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14.03.2005 Regional News

Districts to participate in USAID programme

By GNA
Ho, March 14, GNA - Twenty-five districts are to participate in the USAID District partnerships programme in education, local governance and democracy in the next three years.
The programme, known as the "Government Accountability Improves Trust (GAIT) and Education Quality for All (EQUALL), would involve the participation of district assemblies, district education directorates, local government support institutions such as the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS), the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) and civic organisations such as parent/teacher associations and farmers.
Mr William Osafo of the USAID Education Office said this at a forum on Monday for five districts that have applied to participate in the programme from the Volta Region.
They are North-Tongu, Keta, Kadjebi, Jasikan and Kpando districts and each would be eligible to receive 1,000 dollars' worth of support during the programme period should they get selected.
Each of the candidate districts would be expected to make brief presentations, focusing on organisations that support education in their districts, ways in which such organisations have supported education, district priority areas relative to education improvement and the nature of team work in the district in service delivery.
The rest are mechanisms employed by each district to inform the citizenry about performance and district strategies for involving communities and citizens groups in education delivery. "Based on participation in the zonal forum and the Letter of Interest, a Review Committee will shortlist districts and invite them to submit a Concept Paper which elaborates on the Letter of Interest..." Mr Osafo said.
He said the competitive method of selection was adopted to ensure commitment from the districts to promote effective utilisation of limited funds and also because other organisations were involved in similar programmes in other districts in the country. Mr Osafo cautioned that the 1,000 US dollars that would be made available to each district would be an "incentive grant" not an "entitlement grant" and that those districts that would not perform to expectation would lose the grant to others.
Mr Kofi Dzamesi, the Volta Regional Minister, called on districts to be selected to "work assiduously not only to justify their participation in the programmes but also to make effective use of the opportunity to enhance their development efforts". 14 March 05


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