Effective institutional capacity building for the operationalisation of the decentralisation policy in Ghana

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Ghana’s pre and post independence centralized political decision-making at both national and local levels had experienced certain weaknesses. This has led to the adoption of the new planning system as a component of Ghana’s policy of decentralization which seeks to transfer power from central government to local authorities. To make this new system workable, it has been entrenched in the 1992 constitution. The introduction of the new planning system, though, has achieved a lot of successes since its operationalization there have been many implementing problems faced by District/Municipal/Metropolitan Assemblies considered as the implementing institutions of the decentralization policy. The problems inhibiting Ghana’s decentralization drive could be found in the areas of: mandates, institutional structures, management, local fiscal capacity and human resources. Base4 on the problem areas enumerated above, the following objectives were considered: — to assess institutional capacity problems and constraints inhibiting Ghana’s decentralization drive; — to examine the impact of the problems and constraints in the operationalization of the decentralization policy; and to make recommendations for improved performance. To achieve the above objectives set for the study, both primary and secondary sources of data provided the necessary information. The analysis of the data was divided into two major parts. The first part deals with the analysis of policy environment concerning institutional capacity issues within the framework of local government which the research described as Policy Situation Analysis (PSA). The second part deals with Assemblies’ internal state of affairs and indicates essentially the extent to which the District Assemblies have the means for handling the external bottlenecks. This is described as Local Institutional Capacity Analysis (LIA).
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 National Development Policy and Planning, 1999