The Sekondi-Takoradi chapter of CoST International has launched an Infrastructure Analytical Dashboard (IAD) and an Electronic Infrastructure Monitoring Tool (E-IMT), to revolutionize the way infrastructure projects are monitored and reported within some Districts in the Western Region.
The IAD is an online platform that provides real-time access to a wealth of data related to ongoing and completed infrastructure projects from eight districts in the Western Region.
The IAD also generated statistical and interactive infographics on cases that provided insights on value-for-money considerations, tender management, and contract administration; and quantitatively categorizes projects according to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
While, as the E-IMT utilizes mobile and web-based technology to enable citizen monitors, civil society organizations, media, and the public to undertake monitoring directly from project sites.
This empowered stakeholders by providing actionable information and evidence to serve as the basis for scrutinizing procurement practices and value-for-money considerations in the delivery of publicly funded infrastructure projects.
The two groundbreaking technological advancements are aimed at promoting transparency and accountability in the delivery of infrastructure projects.
Nana Biasie, the CEO of Logig Limited, and the IT consultant for the development of the IAD, took the participants through the dashboard.
He said the IAD was a business intelligence tool that provided a comprehensive overview of disclosed infrastructure data.
The Consultant added that the tool filters and analysis multiple infrastructure datasets drawn from projects published on CoST Sekondi-Takoradi’s Disclosure Portal by eight districts currently working with the organization.
Mr Aziz Mahmoud, CoST Programme Coordinator, said the introduction of the technological advancements by CoST Sekondi-Takoradi had numerous benefits to infrastructure development and governance.
He stated that improved transparency reduced opportunities for corruption and mismanagement, while real-time monitoring enhances accountability among stakeholders.
Mr Mahmoud added that duty-bearers could make informed decisions regarding resource allocation, and citizens would be empowered to participate efficiently in local infrastructure governance by providing feedback.
This, he said, promoted a sense of inclusivity, ensuring that all voices are heard, and perspectives are considered throughout the project lifecycle.
Madam Victoria Araba Dennis, a member of the CoST Sekondi Takoradi’ Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG), said although Ghana had one of the most transparent procurement systems in the West African sub-region, there was a growing perception of corruption associated with the delivery of publicly funded infrastructure projects.
This could be attributed to challenges associated with access to information on public infrastructure projects and their execution, making it difficult for beneficiaries and other stakeholders to conduct monitoring along the project cycle and thus creating mistrust.
She stated that if the two digital innovations are effectively used by all stakeholders, in addition to other CoST tools and standards, the nation would experience a drastic transformation in infrastructure delivery.
In Ghana, CoST Sekondi-Takoradi, Foundation is the subnational chapter of CoST International which is based in the United Kingdom that aims to ensure better value from infrastructure projects through the implementation of CoST’s standards and approaches.
Some of the achievements of the organization in the last four years included the development and launch of a disclosure portal to enable districts to proactively publish data relating to infrastructure projects, the conduct of two Assurance Reports
on 13 publicly funded infrastructure projects and the formation and capacity building for eight CoST District Citizens’ Monitoring Teams.
The project also conducted and published an Infrastructure Transparency Scoping Study in 2021 in Ghana to establish a baseline measure of transparency in publicly funded infrastructure projects at a national and sub-national level and the Infrastructure Transparency Index (ITI) in 2022 to measure levels of infrastructure transparency and the quality of associated processes that improved participation and accountability among procuring entities at the sub-national level.
The CoST Sekondi Takoradi chapter currently work with eight procuring entities-local governments in the Western Region of Ghana: Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan, Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipal, Effia-Kwesimintsim Municipal, Ahanta West Municipal, Nzema East Municipal, Mpohor District, Shama District and Wassa East District Assemblies.