International Development Planning Review

Problems of District Medium-Term Development Plan implementation in Ghana: The way forward

International Development Planning Review (2005), 27, (2), 245–270.

Abstract

In line with the decentralisation policy of the government of Ghana, the District Assemblies (DAs) are required to prepare and implement their development plans to ensure the overall development of their respective areas. The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) issues Medium-Term Development Plan Preparation Guidelines for the DAs in accordance with the National Development Planning System Act 1994 (Act 480). The DAs formulated their first Medium-Term Development Plans (MTDPs) to cover 1996–2000 and have prepared the 2002–2004 MTDPs. Evidence shows that DAs hardly implemented the 1996–2000 MTDP, and the practice constitutes a waste of scarce funds, time and energy.

Based on survey data on six District Assemblies in Ghana, this paper summarises the problems of DAs in implementing MTDPs and discusses the way forward. The paper argues that the implementation problems include weak institutional structures, inadequate human and financial resources of the DAs, chieftaincy and land disputes, low levels of commitment by stakeholders, and ineffective teamwork. To overcome these problems, there is the need for human resource development, provision of logistics, effective mobilisation and utilisation of financial resources, institutional strengthening, awareness-raising, resolution of chieftaincy and land disputes, good governance, and an effective monitoring and evaluation system.

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Author details

Mensah, John