As the Fifth Country Programme (CP5) of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) comes to an end, the fund for the first time is embarking on a joint monitoring of their programme activities and assessing their implementations.

The CP5, which began in 2006 and was expected to end in 2010, had the date extended to 2011 to ensure that monitoring was carried out jointly with the Implementing Partners (IPS) in the five UNFPA supported regions, Central and Volta Regions to assess the programme and help plan for the sixth Country Programme.

The CP5 was designed to focus activities on three areas of Reproductive Health, Population and Development and Gender Equity and Women Empowerment and Reproductive Health with HIV and AIDS as the crosscutting issue. The overall goal was to contribute to improved quality of life of the people of Ghana by supporting population, reproductive health and gender policies and programmes.

Mr M. Bernard Coquelin, UNFPA Country Representative in Ghana, said what necessitated the joint monitoring was the findings of the evaluation of the CP5, which indicated that there was scarcity of monitoring of the annual work plans during the life country programme by programme officers let alone joint monitoring with the IPS.

“The one-week joint monitoring exercise will provide a perfect opportunity to test joint monitoring design and implementation with respect to programme implementation enablers as well as inhibitors”, he added.

In all, there are 10 teams spread over to monitor activities in selected districts and health facilities in the five regions of the country supported by UNFPA: Central, Volta, Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions.

The CP5 was relevant to the needs of the country; responded to the goals and objectives of the Ghana 2006-2009 Growth and poverty Reduction Strategy GPRS II, the long-term goals of the Ghana National Population Policy, the reproductive health goal of the health sector’s programme of work and the gender equity and women empowerment framework.

Mrs Rejoice Nutakor, Programme Manager for Adolescent Health and Development Programme in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), commended the UNFPA for the initiative and said it will help the UNFPA and its IPS to measure the impact whether it was negative or positive on the people and share experiences, challenges as well as best practices.

Mrs Thywill Enyra Epke, Acting Director of the Ho Department of Women, told the GNA that the monitoring was very crucial in the measurement of impact of the CP5, adding, a lot have been done in the communities but have not been captured by the donors and this will give them the opportunity to see for themselves what their monies have been used for.

She expressed concern about the bureaucracy in the government system which hindered on the smooth and prompt implementation of programmes.

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