Quality assurance on community-based donor agency funded building projects: a case study of microprojects in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana

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Micro project is a modest or small-scale project initiated and carried out by the local community under the auspices of the district assembly with the European Union providing the bulk of the funding. The projects approved for implementation ‘are predominantly building facilities such as school blocks, rural clinics, market stores/stalls KVIPs toilets etc. Of late there has been concern about the long-term performance of the structures due to noticeable defects observed under existing ones. This research examined the impact of training and experience of the principal actors (i.e. the artisans, district coordinators and technical supervisors) procurement practices and supervision on the quality of work produced. Primary data (supported by secondary sources) was collected from the principal actors involved in the construction work. The main analytical tools employed were the chisquare, correlation coefficient, conversion of raw scores into percentages and presentation of the results in tabular and pictorial forms. The following were the findings: 1. The dominant categories of artisans engaged on the programme were those without any technical education background, who lack the requisite skills needed for the work. 2. Most artisans were selected and engaged on the programme due to their affiliation with some influential district assembly officers without the involvement of the technical supervisors who are responsible for technical supervision of the works. 3. Frontmen identified in the field as Mobilizers went for the job and sublet it to the artisans contrary to Micro projects principles. 4. Lack of contract documents encouraged unsatisfactory procurement practices and contributed to the lapses in supervision. It is concluded that: 1. Artisans selected for the jobs were not sufficiently screened to ensure that they have adequate training and skills. 2. There were no formal criteria for assessing and selecting competent artisans. Consequently, not all the jobs went directly to artisans, but some to frontmen. 3. The absence of appropriate contract documents to bind the artisans and the district assemblies to enable them appreciate the extent of their liabilities was a contributing factor to some of the defects reported and the lapses in supervision. 4. The technical supervision of the construction process was ineffective.
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 Master of Philosophy Degree in Building Technology, 2000