Coordination of the formulation of road transport investment policies in Ghana

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The main functions of the Ministry of Roads and Highways are to initiate, formulate and coordinate policies and programmes for systematic development of the country’s basic requirements in respect of road development. This is, however, difficult to achieve because coordination appears to be lacking and the necessary institutional framework and logistics are not readily available. The objectives of this study were to identify the various stakeholders involved in the formulation of road transport investment policies and to assess their roles in the formulation process. The other Objectives were to determine the extent to which the stakeholders influence, co11ective1 and individually, decision-making in the formulation process of road transport investment policies. An institutional survey was carried out to assess the level of coordination between various institutions. Additional information was collected from documentary sources. The results of the analysis revealed that the stakeholders involved in the formulation of road transport investment policies can be categorised into two main groups. These are the road agencies and road related agencies. These agencies must all be involved to ensure effective coordination. The study also revealed that the road agencies generate data required for the formulation of road transport investment policies. This is to ensure that the divisional needs are captured in the policies as well as ensure consistency and minimise the duplication of efforts. The road related agencies make contributions in the form of suggestions to ensure that their interests are protected. Since the road agencies are involved in the organisation, they will be committed to the successful implementations of the policies. It came to light from the survey that 84 per cent of the institutions interviewed cooperate “slightly” in ensuring the successful implementation of a road transport investment policy without being involved in any of the stages. Thus, for a successful implementation of a policy all the road agencies must be involved in the formulation process. There is a clear indication that, all the road agencies are willing to be coordinated. This is good for effective coordination of the policy formulation process. Again the analysis revealed that the role of the road related agencies, such as Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, among others; in the road transport investment policy formulation is more of information sharing and consultation. However, for effective coordination they must be involved at all levels of anticipation. In addition, one of the major constraints faced by the Ministry of Roads a d Highways is that it does not have the requisite financial and human resources to implement its programmes fully. This will affect effective coordination of the formula ion process. It also came to light that there is the tendency to resent coordination for ear that it took away independence and supremacy which are lost in the process of coordinating policy formulation. The study therefore recommended that the Ministry of Road and Highways could involve the road and related agencies a little more in the policy formulation process. This will enhance policy formulation. In addition, there should be continuous training programme aimed at exposing professionals and other specialists in certain specialised fields such as Road Safety and Environment, Environmental Impact Assessment, Information Technology and Contract Management in loc1al and overseas institutions. This will enhance their ability to better coordinate policy formulation. Government must demonstrate a strong commitment to coordination of road policy formulation process by ensuring that appropriate logistic support is made available to the road agencies. National Development Planning Commission should continue to make available to the road agencies a policy and planning framework for strategic planning of transportation infrastructure. Steps must also be taken towards making the Ministry of Roads and Highways semi-autonomous so that its operations are not limited by the usual bureaucratic bottlenecks within government and civil service. This could be done by government passing a legislative instrument to that effect. It is believed that when these measures are adhered to, the extent of coordination in the formulation of road transport investment policies would be improved.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Science in Development Policy and Planning, 2001