The 45th Annual General Meeting of the Ghana Institute of Planners was successfully held as scheduled. In attendance were Government representatives, UN Resident Coordinator, members of GIP, Representatives from Nigeria Institute of Town Planners, Representatives of professional bodies, Lecturers and Students from the Planning Department of KNUST and members of the general public.
Dr. Ohene Sarfo presented a paper and the title of his presentation was "Sustainability and Resilience - A Programmatic Interrogation of the institutional architecture of resilience planning – the GAMA Case"
- Different state actors: Multiple iterations and programming arising from differences (small to large) in approaches has been adopted by different development partners with different state actors.
- Donors do politics: Even where there are opportunities for collaboration, there is a felt reticence to work together in conformity with the ethos of aid effectiveness that prioritises coordination, Resilience is also being subjected to the competitive politics of international development assistance.
- Appearances are deceptive: Although it would seem that the partners are only acting upon request, and their work is aligned to the broad national development aspirations as stipulated in the GSGDA II, there is a sense that they are inclined to working more towards their organizational goals.
- Everywhere and nowhere: The different interventions are focused on GAMA or sections of it and are producing copious volumes of research – yet there are complaints by staff and consultants of these same organisations about the lack of information. For example, although NADMO has developed hazard maps, none of the other projects have been able to lay hands on them in spite of multiple searches. Secondly, there is an over concentration of interventions in Accra / GAMA whilst not much is being done in neighboring districts or regions.
- Dangerous pilot landing in mid-air: These projects have all been labelled pilots, in the hope of a future expansion in coverage. Yet there are no definitive plans in the national-level agencies or districts assemblies for deepening and expansion beyond the donor-led intervention.
- Resilience without coordination: Resilience without coordination is If COORDINATION IS AN IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTE OF RESILIENCE PLANNING, THEN I DARESAY IN THE CONTEXT OF GAMA, THAT THUS FAR, RESILIENCE PLANNING IN GAMA IS NOT RESILIENT.
- The forgotten local: The forgotten local à Such is the presence and clamour of the international partners that very direction appears to be coming from the main national level agency at the apex of planning, the NDPC. Yet they have not been idle, as will be seen in the following slides.
- There are practical issues affecting the capacity at the local level to develop and integrate resilience into development plans.
- Ambivalent language of the guidelines for the development of MTDPs in the context of emergent concepts and thus with the responsiveness of the national framework.
- The multiple data requests from the numerous actors and partners from the MMDAs inevitably overload the planners.
- There are also issues of alignment between competing frameworks, World Bank, Cities Alliance, RIPS or NADMO.
- NDPC should take the lead in the formulation of a comprehensive national framework.
- In order to do this, NDPC should engage the research and academic community in-country to interrogate emerging concepts, theories and practices through the establishment of expert panels.
- Expert panels should also include practitioners with substantial experience who draw from their wealth of practice.
- Sector working groups should be re-oriented as sector learning groups.
- The national resilience framework should be consistently applied by MMDAs.
- The planners in the MMDAs require minimum training that is evenly spread, irrespective of district.
- Irrespective of origin, frameworks being applied in programmes supported by international development partners should be interrogated and NDPC should ensure alignment before application.
- There is a need for districts to place data such that it can be accessed without taking the time of staff to respond to individual requests (Ministry of Health / NDPC website approach)
- NDPC has uploaded so many documents on their website, for Cities Alliance, we didn’t need to go to NDPC office for data.
- One wonders how the information generated by various interventions are embedded in the structures of the local government such that it can be retrieved, utilized, improved and re-stored for access by all. IT IS A KNOWN FACT THAT REPORTS BECOME THE POSSESSION OF OFFICERS DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN PROJECTS TEND TO RETAIN THE INFORMATION GENERATED BY THE PROJECTS THUS DENYING THE ORGANISATION OF ITS INSTITUTIONAL LEARNING IN THE FUTURE.
- GIP as an entity, review its structures in order for it to become active in the knowledge production and sharing space in a more forceful way and be proactive in leading in the development of pioneering thoughts on resilience.
Below are scenes from the AGM
Hon. Secretary (Mr. Percy Anaab Bukari) reading annual progress report
President and other Executives in a picture with representative from the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners(NITP).
Group picture of 2016 GIP Inductees.