The Effectiveness of Decentralisation on Community Development in Ghana, 1990–2012

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The concept of decentralisation has shaped development thinking in contemporary times in both developed and developing countries. Indeed, the demand for decentralisation is strong throughout the world because of its link to community development and improving the quality of life of mass of the people in the rural areas. Decentralisation is globally recognised as the way of ensuring community participation and local development. However, some authors argue that the purported benefits of decentralisation leading to community development are not as obvious as proponents of decentralisation suggest. In Africa, decentralisation is implemented in various forms by governments across the continent. Indeed, in West Africa, it is difficult to find a country that does not have decentralisation programme. In Ghana, decentralisation has been practiced since 1988 and the populace has come to embrace it as the best way of ensuring development and local participation in governance. Nevertheless, after nearly three decades of implementing decentralisation, which has generated rather elaborate structures and processes, Ghana still struggles to realise the expected developmental progress, or achieve the envisioned structural and procedural effectiveness. This paper explores the relationship between decentralisation and community development in Sekyere Central District. Again the paper seeks to find out the contributions decentralisation has brought to the communities in Sekyere Central District and finally investigate whether decentralisation is working as it should in the district. This paper was carried out using a mixed method approach. Purposive sampling technique was adopted to select all the assembly members in Sekyere Central District. Both primary and secondary data were collected from the relevant sources in an effort to meet the objectives of the study. The regression analysis of all the assembly members indicated that, the calculated value F is 28.25 at 5% alpha level of significant (0.000). It shows that there is significant relationship between decentralisation and community development.

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