Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Intersections in community development and decentralisation : experiences from Ghana
Author: Botchwey , Gabriel Kofi Akomanyi
ISNI:       0000 0004 2727 1513
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2011
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This study examines intersections in community development and decentralisation. Democratic decentralisation programmes have been interpreted as tackling voicelessness and powerlessness. They are therefore seen as an important dimension of political development, by giving voice to the voiceless, empowering the powerless and enabling them to participate in their governance. Critical community development also involves giving a more effective voice to groups and interests who are hardly heard, to articulate their concerns and get them addressed. Ghana introduced democratic decentralisation reforms in 1988, but, after some decades of implementation, have local populations acquired a more effective voice, and have they been able to translate that voice into power in order to change conditions that they consider to be unacceptable and unfair? The study examines these issues in the context of rural communities' struggles over environmental pollution; land, mining and forestry problems. Findings reveal that some voice has been granted to local populations under Ghana's decentralisation programme. However, the voice does not carry adequate power to change conditions that local populations consider unacceptable, exposing a gap between voice and power. Reasons that account for this gap include upward orientation of accountability systems and reporting lines towards central government, information gaps that hamper engagement of local populations with State institutions and other organisations, and lack of legislation that protects the interests of local populations. The study therefore reveals that representation at decision-making arenas does not necessarily translate into influence over decisions made. The findings also show that critical community development has greater likelihood to impact favourably on the democratic project than top-down decentralisation, in terms of collective action for social change. Furthermore, the findings indicated that effective local organising is required to achieve better outcomes from struggles with powerful opponents such as corporations and State institutions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available