Integrating the local sub-structures into the district assembly system for decentralised development: the case of Krach1 District of Ghana

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A look at the development trends in Ghana’s efforts to decentralise planning since 1988, show some evidence that the integration of the various sub-district structures, has not been given much attention. It is a fact that the Government, for the past decade has consistently attempted to create structures as far as to the sub-district level However, creation of structures alone does not in itself serve as enough means to integrate the sub—district structures into the District Assembly System. This study therefore examines the current institutional mechanisms and procedures for integrating the activities of the various communities into the activities of the District Assembly using the Krachi District as a case study. Based on the limitations identified from the current institutional structures and procedures, the study presents a number of recommendations to ensure both horizontal and vertical integration of planning activities at the sub-district level In carrying out the above task, the study had the objective to: i. analyse the current organisational structure at the sub-district level and the linkages with the District Assembly. ii. describe and evaluate the functions which form the basis for this linkage and how they have operated so far; iii. suggested he possible ways and methodology for integrating the local sub-district structures with the District Assembly System. These objectives were discussed within the framework of the tier-organisational system due to the fact that Ghana’s decentralisation process is based on this principle. Findings from the study reveal a serious information gap between sub—district structures and the District Assembly. This gap has been created because there have not been sufficient provisions in the various legislations on decentralisation and Local Government Administration, to integrate the sub-district structures into the District Assembly. Owing to this, there have not been any concrete procedures for ensuring both vertical and horizontal integration of planning activities at the sub-district level. A number of recommendations on improving awareness on the role of the sub-district structures, improving the capacity and procedures for ensuring integration among others have been provided in this paper. However, the implementation of these recommendations is highly constrained by the inadequate qualified personnel, and post and telecommunication facilities. Others included the presence of the Volta Lake and its major tributaries which has naturally divided the district into two parts, rendering information flow and mobility very difficult. The District Assembly must consistently put some mechanism in place to reduce the effect of these constraints on the smooth implementation of the participatory and integrated planning envisaged by this paper.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Post-Graduate Studies, University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Development Planning and Management,1995.