Introduction: In Northern Ghana, a combination of torrential rains coupled with the spilling of the Bagre dam in neighboring Burkina Faso in the past few years has resulted in perennial flooding of communities. This has often led to the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMAO) the main disaster responder agency in Ghana, being called upon to act. However affected communities have never had the opportunity to evaluate the activities of the agency. The aim of this study is therefore to assess the performance of the main responder agency by affected community members to improve on future disaster management.
Methods: A mixed qualitative design employing a modified form of the community score card methodology and focus group discussions was conducted in the 4 most affected communities during the last floods of 2012 in the Kasena-Nankana West district of the Upper East Region of Northern Ghana. Community members comprising of chiefs, elders, assembly members, women groups, physically challenged persons, farmers, traders and youth groups formed a group in each of the four communities. Generation and scoring of evaluative indicators was subsequently performed by each group through the facilitation of trained research assistants. Four Focus group discussions (FGDs) were also conducted with the group members in each community to get an in-depth understanding of how the responder agency performed in handling disasters.
Results: A total of four community score cards and four focus group discussions were conducted involving 48 community representatives. All four communities identified NADMO as the main responder agency during the last disaster. Indicators such as education/awareness, selection process of beneficiaries, networking/collaboration, timing, quantity of relief items, appropriateness, mode of distribution of relief items, investigation and overall performance of NADMO were generated and scored. The timing of response, quantity and appropriateness of relief items were evaluated as being poor whereas the overall performance of the responder agency was above average.
Conclusion: NADMO was identified as the main responder agency during the last disasters with community members identifying education/awareness, selection process of beneficiaries, networking/collaboration, timing of response, quantity of relief items, appropriateness of relief items, mode of distribution of relief items, investigation and overall performance as the main evaluative indicators. The overall performance of NADMO was rated to be satisfactory.
Key words: Kasena-Nankana West district, NADMO, community score card, Rural Northern Ghana