Every single Ghanaian who has ever dealt with the country’s public sector has one tale of pain, frustration and dissatisfaction to tell. The sector can best be described as unsatisfactory, despite the rich human resources it has. For instance, getting a passport is known to always be a nightmare for citizens. It could take six months to a year to get a passport after applying for it.
Efforts however are being made to reform and make the sector effective and productive, and that makes the announcement by the World Bank that it has approved a $35 million International Development Association (IDA) credit for the Ghana Public Sector Reform for Results Project to improve efficiency and accountability in the delivery of public services by 16 selected Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs), welcome news.
The project, according to the Bank seeks to improve the performance of specific entities crucial to the delivery of five sets of key public services: passports, drivers’ licenses and vehicle registration, environmental permits for individuals and micro- small and medium enterprises, registration of births and deaths, and residence permits.
It adds that the project will also support relevant entities to strengthen citizen engagement, efficiency, accountability and the handling of complaints.
“It will encourage citizens to use multiple channels – such as mobile applications, text messages, and the Internet – to provide and track their feedback, suggestions and complaints. The 16 entities comprise five front-line service delivery agencies (Passport Office, Ghana Immigration Service, Births and Deaths Registry, Environmental Protection Agency and Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority), their respective parent ministries and key entities that provide oversight, guidance and services to these entities,” a press release from the Bank copied to ghanabusinessnews.com says.
Commenting, Henry Kerali, World Bank Country Director for Ghana says, “By putting citizens first and leveraging technology in service delivery, the project will enhance access, speed up service delivery and reduce corruption.”
The project which is aligned with Ghana’s Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies (CPESDP), 2017-2024 will build on existing operations in the World Bank Group portfolio and address long-standing constraints to the efficient and accountable delivery of selected public services, such as limited access points, excessive delays and corruption.
“It supports the CPESDP’s strategic objective for increased growth for job creation. A strong public sector that is professionally managed and results-driven is critical to support job creation and increase growth opportunities,” says Hisham Waly, World Bank Governance Global Practice Manager for West and Southern Africa.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi
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