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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/3673

Title: Community perception of potential problems and prospects of decentralizing decision - making for development in Ghana
Authors: Midala, Javan Nenda Bello
Issue Date: 8-May-1988
Series/Report no.: 1697;
Abstract: Decentralization is being pursued by many governments in the Third World, today as a response to the failure of centralized decision-making and administration to equitably distribute the benefits of growth and change, Decentralization, according to its advocates can achieve this through mass or popular participation in the development process, and also through the effective utilization of local resources. The successive governments of Ghana and the PNDC Government in particular have realized the need to decentralize decision-making and administration. Hence the present government has announced its decentralization programme. But the problem is that very often governments attempting to decentralize decision-making and administration have no clear vision of what they want to achieve by decentralization or even agree on it-s meaning. The magnitude of the potential problem, the functions to be decentralized and the powers and authority that accompany these functions are not well analyzed and assessed before hand. These often account for the limited Successes of decentralization efforts. In the light of the above stated problem, the study has attempted to investigate the potential problems that the PNDC Government is likely encounter in implementing its decentralization policy and the potential prospects of it succeeding as perceived by the community. The ata for the study came from two main sources: literature review and field surveys. Two similar hut separate interview schedules were prepared and administered. Stratified and purposive sampling techniques were used to select the respondents. The interview Schedules were successfully administered and fifty-five respondents were interviewed. The findings indicated that there is no comprehensive and clear policy on decentralization. No well documented information only oral statements by top officials which lead lack of information on the policy. The public and even public officials are not adequately informed leading o lack of understanding of the policy. The main source of information for the community on government policies is the radio. Other findings of the study were that the people only identify with the locality; and the appropriate level of decentralization for them is the Unit or Village level. They see their participation in decentralized development as a learning process. The potential problems identified by the study include: potential oppositions to decentralization by officials at the centre, opposition to rural postings by senior public officials; logistical and personnel problems, poor management within the bureaucracy; people’s rising anxiety to see that the decentralization policy is implemented. The potential prospects identified are: the people’s enthusiasm to participate in the decentralization process, the existence of untapped vast human and natural resources in the rural environment and the right of the people to demand accountability and their increased awareness to control the development process at the local level. These prospects will aid the decentralization process if exploited. The study has put forward some suggestions to overcome the problems perceived b the community. They are the formulation of clear and coherent policy on decentralization, adequate information dissemination for both public and public officials alike. Others include: the reorientation of the attitudes and behaviour of public service officials through retraining and training; Disstrict Assemblies to hire and fire their men staff, incremental approach to decentralization and the need for revenue sharing among the different levels of administration. The findings of the study are indeed quite revealing and the potential problems identified are immense but surmountable. They need to be solved in order to ensure a smooth transition to decentralized decision - making and administration in the country.
Description: A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in Development Planning and Management, 1988
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/3673
Appears in Collections:College of Architecture and Planning

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