GSAM is a joint project of USAID/Ghana, the Ghana Audit Service, CARE International, the Institute for Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), Social Impact and researchers at Duke University. The program is a 5-year, $18 million dollar project aimed at improving the accountability of district governments for their spending on development projects, such as schools, clinics, public toilets, and market stalls. These projects can have important positive effects on citizen wellbeing when they are democratically and transparently planned, budgeted, contracted and implemented.

To test potential impacts, USAID’s Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights, and Government and USAID/Ghana has been working with researchers at Duke University, Social Impact, and the Institute for Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) as part of the Learning, Evaluation, and Research Activity to conduct an impact evaluation of GSAM.

The GSAM interventions were designed as a randomized control trial–one of the first district-level programs to be designed as such in the context of a USAID governance project. The interventions that comprise the impact evaluation’s (IE’s) focus are: (1) a top-down series of performance audits of District Assembly (DA)-built  development projects conducted by the Ghana Audit Service (GAS), and (2) a bottom-up civil society organization (CSO)-led social audit campaign also focused on the quality of district development projects. Both the top-down and bottom-up programming have been followed by citizen outreach to diffuse the findings of the performance and social audits.

This site serves as a public presentation of the findings of the impact evaluation, along with corresponding design and data documentation. It also represents a joint resource for students at ISSER, the University of Ghana and Duke University to work with the rich data that was collected over the life of the project.