensure that 400 families and homes have access to sustainable electricity in the form of solar products
- At least 100 improved fish smoking ovens are built and in use by fishmongers
- Youth from selected communities are trained and capacitated to build and install the various products
Access to good quality water supply and improved sanitation and hygiene services on sustainable basis is crucial for improved health and well-being of citizens in any country. Ghana has seen an improvement in water supply services compared to sanitation as seen in coverage numbers. According the UNICEF/WHO authored report “Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water: 2015 Update and MDG Assessment”, Ghana’s improved water supply coverage is 89% with the urban sub-sector 93%. However, there are challenges in respect of equity and exclusion, services in some sections of the urban communities especially the slums and peri-urban, are unreliable and erratic despite improvements in investments. Basic sanitation has become an albatross around the neck of Ghana. According to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural development report in 2011, it laments that the sanitation situation in Ghana was dire, with approximately 15% access to improved sanitation and with almost 20% of the total population with no toilets at all. There is lack of adequate home latrines in many low income communities and the majority of the poor population use communal and public toilets. Other challenges such as inadequate enforcement of laws and regulations and lack of an effective waste collection and management services and weak institutional capacities are contributing to the current ‘sanitation crisis’ in Ghana (Municipal Environmental Strategy and Action Plan, MESAP).
The Ghana Living Standard Survey (GLSS-6, 2011) indicates that there is a challenge with the quality of water in Ghana, either from the sources or the distribution lines and at household level. The same survey revealed that only about 3.4% of Ghanaians treat their water appropriately before drinking. The same report estimates that about 24% of households have hand washing facilitates with about one-half of this number having soap and water. It is estimated that 7500 children die annually from diarrhea-related diseases of which 90% are caused by poor sanitation and unhygienic practices.
According to UNICEF, about 5.5 million children attend schools with no access to safe water sources in Ghana and about 40% of pupils do not have access to improved basic sanitation services. It is further estimated that 46% of the 36,700 basic schools have access to drinking water, and 61% have access to toilets. This means that over 14,000 schools do not have access to any latrines and over 19,000 schools do not have water supplies. Schools with toilet facilities mainly have one block with privies allocated to boys, girls and sometimes teachers, thereby compromising privacy, especially for girls. Adolescent girls are mostly affected by the fact that they have, if any, little space to change during their menstrual period.
Ashaiman Municipal Assembly is one of the Assemblies located in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. It is close to the industrial enclave of Tema Metropolis. The Assembly was split from Tema Metropolitan Assembly in 2008. According to the Assembly’s Medium Term Development Plan 2014- 2017, the area boasts of a mixed religious grouping including Christians, Moslems and Traditional religions.
Ashaiman is predominantly a slum area as it serves as a transitional town for people looking for or working in industries and other informal sectors in Accra and Tema. The Municipality is divided into 7 Zonal councils with 17 Electoral Areas.
A survey conducted by People’s Dialogue in 2012 revealed the poor state of environmental sanitation and hygiene in the municipality. Residents have poor hygienic behavior as refuse is disposed anywhere in the communities.
Data gathered from the Environmental and Health Services Department of the Assembly in 2013 revealed that over 200 schools exist in the municipality. A sample survey conducted in 2009 by Safi Sana Ghana Limited showed that only 40% of schools had any kind of water supply and only 15% had decent sanitation facilities. Children’s water and sanitation knowledge and practices are also worrying. The Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) survey in schools show that only 35% of children drink safe water (packaged and pipe borne water in this case), while over 90% of children know of appropriate hand washing practices yet only 30% of them wash their hands with soap after using the toilet. The lack of safe and improved toilets in schools is a contributing factor to gender disparity in education, raising absenteeism and drop-out of girls in schools.
The Urban Sanitation Project in Ashaiman started in 2016 and would end in 2019. It is expected to use social norm campaigns to shift attitudes so that access to improved household toilets and hand washing would improve. The main approach adopted in Ashaiman is the Community-Led Urban Environmental Sanitation (CLUES) – (https://sswm.info/humanitarian-crises/urban-settings/planning-process-tools/exploring-tools/community-led-urban-environmental-sanitation-%28clues%29) to help create access to improved sanitation to more than 31,000 people in Ashaiman. The project has also supported eight (8) schools in the municipality to have access to improved sanitation and water. The schools include Nurumustafia Islamic Primary, Nurumustafia Islamic JHS, Nii Amui Primary, Nii Amui JHS, SDA Basic, St. Augustine’s Primary, St. Augustine’s JHS and Blessed Clementina Basic schools.
- To increase access and hygienic use of improved sanitation facilities in communities using a district-wide approach
- To increase access and hygienic use of improved WASH services in intervention schools
- To improve enabling environment for Urban Sanitation Service Delivery
- 110,000 people use improved toilets
- 52,000 additional people practice hand washing with soap
- 80% reduction in the number of households practicing open defecation
- 3,000 children in 8 selected basic schools in the municipality have access to and use improve sanitation in line with GES minimum standards
- 3000 children in 8 selected basic schools in AshMA have access to sustainable and functional water services in line with GES minimum standards
- 3000 children in 8 basic selected schools in the municipality practice hand washing with soap, menstrual hygiene and other WASH related behaviours
Argo/Taarifa is an ICT-based social accountability tool that is utilized through an ICT Knowledge Platform for Accountability and Service Delivery, with the basic aim of promoting sustainable governance and addressing developmental challenges through community accountability. Taarifa Smartphone ICT- based project has seen its full up scaling in all the Assemblies in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA). This followed the successful pilot implementation in two (2) Assemblies namely Ga South and Ashaiman Municipal Assemblies. Implementation of the project beginning September, 2016 has experienced acceptance both at the community and, Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies (MMAs) levels. The platform has over 1000 reports across 11 MMAs. Issues reported on the platform included; indiscriminate disposal of municipal waste, open defecation, burst pipes and unhygienic household and public toilet facilities. In making the implementation successful, the Metro/Municipal assemblies had to take steps in resolving reported issues by the citizens. Institutional toilet facilities and drains that were constructed under the GAMA Sanitation and Water Project were monitored based on progress of works indicators measured.
This Argo/Taarifa tool is primarily a social accountability tool which was drafted and incorporated as part of the monitoring mechanisms for the GAMA – SWP. Its best deployed with the active involvement of citizens where they use to report service delivery challenges and quality. The tool is thus, to ensure transparency and accountably in the delivery of the project.
The three (3) year project implementation of this monitoring tool at the local level, has further strengthened decentralization and deepened social accountability. This report complements and summarises key activities and milestones achieved during the implementation. In addition challenges encountered are presented in the report to help improve similar social accountability interventions.
The project seeks to use the Taarifa/Argo app tool to specifically undertake the following:
- Monitor water and sanitation service delivery
- Monitor project resource allocation and utilization
- Monitor fund disbursement and expenditure tracking
- Monitor the management, operation and maintenance of facilities
Standardizing City Level Data (SCiLeD)
Measure the performance of the Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies (MMAs) and Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), in addressing pressing problems of the citizens with regards to water and sanitation concern The SCiLeD project aims to generate city-level data for decision making and development of monitoring frameworks for SDG 11 using two case study cities in Africa – Accra (Ghana) and Lagos (Nigeria). These will be essential for providing more evidence, more data and more certainty for decision makers towards defining urban development targets and indicators for sustainable urban planning.
This will feature an open urban data lab where users can access, update and share data. It will feature a Catalogue of City-level data and also allow a range of users to provide input to the catalogue and assess the usability of the tools and methodologies in their specific contexts.
City managers, those working in the data space and city-level policy makers
Urban dwellers in marginalised environments, the urban poor