LoCAL-Ghana combines performance-based climate resilience grants with technical and building capacity support to ensure climate change adaptation is mainstreamed into government’s planning and budgeting systems, and to increase awareness and response to climate change at the local level.
The vision for LoCAL-Ghana is to become a national mechanism to channel financial resources for the adaptation to the whole territory of Ghana in an efficient and transparent manner, through the national transfer system to local authorities, and the district Development Fund.
Due to climate change, Ghana is facing increased pressure on water, reduced yields leading to more poverty and food insecurity, and the loss of national revenue from cash crops such as cocoa.
Other vulnerabilities include migration that adds to the pressure on urban services; deteriorating health because of increased disease; severe impacts on land use leading to loss of biodiversity and soil fertility, land degradation and increased deforestation; and exposure of fragile groups such as women and youth to climate change impacts.
In 2013, Ghana launched its National Climate Change Policy, which includes the three objectives of effective adaptation, social development and mitigation. Four thematic areas have been identified to address adaptation issues in Ghana: energy and infrastructure, natural resource management, agriculture and food security, and disaster preparedness and response.
The Government of Ghana has expressed a strong desire to mainstream adaptation activities in all procedures at the MMDA level, with a strong focus on strengthening the District Environmental Committees and compliance with various environmental safeguards, as well sharpen the attention to the increasing roles of climate change at the local level.
Many Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) are confronted with increased climate change variability and human vulnerability. More than 80% of disasters in MMDAs are climate related and affect key growth and economic sectors such as agriculture, forestry and fisheries; as well as environmental sanitation water supply and management.
The National Development Planning Commission’s guidelines on preparing MMDA medium-term plans therefore incorporates climate change adaptation issues in profiling as well as in prioritizing projects.
Highlighted in the National Climate Change Policy, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, which aims to ensure good governance and equitable development of MMDAs and plays an important role in ensuring that climate change is mainstreamed at the local level. Climate change adaptation is also captured in the Annual Performance Indicators under the District Development Facility (DDF) — although as a smaller part of the cross-cutting performance measures, and with a lower weight than the generic indicators on governance and public financial management.
Objectives, results and activities
The overall outcome of LoCAL-Ghana is to improve the resilience of MMDAs to climate change as a result of increased access to climate change adaptation financing through Performance-Based Climate Resilience Grants (PBCRGs).
The objectives for LoCAL-Ghana are as follows:
- Respond to the increasing impact of climate change in Ghana in accordance with local prioritized needs and vulnerabilities in a sustainable manner with sufficient consideration for the operation and maintenance of the structures supported
- Promote robust, transparent and accountable public financial management/public expenditure management systems by providing funds to make the local planning and budgeting process meaningful, efficient, effective and participatory as well as strengthening incentives for climate change adaptation activities
Four outputs will contribute to the achievement of these objectives:
- Effective and transparent climate change financing mechanism in place for local governments (MMDAs) through the establishment of the PBCRG system linked with the existing DDF
- Inclusive, effective and accountable climate change adaptation planning process designed and integrated in the local development planning process of MMDAs
- Effective capacity development mechanism promoted to strengthen MMDA capacities for climate change adaptation
- Climate change adaptation activities efficiently, effectively and transparently implemented and reported by participating MMDAs through the PBCRG system
- The PBCRG system has been successfully designed and is fully aligned with the DDF which was introduced in 2009 to support the enhancement of MMDAs capacity through a combination of capital grants, capacity development support and incentives for improved performance in — among other areas —public financial management, procurement systems, revenue mobilization as well as good governance.
- The Government of Ghana and UNCDF have defined the modalities for LoCAL-Ghana, including funding arrangements, eligibility and minimum conditions of access, allocation criteria, and funding flow and reporting. The institutional framework and the roles of the parties have also been defined. These modalities are described in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which provides the framework for LoCAL-Ghana and was signed in February 2015. This MoU established financing and management of the Local Climate Adaptive Living (LoCAL) facility.
- As part of the preparation for LoCAL-Ghana, a Technical Climate Change Committee has been established and has been convened several times. This group will continue to coordinate the support and guidance for LoCAL.
- A technical assistance mission commissioned by UNCDF has been organised for June 2016 to LoCAL Ghana to review the climate information (risks, vulnerability and adaptation assessments) that inform adaptation planning and mainstreaming into local development planning and make recommendations to strengthen capacities.
- Three (3) MMDAs were selected to pilot the approach in Ghana: Fanteakwa District, Ada East District and Efutu Municipal Assembly (population: 308,008). Implementation of identified investments captured in the MMDAs’ approved annual work-plans commenced in June 2016.
- Approved investments for Phase I (1st cycle) was completed in January 2017. An independent assessment is due to take place in June 2017. With the outcome of the assessment results, the 3 MMDAs will continue into the 2nd cycle of Phase I from 2017-2018.
Adaptation measures and investments
Following the first cycle of planning, budgeting and transfer of funds in November 2015 of the LoCAL performance-based climate resilience grant (PBCRG), first adaptation measures and investments commenced in June 2016 and completed in January 2017 included:
- Dredging and damming of Ntakofam stream from intensive vegetable farming for alternative livelihood for farmers/youth; and production and planting of 10,000 acassia siamea trees along Ntakofam stream (Effutu Municipal Assembly)
- Restoration of degraded reserve forest land along river Akrum and Osubin by planning 3,000 Kusia, Anime and Mahogany seedlings; planting of 1000 acarcia and teak trees in 20 selected public schools and of Plant 1000 Veicchia palm trees along the main road from Krodaso to Police station; training of 50 people in 13 selected communities where bush fires are prevalent; sensitization of Urban/Town/Area Council members on early warning systems; and construction of 900m U-drain and 900m culvert at Bosuso (Fanteakwa District Assembly)
- Community sensitization on causes and effects of climate change; construction of mechanised borehole water storage facility; provision of water harvesting facilities; planting of 1000 mangrove seedlings and construction of wooden foot bridge (Ada East District Assembly)
- It is important to define the appropriate size of the PBCRG – they need to be large enough to have an impact, including leverage of (public-)private funding, but small enough to be fiscally sustainable and scalable. The size of the PBCRG in Ghana will constitute an average “top-up” of around 10-15% of the DDF for the enrolled MMDAs. In addition to this, LoCAL will provide support in the form of technical assistance, and backstopping support from the UNCDF Regional office.
- It is critical to design the flow of funds and mechanism for the PBCRG operation to fully align with the existing system of inter-governmental transfers and follow the regular public expenditure management cycle – the funds are therefore fully fungible with other resources available locally. In Ghana, the PBCRGs are fully aligned with the District Development Facility (DDF) and its operations.
- Enrolled MMDAs will be supported in the area of vulnerability and adaptation assessments, and through the first and second round of annual planning, including for the identification of adaptation measures and investments.
- Performance baselines for the MMDAs enrolled, from which to track progress in performance over time will be established.
- The objective is to expand the pilot phase after year two (2) and testing the PBCRG in a larger sample of MMDAs from other parts of the country and most especially in the north of the country. This is however based on mobilisation of further funding. The longer-term ambition is to extend LoCAL to all local governments as an integrated part of the intergovernmental fiscal grant system and to cover all MMDAs in the medium-term (within the coming 5 years).
- A technical assistance (TA) mission commissioned by UNCDF was organised in June 2016 to review climate information (risks, vulnerability and adaptation assessments) to inform adaptation planning and mainstreaming into local development planning and make recommendations to strengthen capacities. This mission has precipitation another TA mission to be conducted in late summer of 2017, to design and install in the pilot MMDAs, a Climate Change Risk, Vulnerability and Adaptation Local Information System. The mission will provide technical support for the implementation of local diagnostics and mapping of climate risks, vulnerability and climate change adaptation.
Government of Ghana
- Ms. Wasila Sufyan
Senior Development Planning Officer
Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development
- Dr. Abdulai Dramani
Institute of Local Government Service
- Mr. Kwame Owusu-Bonsu
Director, Policy Planning Monitoring and Evaluation, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development