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Decenntralization and Democratic Local Governance in Ghana: Assessing the Performance of District Assemblies and Exploring the Scope of Partnerships

Naab, Matthias Zana (2005) Decenntralization and Democratic Local Governance in Ghana: Assessing the Performance of District Assemblies and Exploring the Scope of Partnerships. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Matthias Zana Naab, PhDUniversity of Pittsburgh, 2005This study examines decentralization and democratic local governance in Ghana by assessing the effectiveness of the performance of District Assemblies (DAs) in order to better understand how DAs plan, implement, and manage development activities in close partnership with communities. It applied the proposition that decentralization and democratic local governance are expected to result in more efficient, effective, sustainable, and equitable outcomes through the hypotheses that decentralization results in more effective local government; more responsive local government; local government that is democratic, more accountable, and more participatory; local people having more positive perceptions of government; and local governments providing high quality services that respond to local demands.Engaging in both exploratory and explanatory research, this study identifies important variables and relationships as well as plausible causal networks that shaped local government and governance in Ghana. Using an inductive and theory-building design, it explains a model of decentralized governance and highlights potential partnership arrangements for the effective engagement of Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) in complementing the efforts of local governments.The results of decentralization, interpreted through questionnaires as well as stories and conversations with local people in two Ghanaian District Assemblies, was a combination of success and failure. In the two case study districts, the assemblies have resulted in a slight increase in development projects and services. However, the poor level of local revenue mobilization has limited the ability of the assemblies to finance significant development projects in their districts. Consequently, this has forced the assemblies to depend on the District Assemblies' Common Fund as well as on external donor funded projects and programs and on local people in self-help projects. The analysis of revenue and expenditure patterns in the two districts showed that per capita development spending was low, while recurrent expenditure and spending on local government infrastructure was high. District assemblies and CBOs often remain unwilling partners, and both are faced with serious capacity constraints which militate against structuring effective partnerships for service delivery. The successful implementation of decentralization depends on the degree to which national political leaders are committed to decentralization, and the ability and willingness of the national bureaucracy to facilitate and support decentralized development. Therefore, the ongoing process of decentralization in Ghana must be seen in the broader context of a deliberate redirection and change in the internal regulatory framework of the state.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Naab, Matthias Zananaab@pitt.eduNAAB
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPicard, Louis Apicard@gspia.pitt.eduPICARD
Committee MemberKornher,
Committee MemberNelson, Paulpjnelson@birch.gspia.pitt.eduPJNELSON
Committee MemberBangs, Ralphrbangs@pitt.eduRBANGS
Date: 22 April 2005
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 11 April 2005
Approval Date: 22 April 2005
Submission Date: 20 April 2005
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public and International Affairs > Public and International Affairs
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Decentralization and Democratic Local Governance
Other ID:, etd-04202005-132301
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:39
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:41


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