Leaving an array of success stories for inclusive development and better governance: The GovID impact in Ghana
The Governance for Inclusive Development (GovID) programme has been implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and supported with additional funding from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Over the 4-year phase the programme has supported the Government of Ghana by providing technical advisory and organisational reforms to improve the capacities of partner institutions for financing inclusive development.
With the motto “Raise More, invest better” GovID has supported the Ministry of Finance and 100 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to generate more revenue and use it to improve the lives of Ghanaians, especially those of persons in vulnerable situations. By this, GovID worked on all aspects of the budget cycle - increasing revenue at national and sub-national level; improving effectiveness and efficiency of public financial planning and management, supporting and strengthening accountability structures; and creating platforms for agricultural business dialogues.
The achievements of the programme are visible in many areas. To begin with, GovID was able to affect high-level policy change through the support provided to the Ministry of Finance and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for a number of policies that strengthened national level revenue mobilization. This includes, for example, the development of the New Transfer Pricing Regulation and Excise Tax Stamp Policy which prevents tax evasion by the private sector, the draft of the Environmental Fiscal Reform Policy, the updated Double Taxation Agreement Policy, and the Policy for the taxation of High Net Worth Individuals. After the introduction of the Transfer Pricing Regulation in 2020, tax revenue increased by over 300 % to GHS 1.3 billion in 2021 and to GHS 1.6 billion in 2022.
At the local level, the development of the district level revenue web application (dlRev) led to the transformation of revenue generation at the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies ( MMDAs). The internally generated funds in 2022 were on average for all 100 partner MMDAs 25% higher than in 2018.
To ensure improved decision-making through data, all 261 MMDAs in Ghana have benefited from the District Development Data Platform (DDDP), which has become the standard tool for data-based monitoring of the SDGs in Ghana. DDDP has been developed further to be utilized for the districts’ performance assessment through the District Performance Assessment Tool (DPAT), which creates a more transparent assessment process and subsequently fairer distribution of the District Assemblies Common Fund.
Good governance is only possible where there is accountability and transparency, thus the programme strengthened accountability mechanisms in the MMDAs. As a result, the audit recommendations implemented in 2022 in the partner MMDAs stands at 85% as against 58 % in 2018 - which represents a significant increase.
As a key principle of its work, GovID has mainstreamed gender-responsive approaches throughout the programme implementation. In cooperation with partners, this resulted in the establishment and formalization of the role of Gender Desk Officers within the MMDAs by an agreement between the Local Government Service and the Ministry of Gender as well as the development of an Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy for GRA with 300 employees trained for its implementation.
Knowing how important local business, especially the agricultural sector, is to the growth of the local economy, GovID supported 21 public private dialogues being conducted in 9 MMDAs. These dialogue sessions held between agribusiness and the local authorities has had a positive bearing on engagement and investments for local economic development.
The 4-year successor programme Participation, Accountability and Integrity for a Resilient Democracy (PAIReD) has commenced in October 2023 with a focus on strengthening public financial and expenditure management, sustainable and participatory land-use planning, and anti-corruption.
Author: Vanessa Otchere
Photos: © GIZ/2023
Publishing date: 1 November 2023