Open Government Partnerships (OGP)
An integrated participatory-development initiative under the auspices of the Global Open Government Partnership and six sub-national governments in Ghana to bring governance closer to citizens. The initiative which began with the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) in 2016 has enabled inclusivity and co-creation of priority actions that improve gender roles, transparency, and accountability in public infrastructure delivery, Extractive sector governance, Planning and budgeting, Water & Sanitation, with the goal of enhancing the quality of life of citizens. With significant gains, Friends of the Nation is replicating and scaling up the initiative with the Shama and Anloga District Assemblies, as well as Tarkwa Nsuaem, Wassa Amenfi West, and the Ketu South municipalities.
Transparency and accountability are considered the traditional hallmarks of an open government, where the public can have access to government-held information and development plans to enable citizens participate and demand for improved quality of service delivery. The Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiative, which Ghana signed onto in September 2011, is promoting these tenets of good governance in Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies.
Already, Friends of the Nation had developed the Inclusive and Accountable Governance: Experiences of Friends of the Nation drawn from its actions with the Shama District Assembly spanning over a decade. Following these initiatives, Friends of the Nation in 2016 with support from the World Bank, worked with the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly [STMA] which had already signed onto the OGP Initiative, to develop its 2016 and 2018 Action Plans.
A multi-stakeholder platform comprising of heads of departments of the STMA, and non-state actors (religious groups, youth & women groups, non-Governmental Organizations, traditional leaders, PWDs and other identified groups), came together to co-create a priority Action Plan to guide the actions of the assembly in the years mentioned above; a first of its kind. Following this, stakeholders engaged their constituents in several conversations, consultations, and validation of these action plans with a view of gaining a social license for the assembly to act.
Embedded in these actions were how the assembly could be transparent and accountable, as well as promote inclusivity and participation in all its areas of service delivery. Accountability billboards detailing revenues received in fees, taxes, and other charges, projects undertaken, and their status of implementation were also mounted in all the Sub-metropolitan areas to provide accurate data for resident’s perusal.
On the back of the successes of the STMA’s experiences and support from Oxfam, the OGP initiative was extended to the Shama District Assembly in 2021 following the successful approval of its application by the Global OGP. FoN has also supported the Tarkwa Nsuaem, Wassa Amenfi West, Ketu South, and the Keta Municipalities to apply successfully and presently aiding them to co-create, develop, and implement their maiden priority Action Plans.