It was a sweet and bitter experience for the Ashanti Region at the launch of this year's District League Table (DLT), as the region produced the overall best and the worst ranked districts.
While the Asante Akim North Municipal Assembly toppled the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) in the Greater Accra Region to sit at the apex of the league table, the Asokore Mampong Municipal Assembly took the other side of the coin when it came first from the bottom of the table.
The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) which are regarded as the big boys could not come to the party as they placed 100th and 68th respectively.
But the sister metropolitan assemblies made up of Tamale, Cape Coast and Tema ranked fairly well in the fourth, fifth and sixth positions.
Greater Accra Region tops
Interestingly, however, the Greater Accra Region which had the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) as the only candidate in the top 10 ranked assemblies, emerged as the overall best ranked region while the Eastern Region came last.
The Central, Ashanti and Western regions followed in the second, third and fourth positions respectively.
The DLT also ranked the Upper East and the Upper West regions as the fifth and sixth best regions while the Brong Ahafo, Volta and Northern regions completed the table in the seventh, eight and ninth positions.
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The District League Table (DLT) is a ranking tool that measures the level of social development in all metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) across the country.
The DLT initiative is a collaboration between the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD)-Ghana, UNICEF and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
It was first started in 2014 as a tool that rated the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) based on critical indicators such as health, education, governance, water, sanitation and security.
The DLT aggregates the marginal scores from the various sectors into a harmonised score to rank the MMDAs.
The DLT used a mix of cross-sector indicators such as the percentage of pupils who passed in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), open defecation free status of districts, percentage of expected deliveries attended by skilled professionals, number of population per police officers and access to rural and urban water supply.
The Chief of Policy and Evidence at UNICEF, Dr Yoshimi Nishino, explained that a different methodology was used in computing this year’s scores for the rankings.
She explained that the focus was to showcase the differences in the performances in the various sectors to inform policy decisions and targeted investments.
In terms of the education indicator, the Western Region topped the league table with 88 per cent, followed by the Brong Ahafo and Ashanti regions in the second and third positions.
The Upper East Region topped the health indicator with 65 marks while the Volta Region placed last.
In terms of water coverage, the Greater Accra topped with 77 per cent and was followed by Upper West Region with 76 per cent, while the Eastern Region came last with 54 per cent.
The Upper East Region came first in the open defecation free indicator, followed by the Upper West and Northern regions while Ashanti Region came last.
Highlights of previous DLT
The Tano South District in the Brong Ahafo Region came top in the inaugural DLT in 2014 while the Karaga District in the Northern Region carried all other districts from the bottom.
In 2015, the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) sprang from the 20th position in 2014 to annex the top spot, with Gomoa West in the Central Region staying at the bottom of the league table.
The La Nkwantanang-Madina Assembly (LANMA) in the Greater Accra Region came in strongly to topple TMA in 2016, with North Tongu slipping to take over the last position from Gomoa West.
The TMA came back from the slumber to occupy the top position in the 2017 DLT, while Krachi East District in the Volta Region (now Oti Region) came last in the rankings.
The UNICEF country representative, Ms Anne-Claire Dufay, said the DLT was a good tool since its focus was to ensure inclusive development.
She said it was important for all key actors to take the results of the DLT seriously and help to roll out initiatives that would address the development gaps in line with the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Kwasi Boateng Adjei, said the DLT ranking was important since it would help the government in the even allocation of resources.
He urged MMDAs to deepen engagements with citizens at the grassroots to help address development challenges.
A Deputy Minister of Health, Mr Alex Kodwo Kom Abban, also said the health indicators in the rankings would help the government to take proactive steps to ensure universal access to healthcare across the country.