Locally responsive intervention to improve municipal solid waste collection coverage in Accra, Ghana

The paper reports on a process that engaged stakeholders to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the city of Accra’s approach to raising solid waste collection coverage. Stakeholders, working with researchers, have made the evaluation using a combination of benchmark indicators, analysis of franchise agreements, process flow diagramming of collection trends, and statistical analysis of user answers to a survey. Informal services are growing while formal services are shrinking. A logistic regression model suggests that regular collection and affordable user charges significantly increases the levels of user satisfaction. The use of a participatory approach has led to an unusual alliance: formal service providers have agreed to work with informal providers as subcontractors and support them to formalize and increase collection coverage. The positive experience of participation leads the authors to advocate institutionalizing the use of a participatory approach through stakeholder platforms to evaluate interventions and develop plans for service improvement.