Mr Kwame Owusu Bonsu â€“ Head of UDG Secretariat
Mr George Nti â€“ Technical Advisor, Component 2A
Mr Gregory Addah â€“ Director LGSS, Head Component 2B
Mr Clement Tandoh â€“Technical Advisor, Component 2B
Mr Benjamin Ankrah â€“ Procurement Specialist
Component Two of the LGCSP supports selected urban assemblies to improve their management capabilities in identified key reform areas through a performance-based Urban Development Grant (UDG) and capacity building support. These two sub-components complement each other.
The provision of development projects is a fundamental element in local government service delivery. Under the Local Government Capacity Support Project, participating Metropolitan, Municipal Assemblies (MMAâ€™s) can access additional funding to provide social infrastructure for their citizens in fulfilment of their infrastructure and human settlement development function.
Component 2A – Performance-based Urban Development Grant
The Urban Development Grant (UDG) is an annual performance-based grant to urban assemblies. The Grant is open to all 46 Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies participating in the LGCSP project.
The UDG, which has a total grant sum of 140, 000 USD for a period of five years, can only be used to fund social infrastructural projects, such as educational and health infrastructure, markets and lorry parks as well as water and sanitation, already identified in the District Assemblyâ€™s approved Medium Term Development Plan. The funds cannot be used to procure vehicles, office or residential accommodation for the district assembly and its staff.
The mechanism for disbursing the UDG builds on existing structures for administering the District Development Fund (DDF) currently supported by four Development Partners and administered as a performance grant that is open to all 216 MMDAs. Under the DDF, the performance of MMDAs is measured annually through a Functional Organisational Assessment Tool in the following five functional areas:
- Development planning
- Financial management and accounting
- Public procurement
- Implementation capacity
- The functioning of the General Assembly
In order to access the UDG, a qualifying MMAs must achieve the minimum conditions level of performance in the DDF, as well as pass UDG specific sections of the assessment. The MMA must achieve a score higher than the national average score to qualify for the grant. If successful, an Assembly receives UDG resources in addition to existing DDF allocations. The allocations are however based on performance in the key reform areas targeted by the project. The areas are:
- Budget reform
- Reporting and auditing systems
- Revenue management
- Asset management
- Social accountability
It is important to note, that the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development aims to ensure that all participating Metropolitan assemblies benefit from the project during its lifespan. As a result, special clinics are organized for assemblies with challenges to identify their stumbling blocks and assistance provided to overcome them. It is worthy of mention that through such clinics, six out of seven MMAs that had not benefitted from UDG1 and UDG2 consecutively made it under UDG-3. The only exception was Upper Denkyira Municipal Assembly where some administrative and technical challenges have been identified for redress.
To date, a total of 43,988,992.84 Ghana Cedis has been transferred to MMAs to use towards over 230 identified projects in health, education, local economic development as well as water and sanitation issues. The table below presents current levels of disbursement to MMAs under UDG 1 and 2.
Table 1: UDG 1 and 2 Disbursements
Component 2.2 – Capacity Building for Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies
The second part of component 2 of the LGCSP provides capacity building to the staff of participating Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies to address capacity gaps at the individual as well as institutional levels. The capacity support is aimed at strengthening the skills set of staff to improve service delivery to citizens in the areas of development planning and management. This includes service provision. Support also goes to institutional support in the form of consultancy for the development of strategies and frameworks to enable an assembly improve core PFM deliveries such as revenue mobilisation or asset management.
A capacity Appraisal of all 46 assemblies established that the MMAs were weak in financial management; revenue mobilization, asset Management and Social Accountability. Capacity building therefore focuses on addressing capacity gaps in these areas. Other efforts that are complementary to the capacity building efforts of the LGCSP are the development of manuals and guidelines as quick reference materials to local government practitioners. Staff from beneficiary MMAs have benefitted from training programmes in composite budgeting, contract management and assets management. The LGCSP supported the development of three manuals on (1) Financial Management (2), Revenue Mobilization and (3) Social Accountability.
In addition to the traditional training given through workshops, MMAs receive substantial capacity building through systematic coaching and mentoring provided by the LGCSP technical team and a team of expert organizations recruited by the project and known as the Regional Technical Advisory Team (RTAT).
Additionally, the LGCSP provides Capacity Support Fund (CSF) to qualifying MMAs. The CSF is given to MMAs to address specific and unique needs related to performance in five key PFM reform areas. by engaging consultants. The use of the CSF is restricted to the recruiting of two (2) categories of consultants: (a) specialist consultants for specific deliverables, and (b) transaction advisory support. A successful MMA receives CSF allocation of up to forty thousand dollars US dollars (USD 40,000) in addition to UDG allocations. This amount is disbursed to MMAs upon submission and approval of an application for the use of the CSF for the year. The fund is managed by the LGSS as part of the overall allocation of funds to the project. To date, 34 MMAs have used their CSF to support Street Naming and Property Addressing projects in the municipalities.