Tamale, GHANA— Since 2014, over 96,000 women in northern Ghana saved USD $7.8 million – or about 42,659,747 cedis – and invested the money to improve the health, education, nutrition, and economic opportunities of their families. Last year, Nanumba North received 98% in the District Performance Assessment conducted by the Ministry of Local Government, the second highest score nationally. As a result, the district received 1.2 million Ghana cedis (USD $220,000) to implement district priorities. These accomplishments are a result of the hard work of the District Assemblies and community members, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/ Resiliency in Northern Ghana (RING) project.
On August 29, 2019, the Northern Regional Coordinating Council and 17 northern Ghana District Assemblies came together to celebrate their achievements. They undertook a bold endeavor to dramatically improve the lives of thousands of families through job creation and improved nutrition. The United States Government, through the USAID/RING project, partnered with District Assemblies to implement nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, agriculture and job creation activities. Since the start of the USAID/RING project, communities have experienced a 60% reduction in open defecation. District Nutrition Officers reported that the percentage of children underweight decreased from 13% in 2015 to 4% in 2017 in USAID/ RING-supported districts.
Aligned with Ghana’s 2016 Local Governance Act, USAID supported districts to produce annual plans and budgets and build public financial management and monitoring and evaluation systems. The Northern Regional Coordinating Council set up a system to collect and visualize data across sectors. As the districts populate this database, information will be available at the fingertips of policymakers, program managers and district planning officers to drive decisions.
In his remarks, USAID/Ghana’s Acting Mission Director Steven E. Hendrix highlighted the importance of multi-sectoral, decentralized, behavior-driven development. “We strive to empower citizens as transformed actors who are the cornerstone of the development of this nation. Our support is an example of successful direct engagement with local government. We walked side by side with districts as their staff took full ownership and we commend the districts for their leadership.”
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. USAID’s activities and strategic partnerships support Ghana’s journey to self-reliance. Our work advances an integrated approach to development. It promotes accountability, sustainable systems, and inclusive development.