Decentralization For Effective Local Service Delivery in Ghana

A study towards deepening fiscal decentralization for effective local service delivery in Ghana

Evidence suggests that local governments are unable to provide high levels of public goods such as roads, electricity, sanitation, education, schools, health, and recreational facilities mainly due to their inability to mobilize adequate resources. There is however no consensus among policymakers, governments and scholars on how best to promote greater revenue mobilization by local governments and make adequate fiscal resources available to them to deliver services.

In the case of Ghana, part of the explanation to this problem is our inadequate understanding of how Ghana’s fiscal decentralization reforms work. Our inadequate understanding is also mainly explained by the processes and approaches used by many existing studies that do not give adequate room for the voices of the implementers of the policy. The need to deepen our understanding of Ghana’s fiscal decentralization reforms through the lenses and voices of the implementers of the policy has become apparent.

This is where Good Governance Africa seeks to contribute to this process by providing insights into how best to make Ghana’s fiscal decentralization reforms work. The major objective is to increase revenues to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) by addressing the key constraints in the fiscal decentralization process. Ultimately, the findings will help policymakers to design more effective policy tools to help MMDAs raise adequate revenues and increase productive public expenditures at local government level.

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Dr. Ronald Adamtey is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Planning of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi . He is the Director of the Undergraduate Planning Programmes. He is a professional Planner and a Member of the Ghana Institute of Planners (GIP). He holds a Ph.D. degree in Governance and Public Policy from the University of Sussex, United Kingdom, and an M.Phil. Degree in Community Development and a B.Sc. degree in Development Planning all from the KNUST. He was a Commonwealth Scholar and also won the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) scholarship for studies into community development.

He has extensive research and consultancy experience in wide areas of human settlements growth and management. He was a member of theteam at the KNUST that collaborated with their counterparts from Royal Danish Academic of Fine Arts, Denmark, which researched into Community Initiatives and Democratization of Planning practice in Ghana.
A five-year study sponsored by DANIDA which sought to explore how best to harness the initiatives of poor people and channel these into productive efforts in complementing central and local government initiatives towards managing the growth of settlements. He was one of researchers at the Centre for Policy Research and Social Engineering (CEPRESE) based at the University of Ghana, Legon.

A center which collaborated with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex in United Kingdom, Centre for Future State and conducted a five-year research into the co-production of public services for poverty reduction. He was also a Team Member ofEdburgh Consultants (International Consultancy Firm) which prepared a Training Strategy for the Government of Ghana and the European Union to be used to train the staff of the District Assemblies in the Local Government Sector.

His research interests are the political economy of land use and human settlements planning, decentralization and local governance, rural health planning, and small-scale mining with emphasis on the micro-politics and decision making and their effects on the environment.

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Gifty Obeng is a monitoring and evaluation specialist with over 19 years’ experience in various fields of work. With an international training background (Masters level) in sustainable environmental practices, Gifty specialises in designing programmes and projects that protect the environment and thus limit the negative environmental footprint of human activities. She has been at the forefront of advising agencies like the B-Bovid (agro-processing social enterprise) on sustainable agricultural practices and climate change adaptative measures for farming communities. Gifty’s commitment to the use of best planning practices in all initiatives she has supported stems from her training as a development planning professional at undergraduate level (see CV). A trained school teacher with more than 10 years’ experience, Gifty is also skilled in training and mobilising stakeholders with various needs, and in designing content to suit various categories of clients. Gifty currently occupies the position of Programmes, Monitoring and Evaluations Manager at the Good Governance Africa Centre, where she uses her strong professional training background in business administration (Big Data), Quick Books and ComCare to steer programmes and activities.

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Edward is a development planning professional with over 10 years working experience in development cooperation, research and training. For six years, Edward worked as a technical development advisor working at all levels of the decentralised system in Ghana. At the local level, he has been directly involved in community mobilisations and engagements to document the needs of the people mostly in deprived districts. These engagements were further used to enrich national policy discourse and in the formulation of policies and programmes. Edward also coordinated interventions with the then 10 Regional Coordinating Councils (RCC) to support selected districts in the implementation of their development programmes. Over the last five years Edward has been engaged in trainings and research, working both in the private and non-governmental sectors. With a strong planning background both at the masters’ and undergraduate levels, Edward is a passionate advocate of inclusive planning and decision making, particularly on matters that could reduce poverty amongst marginalised segments of society. Edward also holds a practitioner certificate in organisational and systems development; a background that positively influences his engagement with stakeholders at all levels of society. Currently, Edward occupies the position of Senior Research Officer at the Good Governance Africa – West Africa Centre (see CV).