Busua, W/R. On Thursday, 16 March 2017, The Western Region Coastal Foundation (WRCF) held a seminar with key officials from local Metropolitan and Municipal District Assemblies (MMDAs) at Busua in the Ahanta West District, to discuss and support the preparation of the districts’ medium to long term development plans.
WRCF also shared community development priorities that have been identified through its Dialogue Platform for inclusion in the 2018-2021 medium term development plan (MTDP). Participating in the seminar were Coordinating Directors, Planning Officers and Budget Officers of the six coastal districts namely Jomoro, Ellembelle, Nzema East, Ahanta West, Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) and Shama.
The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) has tasked MMDAs to review the performance of the 2014-2017 plans and track its successes, lessons learnt, and identify gaps to inform their next planning phase. MMDAs must also respond to social inclusion and community development priorities presented by their respective communities, set clear directions on how they will monitor, measure, and achieve their priorities, and strengthen their capacity to meet the needs of vulnerable groups in the community. As an organisation with an emphasis on community engagement and economic development, WRCF was able to share the results of its economic opportunities assessments and insights into its livelihood interventions, to support the MMDAs’ selection of priority economic projects that will address youth unemployment and create jobs in the coastal districts.
As a starting point, WRCF shared its database with MMDA officials, which has been created from household, community, and interest group meetings with over 29,000 individuals across the six coastal districts. The database contains a total of 1,263 prioritised issues raised by residents from 181 communities. Officials were also taken through results of a recent community perception and socio-economic survey (CPSES), and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) best practice guidelines that can assist officials in their duties.
MMDA officials identified M&E as one of the key areas that they would need to add value to their work, and expressed keen interest in working with WRCF to utilise the data from the communities to guide planning, designing and implementing sustainable initiatives for the period 2018 – 2021.
“Today’s seminar with the coastal MMDAs is part of a series of engagements that WRCF plans to promote and strengthen partnerships with local government to address the needs of our local communities. Community engagement through our multi-stakeholder dialogue platform provides WRCF with the data to design or support others in implementing sustainable solutions for local economic development,” WRCF CEO Matthew Armah commented.
“We are very happy to have had this session with the WRCF. One of the main challenges of MMDAs is the need for scientific based research to guide and drive our development plans to design and implement initiatives that address the socio-economic needs of communities within our districts” the Ahanta West District Coordinating Director, Frank Ernest Odoro stated.
For more information about WRCF’s Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue Platform, the database, case studies, and photos, please contact Oswald Felli, WRCF Communications Manager, +233 20 784 5941, firstname.lastname@example.org.