Deepening decentralization through collaboration between District Assemblies and Faith-Based Organizations: Lessons from Keta and South Tongu Districts in Ghana
This study examines how Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in Ghana can work with Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) to deliver services. Using qualitative and descriptive approach, the Keta Municipality and South Tongu District were studied. One hundred and forty-two FBOs were sampled and interviewed from both Districts. For the household interviews, 200 households were sampled from the total of 37,705 households in the Keta Municipality, and 200 households were sampled from a total of 20,509 households in the South Tongu Municipality. In-depth interviews were held with leaders of the FBOs, high profile Officers of both District Assemblies and key informants. The study revealed that although FBOs play significant roles in service delivery, there was weak collaboration between both District Assemblies and the FBOs. The Assemblies did not adequately involve the FBOs in the governance process. There was poor incorporation of FBO plans in the Assemblies’ Development Plans while the Assemblies also did not adequately support the FBOs. This was found to result mainly from the fact that the laws establishing the District Assemblies in Ghana are unclear on how the Assemblies should work with FBOs. Also, Assemblies are seen to be very partisan and the FBOs do not trust the Assembly officials enough. The study recommends that the Local Governance Act 936 be amended to strengthen the working relationship between the FBOs and District Assemblies specifying the approaches to be used. In addition, the Assemblies could consider creating forums to dialogue with the FBOs in order to build trust with them.
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