The Role of Communication in Sustaining Development Projects: The Case of Ejura Sekyedumase Municipality, Ghana

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For the past decades, many projects have been initiated in communities with the objective of bringing development to the doorstep of these communities. However most of these projects are in deplorable state whilst others have even been abandoned. This suggests that the projects are not sustained to achieve their intended lifespan as various development agencies are concerned about how to sustain their projects. There are other factors that can ensure a project’s sustenance in a community but this study focused on the role communication plays in sustaining these development projects. Based on the development communication theory, the study sought to determine the channel of communication used by development partners to involve communities in their own development and the changes the projects bring to the lives of the people in the Ejura/Sekyedumase Municipality through the use of communication. Using four purposively selected communities in the Ejura/Sekyedumase Municipality, a cross-sectional research design was adopted for the study. Variables relevant to the study were identified and explained through a thorough literature review after which the methodology to solicit the necessary data and information to address the research questions was determined. Both systematic and purposive sampling techniques were used for the study. Primary data obtained from the field were analysed. The study revealed that though development partners communicated to communities on some of the projects, the components of development communication was not wholly employed. The projects that employed communication among other things have been sustained whilst the ones with little or no communication are in deplorable state. The study also revealed that interpersonal communication was the most common means of communication used by development partners to contact communities and this helped in bringing social change to the lives of the people in the Ejura/Sekyedumase Municipality. The study established that both project implementers and communities face challenges in sustaining development projects. However, project implementers did not adopt the three components of development communication thus; advocacy, social mobilization and behaviour change communication to contact their target beneficiaries. It is therefore recommended that development partners and agencies should develop a communication strategy for their projects whilst focusing on sustenance of the projects.
A Thesis Submitted to the School of Graduate Studies,Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in Development Planning and Management.