UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION, WINNEBA PhD VIVA VOCE
TOPIC:Decentralisation and rural development in the Upper Denkyira East Municipality. CANDIDATE: Ignatius Joseph Obeng (Department of Social Studies Education)
CHAPTER ONE BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY • The system of governance before the onset of globalisation • The system of governance in the early 1980s • Decentralisation in Africa • Decentralisation in Ghana • The passage of the local government law 1988 (PNDC law 207) • The preparation and publication of LIs for the creation of the initial 110 District Assemblies which have now been increased to 254. • The main features of Ghana’s decentralisation programme are enshrined in Chapter 20 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana. It states that Ghana shall have a system of local government and administration which shall, as far as practicable, be decentralised • The main aim of Ghana’s decentralisation programme • The issues the study seeks to address • Why it is important to study these issues
Statement of the Problem • A lot of studies have been conducted into Ghana’s decentralisation since the creation of the District Assemblies. For example • Aryee (1995) researched into the effectiveness of District Assemblies in addressing the needs of the communities • Wunsch (2001) looked at the success of decentralisation in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda • Kumi-Kyeremeh, Yankson and Thomi (2006) studied the effectiveness of the decentralisation programme in Ghana • Antwi-Bosiako (2010) researched into Ghana’s decentralisation, local elections and empowerment
Statement of the Problem A lot of studies have been conducted into Ghana’s decentralisation since the creation of the District Assemblies (see Aryee (1995), Wunsch (2001), Kumi-Kyeremeh, Yankson and Thomi (2006) Antwi-Bosiako (2010). These notwithstanding, not much is understood about the capacity of ……. To contribute to decentralisation. Also, none of the studies have studied the issues from an interpretivist perspective to give voice to the local actors to…….Finally, the study area has not been well researched in terms of ……
The above provide useful guidelines for researchers to look at areas which have been neglected • Gaps identified? Why the Upper Denkyira East Municipality was selected for the study?
Theories that Guided the Study • The decentralisation theory • The developmentalist theory • The empowerment theory • The communitarian theory
Purpose of the Study The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of decentralisation on rural development programme in the Upper Denkyira East Municipal Assembly.
Objectives of the Study The objectives of the study were to: (i) examine the expertise that the staff of the Assembly have to promote its development programme. (ii) assess how the decentralisation programme influences the local communities’ participation in the development programme of the Assembly. (iii) assess how the Assembly makes use of indigenous resources in its rural development programmes. • determine the factors that affect the mobilisation of funds by the Assembly. • determine the self-help projects the local people have provided to improve their own communities’ development.
Research Questions • The study was guided by the following research questions: (i) What expertise do the staff of the Assembly possess to promote the Assembly’s development programme? (ii) How has the decentralisation programme influenced the local communities’ participation in the development programme of the Municipal Assembly? (iii) How does the Assembly use the available indigenous resources in the local communities in its rural development programme? (iv) What factors affect the mobilisation of funds by the Assembly to implement its rural development programme? (v) What self-help projects have the local people provided to support the development of their own communities?
CHAPTER TWOLITERATURE REVIEW The literature has been extensively reviewed under the following themes: • theories that guided the study • conceptual definitions • Rural development • Good government • Relationship between dencentralisation and conceptual framework
Decentralised Local Governance Local Authority’s access to adequate Financial Resources Expertise of Local Government Officials Local Government Authority The people in the local community Local people’s expertise Self-help projects Rural Communities Needs are identified and addressed Rural Development
CHAPTER THREEMETHODOLOGY • Research Approach • Qualitative Research (interpretivism) • Research design • Survey research design • The study area • The Upper Denkyira East Municipality • One of the 20 Administrative Districts in the Central Region • It has a total adult population of 45, 796 people projected from the 2014 Population and Housing Census at a growth rate of 3.1%.
Study Population • Key officials of the Assembly • All the Chiefs in the UDEMA • All Assembly members • All Unit Committee members • The MP • Officials of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Office of the Common Fund Administrator, and the adult population of all the rural communities
Sample and Sampling Procedures The Upper Denkyira East Municipality is divided into five Area Councils. One community each was selected from each of the Area Councils using the simple random sampling method. The communities were: Sobroso, Oponso, Kyekyewere, Mfuom and Buabinso. Respondents were sampled purposively. A summary of the Respondents sampled for the study is presented in the table below
Focus group discussion guide and interview guides were used for data collection Instruments for Data Collection Three focus group discussions involving 11 respondents each were separately held at Kyekyewere, Mfuom and Sobroso
Data Analysis Methods Data collected from the groups of respondents were analysed manually. First, the audio recording of each respondent were played several times and then transcribed. The data were grouped and analysed thematically. The data collected from the respondents were then merged.
CHAPTER FOURFINDINGS The findings are presented in line with the stated objectives for the study. • Research Objective One: To examine the expertise that the staff of the Assembly have to promote its development programme. The study showed that the key officials of the Assembly, namely the Municipal Coordinating Director, Municipal Budget Officer, Municipal Planning Officer and the Municipal Chief Executive have the requisite expertise to promote the Municipality’s development. That is, they have the requisite academic and professional qualifications for the discharge of their respective functions. In addition, they have built their capacity by participating in numerous workshops, seminars and training sessions. They are, however constrained by a number of challenges which limit their abilities to effectively carry out their duties.
Research Objective Two: To assess how the decentralisation programme influences the local communities’ participation in the development programme of the Assembly. The study revealed that members of the community and their chiefs do not participate in the identification, selection and implementation of projects. Projects selected and implemented in the communities are done by the Municipal Assembly without the participation of the people. They only became aware of such projects when contractors moved to the communities to start working on them. Mr. Tieku, a resident teacher of Kyekyewere was quick to remark when the same question of participation was put to him. He remarked, “Is the so called participation a new thing being introduced by the Assemblies in Ghana or it has been there already”.
In addition, Gyekye, a resident of Sobroso had this to say: All the projects the Assembly had executed in the community followed the same pattern; the officials came to see our chief for a land, and we were here when the contractor came with his materials and workers and started working till the work was completed.
The chief of Oponso, Nana Kwame Nkrumah, in response to whether or not he participated in the projects implemented in his community contended: May be the Assembly member, our representative at the Assembly participated in the projects selected and implemented here, but I did not. On two different occasions that we were that lucky to receive from two projects, namely boreholes and a classroom block from the Assembly, the Assembly member just walked to my palace and introduced the contractors. Apart from that, the details of the contract, including the cost of the projects were never disclosed to me.
Research Objective Three: To assess how the Assembly makes use of indigenous resources in its rural development programmes. In the study, it was revealed that the local communities are endowed with both human and natural resources but the Assembly hardly harnesses them for their development programmes. For example, asked to identify the indigenous resources that Sobroso is endowed with, the leader of the Asafo Company. Mr. Kwaku Aryeh had this to say: This community is endowed with many human resources such as masons and carpenters. But the most important of all are the several hectares of farmland and clay deposits which are not being put to any good use. We also have gold deposits which are being exploited by some Chinese citizens in conjunction with our chief. In answer to the question, “what resources are found in your community?” posted by the researcher to members of the community at Mfuom, Kojo Kusi, a resident stated: We have steel benders, electricians, masons, block moulders, etc. On natural resources, we have gold, stones and sand deposits. We have also been informed that there are bauxite deposits have but nobody is making any effort to put it to good use.
On why the Assembly does not employ the local artisans, the MPO said that the Assembly’s projects are given on contract through competitive bidding process, and the contractors who win the contracts have the discretion of either to employ the indigenous resources found in the communities or not.
Research Objective Four: determine the factors that affect the mobilisation of funds by the Assembly. The study has shown that the Assembly’s fund mobilisation comes from two major sources, namely the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) and the Internally-Generated Funds (IGF). However, these two major sources are inadequate to promote the Assembly’s development, especially its rural development programme, due to several factors that affect the Assembly’s fund mobilisation drive. The MBO, for example, identified late release of the District Assembly Common Fund as shown in the table below;
Research Objective Five: To determine the self-help projects the local people have provided to improve The local people do not execute projects as their contributions to the development of their communities because they think that it is the Assembly’s responsibility to initiate and execute projects in the Municipality. They do not also make any financial contributions to provide facilities for their own use and look up to the Assembly to do that for them. The Assembly member of Sobroso said that the people are not interested in contributing to provide any project. He noted that, there was too much apathy and lukewarmness among the people. It is because of this apathy that has engulfed the people that is why we do not have a toilet facility, something that we can conveniently provide on our own.
According to the Assembly member of Mfuom: I don’t know what will change the minds of the people. Even summoning them for community meeting is no longer attractive. Few people will come for the meeting and if the deliberation takes some more time, the meeting will end with about one-fifth of those who started it.
ConclusionsThe conclusions for the study are also presented in line with the stated objectives. • Research Objective One: To examine the expertise that the staff of the Assembly have to promote its development programme. The key officials of the Assembly have the expertise for their respective responsibilities at the Assembly, but do not bring such expertise to bear on the Assembly’s work, especially in creating the necessary space for members in various communities participate in the Assembly’s development programme and also to generate the needed funds for the Assembly’s development.
Research Objective Two: To assess how the decentralisation programme influences the local communities’ participation in the development programme of the Assembly. The members of the community, including their chiefs, Unit Committee members and identifiable groups do not participate in the Assembly’s development programmes because the officials of the Assembly have not created the opportunity for their participation.
Research Objective Three: To assess how the Assembly makes use of indigenous resources in its rural development programmes. Depending solely on the District Assembly Common Fund and the Internally-Generated Fund as the only two major sources of revenue for the Assembly’s development programme has seriously undermined the Municipality’s development. This is because these revenue sources are woefully inadequate.
Research Objective Four: To determine the factors that affect the mobilisation of funds by the Assembly. To a greater extent, the factors that affect the mobilisation of funds by the Assembly are externally-determined. Therefore, the Assembly has no control over its sources of revenue.
Research Objective Five: To determine the self-help projects the local people have provided to improve their own communities’ development. The local people do not mobilise resources to execute development projects in their communities because they think that with the creation of the Assembly and the dissolution of the estwhile Town Development Committees (TDCs), it is the responsibility of the Assembly to provide the communities in the Municipality with all the development projects that they need.
Recommendations Based on the conclusions from the study, the following recommendations are made on how rural communities will benefit fully from Ghana’s decentralisation programme on how decentralisation programmes will assist bringing development to the communities in the Upper East Municipality. Recommendations are also in line with the objectives of the study.
Research Objective One: To examine the expertise that the staff of the Assembly have to promote its development programme. • Key Officials must bring their expertise to bear on the Assembly work • The study established that the key officials of the Assembly have the requisite expertise to perform their respective functions based on their academic and professional qualifications in addition to the numerous workshops, seminars and training sessions. The MPO was asked about the qualifications he possesses for the role he is playing at the Assembly.
He asserted: • Before one is appointed to occupy the Planning Officer position, one must, at least, be a first degree holder in any of the following disciplines: Development Planning, Development Studies, Economics, Geography and Sociology, among others, from a recognised University. But he was quick to add that, in addition to any of the above qualification, one goes through capacity building to learn more about planning at the Assembly. On his qualifications, the MBO said: • He is a Chartered Accountant and also has a master’s degree in Business Administration, having obtained his first degree in Bachelor of Commerce. Like the MPO, the MBO said that he has attended a number of workshops and seminars to build his capacity in budgeting, especially in District Assembly work.
Despite such rich expertise possessed by the officials they are yet to bring it to bear on the Assembly’s work especially in the area of the participation by the members of various communities in the Municipality’s development programme. It is, therefore, recommended that the Act, that is, Act 462 that established the MMDAs should be revised to compel Assembly officials to bring their expertise to bear on the Assembly’s work especially in the areas of promoting local people’s participation and revenue mobilisation for the assembly.
Research Objective Two: To assess how the decentralisation programme influences the local communities’ participation in the development programme of the Assembly. • Sensitising community members to understand the Assembly’s participatory governance system • From the study, it came out that, members of the communities do not participate in the assembly development programmes. know nothing about the role they are expected to play in the Assembly’s governance system. There is, therefore, the urgent need to sensitise or educate community members in the Municipality to understand the role they are expected to play in the Assembly’s planning process. • In addition, identifiable local groups such as youth movements, women groups, traditional authorities, political and religious groups in various communities should team up with their Assembly and Unit committees members to make project proposals to the Municipal Assembly for consideration. The Municipal Assembly must also employ additional staff and equip them with skills in participatory governance system and deploy them to the communities to sensitise the people about their role in the Assembly’s governance system.
The Assembly should institute outreach programmes in various communities to sensitise the members on its development programmes and activities and the role the members are expected to play. This can be done by using the local radio stations, mobiles vans and community announcement points to promote communities members’ knowledge and understanding of the Assembly’s programmes and activities
Research Objective Three: To assess how the Assembly makes use of indigenous resources in its rural development programmes. • Ensuring that the Assembly uses the available human and natural resources in its development programme • In the study, it was established that the local communities are rich in both human and natural resources, but they are not considered by the assembly in its development programmes. It is recommended to the MLGRD to amend ACT462 to compel District Assemblies to use local resources available in the communities in its development programmes in order to reduce project cost. It must also make the use of these indigenous resources as one of the requirements for awarding contracts so that contractors will use available indigenous resources such as stones, gravels and sand and also employ the local artisans for their work to reduce project cost and also to enrich the local economy.
The Municipality has immense development potentials by way of vast natural resources which could be harnessed to change its fortunes. It is, therefore, imperative for the Assembly to market the Municipality as an attractive investment destination. In line with this, the Assembly should showcase the natural resources in the Municipality with assistance from the Ghana Investments Promotion Centre, Ministries of Tourism, and Trade and Industry. In addition, there is the need for the organisation of investments fairs geared towards opening up the Municipality to investors. Finally, the Assembly, in conjunction with the traditional leaders and the Unit Committees of various communities, should identify the various investment opportunities in the Municipality, and prepare handouts and give them out to attract potential investors.
Research Objective Four: To determine the factors that affect the mobilisation of funds by the Assembly. • Ensuring that the Upper Denkyira East Municipality has access to enough Funds for its Development Programme • There is the urgent need for Parliament to pass a law to make it mandatory for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to release the seven percent of the funds generated internally by the state into the DACF without delay. This will enable the Office of the Common Fund Administrator to also disburse the Fund to the MMDAs to finance their development programmes.
In addition, the MMDAs must be given financial autonomy to utilise their share of the Common Fund for their programmes. It is, therefore, important for a policy to be made to stop the MLGRD from making deductions from the Common Fund to pay NALAG dues and NALAG dairies without the consent of the MMDAs, among others Also, the MMDAs must be allowed to use the procurement process to procure their needs instead of the MLGRD doing that for them to give them control over their own finances.
Moreover, the MMDAs’ revenue base from the known two sources, namely the DACF and the IGF are woefully inadequate. They, therefore, have to look for more sustainable sources of finance. It is, therefore, important for the UDEMA to team up with the communities and companies in Public-Private partnership agreements to harness the available resources, including gold, stone, sand and clay deposits, among others, to generate the needed revenue to fund its development activities. • There is also the urgent need for the Assembly to create a data base for all rateable or taxable economic ventures or entities in the Municipality for their easy identification to enhance its internal revenue mobilisation drive.
It is recommended for the Assembly should build the capacity of its revenue collectors to enhance their work. In addition, all corrupt practices involving revenue collectors and the other staff of the Assembly should be checked to stem the unnecessary financial • leakages from the Assembly.
To improve revenue collection, monthly revenue collection target should be set for collectors. In addition, bonuses and other incentive schemes should be instituted for revenue collectors to encourage them to effectively carry out their work. Also, bye-laws must be passed by the Assembly to severely punish defaulters of levies, rates and other forms of tax to serve as a deterrent to others. • Finally, the Local Government Act should be revised to allow MMDAs to borrow from financial institutions to fund their developmental programmes with the MLGRD guaranteeing the loans for the Assemblies.