Towards equitable distribution of socio-economic facilities for local level development: a case study of the Ejura-Sekyedumasi district in Ghana

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Bridging the development gap between districts and people is a major concern in Ghana’s current development policy. Despite the fact that Ghana’s vision of becoming a middle income country by 2020 calls for the adoption of fast growth strategies which have the potential for further increasing the inequality gap, the distribution of resources in the districts for development still favour the relatively developed areas. In the light of this problem, this study is aimed at providing a framework for equitable distribution of resources for local level development. The study, based on distribution of resources in the Ejura-Sekyedumasi District, delineated Service Deficient Areas and Service Accessible Areas on the basis of degree of accessibility to socioeconomic facilities. An analysis of the district’s spatial pattern of public budget allocation was carried out. This revealed that high access zones receive relatively more of the district’s development budget than low access zones. Analysis of development expenditure per head revealed that a person in the Ejura zone, a high access zone, received more than eight times what a person in Ebuom, a low access zone received. In order to investigate the extent to which lack of access to facilities affect the welfare of the people, welfare status of households in Service Deficient Areas was compared with that of households in Service Accessible Areas. The study revealed among other things, that, the average monthly income of households in Service Accessible Areas is more than double that of households in Service Deficient Areas. It was also found out that although there is not much difference in the rate of sickness of household members, households in Service Deficient Areas do not seek medical attention as frequently as those in the Service Accessible Areas. Furthermore, households in the Service Deficient Area have limited access to facilities whilst those in the Service Accessible Area have high access to facilities. Based on the findings of the study a framework for equitable distribution of development funds amongst the administrative zones of the district was proposed to restructure the spatial economy and promote development of the entire district.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in Development Planning and Management, 1997