The design process was initiated with a consultative workshop with some Forest Watch Ghana member NGOs which had experience with score card design and use, and considerable experience in implementing local initiatives in forest communities. The following NGOs took part in the development of the template.
The workshop identified the main issues and information needs, and these were enumerated and prioritised for the report card template. The template was then tested in two districts in the most forested parts of the country, Juaboso and Tarkwa-Nsuaem in Western Region. Feedback from the field testing was incorporated in a final template at a validation workshop.
A set of five final questionnaire templates were designed, each one relevant to a specific stakeholder group (see box). The questionnaires typically contain over 100 questions, divided into sections on economic, institutional, socio-cultural, environmental, and legal / policy dimensions. Where relevant, the questions provided for scored answers between 1 (very good) and 5 (very bad) for example. Those transparency indicators common to all countries and of relevance to these stakeholder groups were included.
All stakeholder groups were sensitised on the purpose of the report card before information gathering started in the field. Afterwards, there were also interface meetings where stakeholders validated their scores. This process provided an important opportunity for various stakeholders to constructively engage in a dialogue based on evidence, propose recommendations to improve performance and ensure an operational link between information and action through direct interaction among the concerned stakeholders.
CIKOD and the six local NGOs namely (Conservation Foundation, New Generation Concern, Rural Environmental Care Association, Abesim Youth and Afforestation Brigade, Mariajoe Socio-Dev and Sunyani Forest Forum), worked together to collect information from different sources, and within the different stakeholder groupings. Two approaches were taken. For the communities, a series of focus group discussions was held, whereas for the others, individual key informants were interviewed. Thus the stakeholders interviewed include the following:
In order to conduct the community-level field work, two communities were selected in each of the target districts based on their proximity to a forest reserve, in order to have the views of these people based on the different levels of interaction with the reserve. The selection of respondents in each of the communities was structured into focus groups (Unit Committees, Women, Men and the Youth) so that views of the different groupings would be reflected in the response. The questionnaires were completed through a separate meeting with each of these groups.
Selection of timber firms was based on the location of their office, so irrespective of the operational sites if their office was within the target districts they were interviewed. Informal loggers - chain saw operators - were approached through their Association.
In all, a total of about 300 questionnaires were distributed. With the exception of the communities and the traditional authorities where there was a meeting convened for the questionnaire administration, all the other respondents asked that the questionnaire be left with them because of their busy schedules. The District Assembly officials decided to come together and answer the questions since both the District Chief Executive and the District Coordinating Director were less than a week in office. Several attempts to collect the questionnaires proved futile because of their consistent absence in their offices.
The Ghana data on this website contains only the transparency indicators common to all countries. The full report on the Ghana forest sector transparency survey will be published in due course.