The approach taken to the 2011 report card did not follow the same methodology as the previous reports, when field surveys with stakeholders in two regions of Ghana were carried out to gather information on their knowledge of the forest sector. The 78 indicators in 2010 were reviewed by all of the project partners in a workshop in Cameroon in May 2011, and a set of 20 common indicators on key requirements for transparent forest governance was selected. Data for Ghana was collected on these indicators primarily by secondary information review and an interview with an official of the Forestry Services Division. The 2011 report therefore does not seek to capture the perception and views of most of the stakeholders in the forest sector, but rather to assess the broad level of transparency in the sector and note changes since 2009 or 2010.
CIKOD in collaboration with the Governance Initiative For Rights And Accountability In Forest Management (GIRAF) project is working together to collect data on forest governance and transparency to produce a Ghana specific report card that is based on field questionnaires. The questionnaire will cover more indicators and will include most of the indicators that were collated in 2010. These will include logging procedures, revenue distribution, resource allocation, institutional relations etc. The aim is to reach a wider group of respondents (about 800) covering more districts in order to address the increase representation from the smaller number of respondents in 2009 and 2010. The strategy will include engagement of members of the Forest Watch Ghana Coalition to collect data in their respective forest districts.
The websites and other official sources of information of government institutions were reviewed in October 2011 to establish what information they hold. The main institutions focused on are:
- The Forestry Commission (FC), which manages all forest resources in the country under the direction of a Board of Commissioners. The Commission is also responsible for the regulation of the utilization of forest and wildlife resources, the conservation and management of those resources and the co-ordination of policies by establishing procedures to track the movement of timber, wood and wildlife products
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is responsible for promoting the implementation of environmental policy and planning in long-term development of the country
- Other ministries and authorities responsible for extra-sectoral activities that affect forests, notably for mining, oil, infrastructure and agricultural projects.
- The Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) between Ghana and the European Union