Impact Evaluation of the G-SAM Project in Ghana: Midline Report
Publication Date: 01/09/2016
USAID/Ghana’s Strengthening Accountability Mechanisms program (G-SAM) focuses on the district level of governance in Ghana, the Metropolitan, Municipal, or District Assemblies (MMDAs) democratically elected by residents. The following two activities are currently ongoing:
• Performance audits: The central government collects revenue and shares it with MMDA governments based on a revenue sharing formula. Prior to G-SAM, the Ghana Audit Service (GAS) conducted only a financial audit to ensure that this money was properly spent. Over the course of 2015 and with G-SAM funding, the GAS engaged in performance audits of 50 districts. In these audits the auditors went well beyond checking for receipts for purchases to assess the nature of project planning and contracting, the quality of service delivery outcomes and development
project outputs. This information has been used to develop citizen scorecards that were presented at district assemblies in April and May 2016; the scorecards are now being presented and discussed in public forums across the 50 districts.
• Civil society-led information campaign: Citizens struggle to hold their MMDA officials accountable, partially because they have very limited information about MMDA-level government budgets and activities. As such, a civil society-led effort under contract to CARE International and a coalition of Ghanaian CSOs has been conducting social audits on district capital projects and education and health service quality. This information will be used to develop citizen scorecards that will be presented and discussed in public forums over the course of the summer of 2016.
THE MIDLINE RESEARCH DESIGN
The G-SAM research design involves random assignment of 150 districts into one of three groups: a treatment group that has now received central government performance audits; a second treatment group that is now receiving civil-society led social audit; or a control group that will not receive either intervention. Given delays in the civil society organization (CSO)-led programming, this midline report only covers the 50 GAS performance audit districts and the 50 control districts. Moreover, while the baseline report provided data on citizen attitudes toward district governance and capital projects, the midline was carried out before any of the major citizen outreach efforts that will occur in both treatment arms in Summer 2016. The data collection only occurred among district administrators and politicians with the goal of determining if the GAS audits unto themselves, and without any significant citizen outreach, have had any effect on the planning, contracting and implementation of district capital projects.