|dc.description.abstract||THE IMPLEMENTATION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT REFORMS POLICY AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN GHANA: PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS
This is an inquiry into the extent to which Ghana s Local Government policy reforms, set in motion at the latter stages of the 1980s, have been implemented and their impact on the socio-economic development of the communities of the country.
The Local Government policy, was part of the government s Decentralisation Program, which itself, was part of the broader Economic Recovery Program (ERP) conditioned by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a panacea for the country s deplorable economic conditions. The Local Government policy could, therefore, be seen as a developmental strategy for rural development. And this was based on the belief that the policy would first lead to mass participation of the citizenry in the decision-making process, which was also expected to bring, in its trail, effective mobilisation of both human and material resources. This would, in turn, lead to judicious allocation of resources resulting from enriched debates and dialogues under mass participation. In short, good governance in the form of, at least, local government, was thought to be a pre-condition for development.
It was this belief that generated the interest for this study; seeking to answer the difficult question associated with the effectiveness of the district assemblies (Local Government units) in Ghana as a medium of mass participation (Participatory democracy), mobilisation and the allocation of resources for development, with the Kwahu South District as a case for study.
It is my thesis that in spite of all the vigour and zeal imputed into the program, it has not impacted positively on the communities as anticipated by the policy. In the area of participation, only a limited success can be associated directed with the policy. The idea of participatory democracy seems to be an illusion. In the area of mobilisation, even though there seems to be the enthusiasm among the people to be mobilised, there does not appear to be much material resources to be mobilsed, let alone allocating them perfectly. Consequently, there is no grand leap into development, nearly a decade after the program had taken off. In short, there is strong indications that the policy objectives of the program seem to be both over-ambitious and blown out of proportion.
It is further my contention that the inability of the policy to chalk up great success is a combination of factors in various proportions, namely; implementation, fallibility of the technical theory of the policy and human problems, among others. However, the factor that seems to explain the failure best is the problem of financial inadequacy.
The study has drawn extensively on, and taking points of departure, from a range of theoretical paradigms from decentralisation, participation, implementation and development.||nor