An evaluation of rural development strategies in the Builsa North District of Ghana

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This research emphasizes the role of public policy in rural development, at the local level. It appraises the rural development strategies in the Builsa North District of Ghana. The study was premised on the claim that despite national and local development efforts, rural areas of the District have not seen significant development. Thus, the central hypothesis underlying this text is that “the rural development strategies in the Builsa North District of Ghana have failed to induce significant positive rural development”. More specifically, the Builsa North District is perceived to be characterized by low agricultural productivity, poor infrastructure, less developed enterprises and inadequate social protection interventions. These issues are of significant implication for development policy and are worth investigating in studies. Subsequently, this study appraised the Builsa North District’s agricultural, infrastructural and enterprises development strategy as well as social protection interventions implemented. The evaluation studies research approach and the case study design were used for addressing the research questions. The study employed in-depth interviews and structured questionnaires as data collection methods. A likert scale-type technique was also used to rate rural people’s perception of the effect of development interventions. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics technique. The study showed that three-quarters (74.7%) of beneficiaries were not satisfied with the REP’s support for enterprise development, 61.2% were not satisfied with the NRGP’s support for agricultural development, 51.7 percent and 78.4 percent were not satisfied the GSOP’s support for social protection and infrastructural development respectively. It was found out that 79.1 percent of respondents perceive lack of infrastructure, lack of jobs and low agricultural output as the main causes of rural underdevelopment in the Builsa North District. The study also revealed that lack of administrative capacity has hindered the efficacy of rural development programmes in the District. It was established that the implementation process of programmes faced inadequate financial commitment on the part of the District Assembly to support implementing project unit in its operation, and the challenge of targeting intervention. The study recommends that rural development policy must prioritize infrastructural development, enterprises development and social protection interventions (integrated rural development strategy). There is the need for a clear-cut national rural development policy to set out the guiding principles and goals to address the development problems in rural areas.
A thesis submitted to The School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Development Policy and Planning, 2015