The first ever Governance and Peace Poll (GaPoll) has been conducted in the country to track progress in governance and peace.
The GaPoll, which is a nationwide representative public opinion tracking survey that seeks to support the management of results relating to the United Nations and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) targets relating to issues of governance and peace, will run three times in 2014.
Conducted by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), UNDP, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), National Peace Council and the Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee on Decentralization (IMCC) as implementing partners.
The second poll will be conducted in August/September and the findings will be shared with the public in October.
Disseminating the findings in Accra Mr Maxwell Agyei Ashon, Research Officer at CDD-Ghana, said the objective was to provide timely data that would contribute to policy debate, interventions and advocacy as well as track progress between major surveys such as the Afrobarometer survey.
The first survey was conducted in June 2014 and the methodology used was the creation of a list of respondents who have agreed to be contacted regularly on matters relating to governance and peace. These respondents were randomly selected using criteria of gender and region.
The findings revealed that many Ghanaians had mistrust for the Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in some of their core functions.
It also revealed that the core functions in which the MMDAs were assessed poorly were maintenance of local roads and local markets and these were assessed negatively in the Central, Upper West, Greater Accra and Ashanti regions.
In contrast, in maintaining health standards in local restaurants and food stall, MMDAs were rated as doing very well.
In all, 1,273 respondents were selected and telephone interviews were used in conducting the survey.
Mr Agyei Ashon said that with the level of trust in public institutions, 57 per cent of the respondents said they trusted the Electoral Commission, 64 per cent trusted the National Peace Council, 53 per cent trusted the law courts and 60 per cent trusted the CHRAJ to deliver on their mandate.
However, 53 percent do not trust District Assemblies to deliver on their mandate.
Most of the respondents said they did not contact their Members of Parliament, district assembly officials, Unit Committee member and Assembly representative to share their views on pertinent development issues.
“Even though 53 per cent of the respondents trusted the law courts, only 47 per cent said they trust in the ability of the state to prosecute cases in the law courts. A significant 45 per cent did not trust the state at all or trusted them a little to prosecute cases”, he said.
For the willingness of women to accept leadership positions, 54 per cent of women respondents were willing to accept a leadership role in a political party if offered them.
While an overwhelming majority of women in Upper West region representing 85 per cent were more willing to accept a leadership role in a political party only 47 per cent of women in the Eastern region were willing to do so.
“This aside, 73 per cent of the women interviewed said they were willing to accept a leadership role in a private sector organization, with the rate particularly high in the Northern region (91 per cent).
“Moreover, 70 per cent of the women respondents indicated that they were willing to accept leadership role in a public sector organization”.
Mr Agyei Ashon explained that a 80 per cent of respondents who reported having contacted a service provider in the past 12 months said they did not pay a bribe whilst the other 20 per cent said the paid some form of bribe.
He said the poll which will be done three times the year, would be used to assist in the design of interventions necessary to address governance and peace challenges in Ghana.
The data and findings would be made available to the public and other stakeholders in the field of governance and peace to support their work
Mr Gameli Kewuribe Hoedoafia, Research Fellow of IMCC who chaired launch, said the data would be used to replace the current estimates of figures being used to measure progress in development.
Mr Lawrence Lachmansingh Peace and Governance Advisor at the UNDP, explained that the GaPoll was a mechanism for the UNDP and its lead partners to track the extent to which progress is being made in the areas of governance and peace as they relate to approved work plans under the United Nations Development Assistance Framework.
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