The roles of development committees in the local development process with special reference to Techiman District

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Development experts, aid-giving and aid-receiving countries of the Third World appear to have reached a consensus that the mobilization of human and natural resources that have lain fallow as well as the participation of the mass of the people in development promotion can only be effectively done through local level social organizations. Village and Town Development Committees which can be found in almost every Ghanaian settlement are generally believed to be the sort of local level organizations that can promote development. Empirical studies in support of this belief can be a policy guide for the district assemblies in their efforts to mobilize financial and human resources for district development. The objective of this study was to investigate the activities of these development committees and their relationship with other institutions and organizations in order to evaluate the role that they can play in development at the local level taking Techiman District as case study. A simple weighting technique was employed to evaluate this role. The study revealed that development committees supplement both national and. local government efforts in the provision of basic services and facilities like health, water, sanitation, education and infrastructural facilities like roads, irrigation schemes and credit unions to promote production. In the performance of their responsibilities they interact favourably with revolutionary organs like the Committees for the Defence of the Revolution (CDRs), Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs), Government departments and, the district councils (local government).The study also revealed that the prevalence of chieftaincy disputes has made the traditional authority to stand out as a. constraint that may limit any promotional activity directed to development Committees for local level development. The evaluation shows that given the present state of conditions, the activities of development Committees have a LO per cent chance of promoting local level development. On the basis of these findings it is recommended that the 40 per cent chance could be greatly increased by removing the constraints imposed by chieftaincy duties, developing efficient channels of communication between Committees and other institutions, manpower development and the provision of assistance in the form of technical guidance, material and financial resources. Other recommendations include measures to encourage communal work spirit, financial resource mobilization and project identification and implementation procedures. These recommendations could be applicable to ail development Committees throughout the country. However, it is acknowledged that additional recommendations may be required if other empirical studies are conducted in other regions and districts in Ghana to supplement this effort.
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, 1989