Report on a Scoping Visit to Ghana: 13-15 June 2017

A Twende Mbele delegation, comprised of the Chair of the Management Committee, Director for CLEAR-AA, and the South African Project Coordinator: Dr Ian Goldman, Dr Laila-Ruth Smith and Ms Rendani Manugu, respectively, undertook a scoping visit to Ghana. The purpose of the visit was to determine how best Twende could partner with Ghana on M&E, based on their M&E capacity. Over two days, the delegation met with key M&E drivers in the public sector to gauge the level of priority given to M&E in Ghana. The delegation met with National Development Planning Commission, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ministry of Health, Minister of Monitoring and Evaluation (a newly established ministry), Parliamentary Select Committee for Poverty Reduction, and the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration. Two issues pose a great challenge to the strengthening of the M&E system in Ghana. The first is the absence of a national evaluation policy. The second is the lack of capacity around M&E. The absence of a policy on M&E significantly impacts the quality of the M&E system, as a national evaluation policy provides guidance on all matters pertaining to M&E. The changes in governments and realignment of priorities is to blame for the its absence. The lack of capacity is a pressing issue as it has a direct impact on the day to day work of M&E duties. Because there are no university courses or degrees on M&E, the assessment of skills required of M&E officials is unknown. Although there are strong links between national, regional and district levels of government, there is a disconnect in the data collection systems. There are no established M&E competencies, limited capacity in evaluations as most evaluations are conducted through donor funded projects, delays in the monitoring systems and data collection tools are in short supply. With the withdrawal of donors from Ghana, due to Ghana being deemed a lower middle income country, the lack of capacity on evaluations is going to become of great concern, as most evaluations are conducted through donors.