Civil society organisations and the promotion of good governance: a case of NGOs in The Sunyani Municipality.

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August, 2015
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Ever since Ghana returned to constitutional rule in 1992 after the various military interventions since independence, the country has undergone various developments in terms of democracy and good governance. These developments have been associated to different institutions and organisations. While some scholars attribute the progress towards democratic good governance to the effectiveness of political institutions in the country, others link it to the work of NGOs. However, the role of NGOs in enhancing democratic good governance is seen to be more of speculations rather than based on empirical evidence. With the above competing claims in mind, this study is undertaken with the objective of examining critically the actual role of NGOs in promoting democracy and good governance in the Sunyani Municipality of the Brong-Ahafo Region of Ghana. Specifically, the study seeks to examine the role NGOs play in promoting democratic good governance within the context of election monitoring, political education, policy advocacy and access to justice. The study also examines the challenges NGOs face in promoting democracy and good governance in the Sunyani Municipality. The study employed both evaluative and case study designs to assess the role of four indigenous NGOs (CODEO, Women and Youth in Development, World Clock and CHREP-Aid) in the Sunyani Municipality in promoting democratic good governance. Both primary and secondary data were gathered for the analysis. Analysis of the study was accomplished through the use of the mixed research approach involving both the qualitative and quantitative techniques in finding answers to the research questions. Using the Pearson Chi-square test and an independent t-test, there was evidence to suggest that NGOs activities promote democratic good governance (government legitimacy, citizens’ participation, government accountability and rule of law) in the Sunyani Municipality. In spite of the achievements of these NGOs, the survey revealed a number of challenges which tend to limit the extent of their work. These setbacks included financial constraints, limited human resource capacity, inadequate logistics, and misappropriation of funds on the part of the leadership. Based on the survey results, the study recommends the following: adoption of effective means of mobilising resources, increase collaboration and cooperation among NGOs and between NGOs and their constituents, and the strengthening or establishment of a strong regulatory body.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Planning, College of Art and Built Environment, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Development Studies.