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Title: Determinants for the adoption of climate change policies for urban Africa : a study of urban local governments in Ghana
Author: Adu-Boateng, Afua Ofouwaah
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 5524
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2014
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Scholars have reiterated that development discourse is concerned not just with the practices of development, but crucially with the politics and power of knowledge and ideas that shape development: their origins, content, contestation, diffusion and dissemination (Moore, 1995; Roy, 2010; Escobar, 2012). One issue facing all countries is climate change. Though contested, climate change has emerged as an urgent issue around which both ideas of development and practice are crystallising both in the north and south. However in this discourse, the diffusion and adoption of climate change adaptation and mitigation policy ideas to urban governments in Africa have received limited research attention. International reports indicate a low uptake of climate change policies in Africa generally, and urban areas in particular. The concern with climate change seems not to dwell much on seeking better understanding of the factors that determine the spread and adoption of climate change policy as well as the barriers to adoption in different world contexts. With particular reference to Ghana, this study examines the ideas and material conditions associated with policy diffusion to examine what drives diffusion and adoption of climate change policies in Africa’s urban areas. The study investigates climate change ideas: how climate change ideas move from ‘international spaces’ to national and, most crucially, urban localgovernment policy spaces. Drawing on social science, institutional and organisational concepts of change, it seeks to answer questions of how and to what extent climate change ideas are received and converted into policy and programmes at local government level. The conceptual framework suggests that international pressure, norm imitation, policy utility and emulation are potential concepts to explain adoption of climate change policies by metropolitan governments. To investigate which of these concepts adequately explain the situation in Ghana, data was collected using qualitative methods, semi-structured interviews with key policy makers in local government and urban development planning in Ghana. This is complemented by content analysis of grey literature, urban development plans, and policy documents, and a focus on 3 metropolitan urban areas of Accra, Kumasi and Tamale. Results suggest that the government of Ghana has instituted directives for climate change considerations in metropolitan development plans. The national urban policy has a climate change component. An investigation of metropolitan development plans indicated that climate change related projects were initiated in response to national directives. This emphasised exogenous pressure as a determinant of adoption by metropolitan governments in the context of Ghana. On the other hand, political and public interests shape the extent to which the directives on climate change are integrated in development plans. Moreover material constraints and agents’ limited conceptualisation of climate change policy place barriers to adoption. The research concludes that national guidelines and directives, underpin the response by Ghana’s metropolitan governments, whilst actors and resources shape the mechanisms for the adoption and barriers to comprehensive climate change policies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral