District Oversight Committees (DOCs) of the Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) have met development partners to deliberate on the Role of District Oversight Committees in Popular Participation and Decentralization.
A statement from the National APRM Office in Accra named the districts as Mfantsiman in the Central Region and Shama in the Western Region.
It said the interaction with German Technical Co-operation (GTZ) and KFW, German Development Bank, sought to discuss the diverse and non-political nature of their membership.
The statement signed by Ms Cornelia Rowena Amoah, the Public Affair Manager of APRAM, said the meeting was supervised by the National Commission for Civic Education to ensure credibility and transparency.
It said participants shared ideas on major activities of monitoring and evaluation of the day to day activities in the Districts.
This led to a survey conducted by selected DOCs on the performance of the local government system based on the four thematic areas of the APRM.
These are: Democracy and Good Political Governance; Economic Governance and Management; Corporate Governance and Socio-economic Development.
It explained that the results of the survey, which were validated by people in the communities as well as the District Assemblies, brought to the fore many of the challenges in quality education, health, sanitation, provision of water and electricity, roads and infrastructure faced by the communities.
On popular participation, the statement noted that the DOCs shared their experiences on outreach programmes with educational institutions, traditional councils, festival participants, churches, Muslim communities and market associations on the principles of the APRM.
It said the local authorities described the numerous surveys as eye-openers that had led to improved performance in the provision of water, sanitation facilities, rehabilitation of roads and infrastructure as well as the establishment of an educational fund.
The fund would help to motivate teachers and also address the fallen standards of education and the poor performance of students in those areas.
Rev. Prof. S.K. Adjepong, Chairman of the APRAM Governing Council, commended the commitment of the GTZ and KFW to the APRM and acknowledged the dedication of the DOCs.
He said the store of knowledge exhibited by the DOCs was a very useful review of the APRM process because it brought out strengths, shortfalls and solutions.
Prof. Adjepong said the uniqueness of the DOC initiative had brought a number of countries to Ghana to share in the experience.
He said the APRM had made those achievements due to its political neutrality and called for a stronger partnership with the media to improve information flow on plans, activities, challenges and progress, especially in the local communities.
The District Chief Executive of Shama, Ms Emelia Arthur chaired the meeting and commended the APRM DOCs for their remarkable performance in the monitoring and evaluation activities.
Ms Arthur said a number of decisions already taken by the Assembly were informed by the results of those surveys.
She said: “This is a testimony of Ghana’s growing democracy and what needs to be done is to ensure the maintenance of the APRM Oversight Committees.”