Counterpart funding policy and community response in poverty reduction projects in Ghana

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Development Partners are increasingly concerned about the slow progress being made towards poverty reduction and have identified new ways of strengthening the poverty focus of their policies and programmes. For this reason, community participation, with its associated counterpart funding, has been fashioned out to ensure that poverty reduction projects are more sustainable and respond better to the needs and priorities of beneficiaries. As a form of community participation, communities are enjoined to pay counterpart funds towards the cost of implementing projects in their localities. But the question that needs to be answered is; why should poor communities pay counterpart funding towards the cost of implementing poverty reduction projects in their communities ? The study therefore sought to find out the essence of the counterpart funding policy in poverty reduction projects and to examine the response of communities towards the payment of counterpart funding among others. The study was carried out through the case study approach. The study used both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. Purposive sampling and simple random sampling were also used for the study. The findings of the study revealed among others that; • The counterpart funding policy was fashioned out to promote community participation and ensure sustainability of projects • Poor communities are endowed with human and material resources which they can tap to develop their communities • The response of communities to the counterpart funding policy was positive. Communities were generally willing to contribute towards the cost of implementing projects that they considered beneficial. • It came to light that in some cases District Assemblies supported communities to pay their counterpart funds • The study revealed that although community participation promoted a sense of ownership of projects in communities it did not necessarily lead to sustainability of projects The study revealed that the communities had embraced the counterpart funding idea and were responding positively to it. However, for effective and efficient implementation of the policy in poverty reduction projects there was the need for a much closer collaboration between the development partners, District Assemblies and communities in scheduling project implementation periods. Communities must also be helped to come out with operation and maintenance plans and implement them to ensure that the high sense of ownership could be translated into projects sustainability.
A Thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Science in Development Policy and Planning, 2005