Feedback from communities
- Many of the project communities said that, as a direct result of the project, they now have a very good relationship with their DAs and this is why, for example, the DA Assistant Planning Officer visits community women’s groups each week to discuss issues and challenges, and the DA health officer visits another community once a month.
- During consultations, local community members indicated that they had limited knowledge of their rights before the project. However, this has changed and they are confident in dealing with the DAs and a constructive relationship has now been built.
- Many comments have been received from communities, facilitators, assembly people, the media and an MP that the project is vital and should be rolled out across Ghana. This is something we will discuss with relevant parties.
- Besides the improved relations with families and community members, many women also said their community meetings are now more positive and effective because they now know how to work together and to communicate effectively. Before this however, they would squabble and the meetings would break up without anything being resolved. After meetings the women now go around the community to explain what was discussed to those unable to attend. The project has succeeded in improving communication on so many levels at family, household, intra-community, and inter-community, as well as between communities and their Unit Committees and DAs.
Feedback from District Assemblies
- The DAs have been very positive about the project, and constantly noted the relevance of the project during training activities. Key comments the improved relationship now existing between them and their communities; the knowledge and skills gained by the DAs for engaging their communities and how this is enabling better service provision on their part; and the newly developed proactiveness on the part of the communities to engage their DAs.
- The demand to the DAs for service provision has increased
considerably, and the DAs attributed this directly to the project. In the past, the common response from DAs to their communities would be ‘we have heard you’, and that would be all. Communities hankered for an honest response. The DAs do have financial challenges as well as many communities to target at the same time, and now they have been making good attempts to communicate these challenges and to seek alternative solutions (e.g. link communities with development NGOs active in their areas).
- Northern Region DAs noted they are encouraging communities away from provision of toilets for sanitation in preference for ‘Community Led Total Sanitation’ (CLTS), and so they asked FoE-Ghana to do more work on that. Of course this is an easier solution for the DAs because it doesn’t require service provision and large funds. But this is also good because a greater number of communities can become ‘Open Defecation Free’ (ODF) for a much smaller cost. It only requires awareness raising and education of the benefits. This preference has been well noted and FoE-Ghana will ensure that it is included in future projects on water and sanitation. Several communities have already become ODF communities as a result of this project due to the CLTS awareness raising process.
- The DAs summed up the benefits of the programme for them during consultations as being: Strengthened collaboration between Assemblies and Committees; Promotion of transparency; Reduction of rumour mongering; and Promotion of unity.
Feedback from one of the local radio stations
The manager of the radio programmes at Simli Radio (located at Dalun north-west of Tamale) noted the communities’ interest in the radio programmes and discussions, and that people were asking for the programmes to be increased to 3 times a week. They were also trying to expand their reach to other areas with the programme, and the Danish Development Agency (DANIDA) has provided additional funding to support this expansion. At the end-of-project evaluation meeting, the Simli Radio programme manager said that the radio station now hosts a progamme on sanitation and that this was as a direct result of the FoE-Ghana project.