Updated 5 March, 2004

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OECD/DAC Dialogues with Developing Countries on National Strategies for Sustainable Development

Report on Status review in Ghana


January 2001

Submitted to:
National Development Planning Commission, Accra, Ghana


International Institute for Environment and Development, London, UK

Seth D. Vordzorgbe
( Lead Consultant)
and Ben Caiquo
DevCourt Ltd.
P. O. Box CT 1481
Accra, Ghana
E-mail: svor@africaonline.com.gh


Executive Summary

Background to the Study

The context of current country-level frameworks

National strategies for sustainable development in Ghana

Key stakeholders and processes in strategy work  

Integrating institutions and initiatives in strategy work

Political commitment to strategy processes

Key lessons learned

Annex A. Participants in First Stakeholder Workshop

Annex B. Participants in Second Stakeholder Workshop

Annex C. Historical Strategic Processes

Annex D. Sectoral Coordinating Groups for the Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF)


Executive Summary

1. Background to the Study

1.1       Background to the review process

Agenda 21 (UNCED, 1992) called for the preparation of national strategies for sustainable development (nssds). The OECD DAC in its “Shaping the 21st Century” document (1996), set a target of 2005 for nssds to be in the process of implementation. In 1997, the UN General Assembly Special Session set a target date of 2002 for all countries to have introduced such strategies.  Shaping the 21st Century commits DAC members to support developing countries in the formulation and implementation of nssds through a partnership approach.

Despite these international targets, there is a lack of clarity on what an nssds actually is (there is no internally agreed definition, nor any official guidance on how to prepare an nssd). The donor community has done little work to understand the issue or to determine how best to assist developing countries with nssds. In the past, many strategic planning initiatives have had limited practical impact because they have focused on the production of a document as an end-product, and such documents have often been left without implementation. Instead, the focus of an nssd should be on improving the integration of social and environmental objectives into key economic development processes.

A clarification note was endorsed by the DAC High Level Meeting in May 1999  which defined an nssd as  “a strategic and participatory process of analysis, debate, capacity strengthening, planning and action towards sustainable development.” However, an nssd should not be a completely new planning process to be conducted from the beginning. Rather, it is recognised that in an individual country there will be a range of initiatives that may have been taken in response to commitments entered into at the Rio Earth Summit (UNCED) or as part of commitments to international treaties and conventions and that these may be regarded in that country, individually or collectively, as the nssd. But the challenge is: to gain clarification on what initiative(s) make up the nssd; and then to identify what improvements need to be made to these initiatives – or developed between them such as umbrella frameworks, systems for participation and national sustainable development for a – so that they meet the (above) definition of an nssd.

The DAC Working Party on Development Cooperation and the Environment (WP/ENV) has mandated a Task Force, co-led by the European Commission (EC) and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), to produce guidance on best practice for assisting developing countries with the formulation and implementation of nssd processes. A scoping workshop in November 1998 brought together Task Force and developing country representatives to discuss the broad directions for this work. The workshop recommended a systematic in-country consultation with developing country partners in order to elaborate good practice for donors.

The February 1999 meeting of the DAC WP/ENV endorsed the recommendation to initiate a project to undertake informal consultations, or ‘dialogues’, in a number of developing countries and regions, involving donors and a range of stakeholders. The dialogues will review experience with nssds and examine how donors can best assist developing countries in such processes.  As well as contributing to the production of generic guidance for donors, the country/regional dialogues aim to make a concrete contribution to nssd processes and donor coordination in the participating countries.

In support of the DAC Task Force’s work on nssds, this project will involve full dialogues in five developing countries (Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Nepal and Thailand).  It will also seek to draw lessons from existing processes to audit or learn from nssd experience (Ghana, Namibia and Pakistan).

This process will lead to the preparation of DAC policy guidance on nssds and a detailed sourcebook with country case materials.

The Task Force has contracted the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) to coordinate and administer the project to implement these dialogues and review activities, and to prepare policy guidance and a sourcebook for publication by the OECD.  In Ghana, the review process is being facilitated as a partnership between IIED and the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC).

1.2.      Objectives of the review

The broad objective of the study is to gain an understanding of the process in Ghana to help identify successful and unsuccessful elements of the process of developing and implementing NSSD in Ghana.  In addition to contributing to the identification of international best practices in NSSD design and implementation, this should provide a useful input into the on-going process of developing the Second Step Policy Framework (2001-2005) for Ghana’s Vision 2020.

1.3.      Study tasks

The aims of the status review of the process of developing and implementing NSSDs in Ghana constitute the tasks to be undertaken for the review.  These assignments are to:

  • Determine the historical, political and economic context of major strategic planning processes

  • Determine the current status of past and present strategy work

  • Identify key stakeholders and their participation and responsibilities in strategic planning and implementation

  • Identify key institutions and policy processes – responsibilities, relationships and integration

  • Determine the extent and effect of political commitment and shared vision regarding the strategy processes

  • Identify lessons learned from strategy work in Ghana.

    1.4.      Methodology

1.4.1    Study Focus

The focus of the study is on the processes of designing and implementing various strategies for sustainable development in Ghana.  The study does not involve a review of the content of individual strategies or plans.  Thus, the emphasis will be on determining the extent to which effective mechanisms for strategy development and for facilitating stakeholder participation were utilized in designing and implementing individual development strategies.

1.4.2    Main issues for review

Key issues for analysis during the review cover the main analytical themes in the categories listed in the May 2000 IIED Guide to Key Issues in National Strategies for Sustainable Development and Methods for Analysing Strategy Processes: A Prompt for status reviews and dialogues (The Guide).  These categories are: context, actors, integrating institutions and initiatives, processes and impacts.  Details of the issues under each category are presented in the Guide but those selected for review in the study were those determined to be relevant to the Ghanaian situation.  In addition, due to time constraints, only important issues judged to be pertinent to the analysis were included in the review.

1.4.3    Steps in undertaking the assignment

In terms of the broad approach to the study, the study was conducted in three phases.  The first involved the review of key issues in implementing NSSD in Ghana.  A stakeholders’ workshop was organized during the second phase to discuss and review findings, conclusions and recommendations from the first phase.  The third phase involves finalizing the report of the study including integrating suggestions from the stakeholders workshop.

The study is being conducted in five phases.  The Team: 

(a)    reviewed key issues in implementing NSSD in Ghana

(b)   held a stakeholder workshop to review preliminary findings, with participation from the national planning commission, ministries and departments, academics, national council on women and development, the parliament, donors, development projects and IIED

(c)    prepared the Country Progress Report for the Thailand Mid-Term Review Workshop, including integrating suggestions from the stakeholder workshop

(d)   prepared a draft Country Report incorporating comments from the Thailand Workshop

(e)    would discuss the draft Report, and comments from the Mid-Term Review workshop at a second focus-group seminar to involve mainly beneficiaries.

(f)     would finalize and publish the Country Report, including integrating comments from all sources and activities.

The full list and institutional affiliation of the participants in the first stakeholder review workshop is presented in Annex A. 

The context of country-level frameworks

It is instructive to place the development frameworks discussed in this review in the context within which they were developed and are being implemented.

2.1       General context

2.1.1    Historical context

Ghana has had a very long history and tradition of planning for national development: Ghana was reputed to have completed the first development plan in the world, the Guggisberg Plan, in 1919.  This was more of a public investment programme than a comprehensive development plan but it provided the framework for the first efforts to develop the Gold Coast up to 1926.  This very first plan was developed by the colonial administration without any participation by the people and was implemented largely by the administrative service.

After that period, very little real development took place until the independence movement provided the impetus for further development of the country.  Beginning from the immediate pre-independence era, the economic and social development of Ghana has been guided by several planning processes.  These include:

  • the First Ten Year Development Plan (which was condensed into a Five-year Plan 1951-1956)

  • the Consolidation Development Plan 1957-1959

  • the Second Development Plan 1959-1964

  • the Seven-Year Development Plan 1963/64-1969/70

  • the Two-Year Development Plan 1968-69-1969/70

  • the One-Year Development Plan July 1970-June 1971

  • the Five Year Development Plan 1975/76-1979/80

  • the Economic Recovery Program 1984-1986

  • the National Development Policy Framework: Long-Term Development Objectives (Ghana-Vision 2020)

At the national level, the major planning processes that have impacted most on national development to date are:

·        The 7-Year Development Plan (1963/64-1969/70)

·        The Economic Recovery Programme (ERP) (1983-1987)

·        Ghana -Vision 2020 (1996)

Currently, the development efforts and direction of Ghana are being implemented within the framework of the Ghana-Vision 2020.  Major development programming approaches to achieving the goals of the Ghana Vision-2020 at the national level have involved the following initiated in the years shown in parenthesis:

·        The National Economic Forum (1997)

·        Public sector reforms under CSPIP, PURFMAP, MTEF, and NIRP (1994)

·        World Bank sponsored Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF, 1999)

·        United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF, 1997)

·        Japanese promoted Integrated Human Development Programme (IHDP)

Key cross-cutting strategic approaches developed to ensure sustainability of the national strategy for development cover:

·        Decentralization (1988)

·        Poverty Reduction (1995)

·        Natural Resource Management (1995)

·        Gender

All strategic development frameworks in Ghana are national.  However, regions and districts prepare their development strategies and plans under the decentralized planning system within planning guidelines derived from the Vision-2020 overall policy and strategic framework.  The closest to sub-national strategies were the integrated regional planning frameworks of the 1970s and 1980s.  However, those approaches were not strategic, were only partially integrated while their preparation did not follow the commonly-accepted norms for designing strategies for sustainable development.

2.1.2    Political context

The country had been under a quasi-military regime (PNDC) since 1982 that oversaw the implementation of the ERP, which involved large doses of economic liberalization.  However, the political atmosphere was still not liberalized until 1992 when there was a transition to multi-party democratic governance.  In practice, the main opposition party boycotted Parliament during the first period of civilian government (1992-1996).  The participation of all parties in the second period (1996-2000) saw the intensification of true multi-party democracy that has been consolidated by the recent change of government.  Overall, the last decade has witnessed the emergence of democratic institutions, such as a free and liberalized press and organs for addressing serious frauds, and, lapses in human rights and administrative justice, all of which are necessary for the institutionalization of good governance.  Thus, political liberalization finally caught up with economic liberalization a decade later.

2.1.3    Socio-economic context

Ghana began the spiral of long-term economic decline in the 1960s due to low investment, low and falling efficiency of resource use and declining exports.  Between 1960 and 1982 real per capita income fell at an average annual rate of nearly 2 percent while annual inflation rose from 6.2 percent to 123 percent.  In response, the ERP was initiated to reverse the country’s downward trend and start a process of sustained growth. Since 1982, the focus has been on economic liberalization and stabilization, social development, long-term growth, poverty reduction, gender balance and regional integration.

In response, real GDP growth averaged 4 percent annually while inflation dropped to 20 percent during 1992-94.

However, the performance of the economy slipped from 1992 when large fiscal imbalances resulted in heightened inflation and currency depreciation.  Within this context, there was the need to consolidate economic gains, including improving the coordination of economic management, and to begin to address poverty issues in a systematic manner.

The development of Ghana Vision-2020 was in reaction to the need to ensure long-term growth to avoid the drastic drop in living conditions by addressing poverty in an integrated manner and improving the management of the economy to place the nation on a path of sustainable growth.

Currently, the economy is characterized by: (a) market-determined and private sector oriented policy framework, but private sector response to the economic framework and incentives has been low, (b) state divesting controlled enterprises and restructuring of public sector administration, (c) largely agrarian setup with low manufacturing value-addition, (d) low savings and investment (e) dependence on two commodities, (f) high debt, both external and domestic.

2.1.4    Development trends and key factors

The design of strategic frameworks for national development has been influenced by key trends and factors.  These include:

·        the pain and memory of past economic downturn

·        the resultant economic liberalization and market-based stance of economic policy which has yielded a fragile stabilization as the economy is still prone to destabilization by external economic factors

·        the transition to multi-party democratic governance

·        relative peace and stability

·        increasing population, unemployment, demand on social services and fall in living standards

·        poor natural resource management resulting in loss of forest cover and general environmental degradation

2.1.5    Administrative context

The administrative context for the development of national development strategy frameworks in the post-ERP era involved the establishment of: (a) organs for economic management, including the Economic Management Team, (b) an emerging consultative approach (culminating in the National Economic Forum), (c) a development planning system including a legal framework and a planning institution (the NDPC), (d) a decentralized planning system

Despite this economic management and development planning environment, major donors felt the need to design their own frameworks for development assistance planning, partly in response to ineffective donor coordination and integration of donor development programmes.  This situation partly accounted for the development of the CDF and CCA.

2.1.6    Regional context

The development of the current Second Medium-Term Policy framework and plan has taken due cognizance of regional factors.  Thus, the framework emphasizes economic growth and poverty reduction, popular participation in economic and political decision-making, and, good governance to consolidate the relative peace and stability that Ghana enjoys in relation to other strife-torn areas of the sub-region.  The framework also explicitly seeks to enhance the economic integration of the sub-region.

2.2       Institutional context: effectiveness of regulations and incentives

The effectiveness of regulations and incentives determines the nature and effect of 0the institutional context for the development of strategic initiatives.  Broadly, in consonance with the progressive consolidation of economic and political liberalization, the approach to internalizing economic and environmental costs, to facilitate best-practice investments, is by fiscal and regulatory frameworks, rather than bureaucratic control mechanisms.  For example, (a) the EPA has adopted the polluter-pays principle to internalize environmental costs, (b) investment allowances and incentives by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) help correct some market failures in the investment environment, and, (c) the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) attempts to level the playing field regarding utility costs.  However, the effectiveness of regulations and incentives is hampered by imperfections in the availability and access to information and data on economic and social parameters of national development.  This affects the efficacy of development planning strategy formulation.

Public awareness of sustainable development has been heightened, especially by the integration of environmental and social issues (such as HIV/AIDS and family planning) in development through enhanced activities of civil society groups, particularly NGOs.   The institutionalization of parliamentary and multi-party democracy, decentralized administration, and, increased public awareness campaigns by such constitutionally-mandated bodies as the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), is facilitating the development of a consumer or civil-society driven society and incentives away from command and control to market-based mechanisms.


National strategies for sustainable development in Ghana

Given the large number of strategy processes and programming approaches to implementing Vision 2020 in effect and the time constraints of the study, the review would only briefly describe some of the key historical and current strategic frameworks.

3.1       Key historical processes

3.1.1    7-Year Development Plan

The 7-Year Development Plan was initiated in 1964 as first integrated and comprehensive economic plan in Ghana’s development administration history.  The main objectives were to accelerate economic growth, start a socialist transformation of the economy and remove all vestiges of colonial structure of the economy.  It was prepared by the Planning Commission with input from committees of civil service, academia and business.  Key stakeholders were the Conventions Peoples Party (CPP) and government, the state sector of the economy, cooperatives, civil service, the intelligentsia, private business sector.  Implementation of the plan was cut short by the military intervention of 1966.

         3.1.2    The Economic Recovery Programme

The next most significant historical programmatic effort in national development was the two-phased Economic Recovery Program involving stabilization and rehabilitation, and liberalization and growth that was initiated in 1983 with the support of the World Bank and the IMF.  The major objectives were to arrest the severe economic decline of the 1970s and improve the social and overall well being of Ghanaians, particularly the under-privileged, deprived and vulnerable.  The programme was prepared solely by government teams and collaborating officials of the World Bank and the IMF, with very little or no involvement of civil society groups. The ERP provided the impetus for a long-term growth approach to development that laid the basis for the development of the National Development Planning Framework that was the pre-cursor to the Ghana Vision 2020. 

These historical strategic processes are more fully described in Annex C.

3.2  Contemporary mechanisms

3.2.1    Ghana Vision-2020

I. Year initiated: The underlying long-term development policy framework preparation was initiated in 1991 and completed in 1994 but the Ghana Vision-2020 nomenclature was adopted in 1996.

II. Brief description: A national development policy framework covering long-term (25 years) development objectives covering five basic thematic areas of macroeocnomics, human development, rural development, urban development and enabling environment.  The achievement of these long-term objectives is expected to transform Ghana into a nation whose material well being and standard of living would conform to those of middle-income countries as at 1993/94.  The Ghana Vision-2020 provides a framework to guide sectoral agencies and the District Assemblies prepare policies and programmes for economic and social development that would enable Ghana achieve her long-term goals.  The long-term objectives are to be achieved by implementing policies through five-year medium-term rolling plans.

III. Key Objective: Ghana is to achieve a balanced economy and a middle-income country status and living standard by the year 2020.

IV. Status of preparation and implementation:  Preparation of the Vision has been completed.  The First Medium Term Development Plan 1996-2000 has been implemented.  The Second Medium Term Development Plan 2001-2005 is currently under preparation.

V. Key stakeholders:  The preparation of the Vision was dominated by central government agencies, especially the National Development Planning Commission and ministries, departments and agencies.  However, the preparation of the medium term development plans has involved a very wide array of stakeholders, including District Assemblies, the private sector, NGOs, academics, workers, and traditional authorities.

VI. Main preparation process: The preparation of the Vision was principally the work of the National Development Planning Commission.  The NDPC first sought to inject social and spatial considerations in to the economic policy framework underlying the structural adjustment programme in 1987.  This effort was followed by the production of a human centered development policy framework in 1991 by the Commission.  To integrate long-term perspectives into the ERP that would ensure that Ghana achieves continuos development at an accelerating pace through the promotion of a human-centered, comprehensive and integrated approach to development, the National Development Policy Framework (NDPF) was drafted by the NDPC during 1991-1994.  Sectoral ministries and agencies, and, district authorities provided comments on goals and hierarchy of goals and strategies of the NDPF.

VII. Key documents:

·National Development Planning Commission.  Making People Matter – A Human Development Strategy for Ghana.  Publication by NDPC (IDPG\SPD).  December 1, 1991.

· Republic of Ghana, National Development Policy Framework. Volume I: Long Term Development Objectives.  National Development Planning Commission.  February 1994.

·Republic of Ghana, National Development Policy Framework. Volume I: Long Term Development Objectives.  National Development Planning Commission.  Revised May 1994.

·Republic of Ghana, Ghana-Vision 2020 (First Step: 1996-2000), Presidential Report to Parliament on Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies.  December 1994.

VIII.Observations on outcomes and effectiveness:  The Vision has provided a guiding and overarching reference point for the formulation and implementation of various development strategies and programmes since 1996.  However, implementation of the First Medium Term Plan (1996-2000) has lagged while the core strategic underpinnings of the Vision are yet to be integrated into the development psyche of the nation as the people are not generally familiar with what it would take to achieve the Vision.

3.2.2 National Economic Forum

I. Year initiated: September 1997

II. Brief description: It was the first national consensus building exercise for all stakeholders to discuss economic and development policy measures for growth under the Ghana –Vision 2020.  It was attended by the President, Vice-President, Ministers and various other stakeholders, and was supported by the UNDP.

III.Key Objectives: The fundamental objective of the National Economic Forum was achieving a national consensus on policy measures for accelerated growth, within the framework of Ghana-Vision 2020.

IV.Status of preparation and implementation: The outcomes and consensus reached have been integrated into national economic and development policy making.

III.Key stakeholders: It was attended by the following numbers of participants, keyed to the Syndicate Groups they represented:

· Macroeconomic stability (142)

·Economic Growth: Agriculture (83)

· Economic Growth: Manufacturing (92)

·Employment and Human Development (99)

The Post-Forum Committee to prepare Action Plans and integrate recommendations had 52 members.

Overall, participation in the Forum was by several interest groups including:

1)      government,

2)      Council of State,

3)      parliament,

4)      judiciary,

5)      private sector,

6)      labour,

7)      NGOs,

8)      political parties,

9)      traditional authorities,

10)  donors,

11)  professional groups (such as the Ghana Bar Association, Ghana Medical Association),

12)  farmers,

13)  the military,

14)  universities,

15)  local authorities,

16)  the CSIR,

17)  consumers association of Ghana,

18)  constitutional bodies (such as the National Commission on Civic Education, CHRAJ),

19)  private press

V. Main preparation process: The NDPC invited several stakeholders, grouped into four syndicate groups to discuss issues of macroeconomic stability, agriculture, manufacturing and international competitiveness, and, employment aimed at generating strategic policy recommendations for reducing inflation and unemployment.  A Post-Forum Committee synthesized and harmonized the four Syndicate Group Reports into a comprehensive Forum Report and a set of Action Plans

VI. Linkages to Ghana-Vision 2020: The Forum was a mechanism for helping review and affirm economic and development policy measures required for accelerated growth as envisaged under the Ghana Vision 2020.

VII.      Key documents: Republic of Ghana – National Economic Forum at Accra International Conference Centre on 2-3 September 1997 on the Theme: Achieving National Consensus on Policy Measures for Accelerated Growth within the Framework of Ghana-Vision 2020. 

VIII. Observations on outcomes and effectiveness: The Forum provided the opportunity for various stakeholders to reach consensus on key economic issues and actions needed to underpin the achievement of the goals of the Ghana Vision 2020.  The Forum was well attended and the reports were well received by government.  However, implementation of several recommendations has lagged.  The new government would likely utilize the mechanism of the Forum

3.2.3    Comprehensive Development Framework

I.Year initiated: 1999

II. Brief description: A development programming approach that takes a comprehensive view of the entire development spectrum and provides a holistic framework for identifying and analyzing development needs, and programming development interventions from all partners in an integrated and consistent manner designed to strengthen development planning and coordination across all the development partners.

III. Key Objectives: The objectives of the CDF process were to engender:

§ improved inter-relationships, coherence and increased integration of sector polices and programmes

§a rapid shift by donors towards financing of development programmes, instead of individual projects

§reduced government effort and resources in managing different donor systems

§increased government ownership and management of Ghana’s development programme, and stronger partnership with donors, civil society and the private sector.

§a more comprehensive pattern of resource allocation that reduces inter-donor competition.  

IV.  Status of preparation and implementation: Preparation of the CDF was completed in 1999 for the Tenth Consultative Group meeting in Accra in November 1999. 

V. Key stakeholders: Government of Ghana, civil society represented by NGOs and other stakeholders under the ambit of SAPRI, and donors

VI. Main preparation process:  This is discussed in Section 4.

VII.Linkages to Ghana-Vision 2020:  The CDF provides the framework for development assistance required to achieve poverty reduction as envisaged under Ghana-Vision 2020.  The formulation of thematic areas covered by the CDF are framed differently but in essence cover the same ground as addressed by the eight thematic areas of the Second Step of the Ghana-Vision 2020.  However, the CDF serves more as a more immediate development programming tool while Ghana-Vision 2020 provides a more long-term vision of national growth.

VIII.Key documents: Government of Ghana- A First Draft Comprehensive Development Framework Towards Ghana Vision 2020.  Tenth Consultative Group (CG) Meeting.  November 23-21, 1999. Accra.  Ministry of Finance.

IX. Observations on outcomes and effectiveness:  The CDF has yielded favourable outcomes in terms of helping to better focus and redefine donor, especially World Bank, development assistance to Ghana.  The document provided the framework for the World Bank’s new Country Assistance Strategy for Ghana.  The involvement of civil society in the preparation of the document has enhanced their role in development programming.

3.2.4    Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS)

I. Year initiated: Developed in 1995/96, being updated in 2000-2001

II.Brief description: A home-grown strategic approach to poverty reduction through emphasis on economic growth, integrated rural development, improved access of the poor to basic economic and social services, expanded employment for urban poor, and, family planning.

III.Key Objectives: The overarching goal is reduction of poverty and general improvement in the welfare of all Ghanaians.  The objectives of the GPRS include: (a) reducing the incidence and depth of both rural and urban poverty, mainly through the acceleration of pro-poor growth, (b) improving the income earning capabilities and opportunities for the poor and vulnerable, (c) minimizing  gender and geographical disparities, (d) facilitating a healthier, better educated and more productive population.

IV.Status of preparation and implementation:  The development of the GPRS was completed and has generated projectized interventions.  A revision and update of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy process is under preparation.  The preparation of the GPRS is parallel to the preparation of the World Bank-sponsored Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP)

V. Key stakeholders: The update of the GPRS involves participation from several stakeholder groups, including the NDPC, sectoral ministries and agencies, local authorities, civil society organizations, professional bodies, academic think tanks, and trades unions.

VI.  Main preparation process: The government, with the support of the UNDP, produced a National Action Programme for Poverty Reduction in 1995.  This engendered the need for an institutional mechanism to coordinate development of initiatives, resulting in the formation of an Inter-Ministerial Committee served by an inter-agency and multi-sectoral Technical Committee on Poverty (TCOP) that produced the Policy Focus for Poverty Reduction in 1996.  Under the ambit of the NDPC’s Poverty Reduction Unit, a Ghana PRS Task Force (now composed of the TCOP members) is coordinating the process of updating the GPRS through the use of Core Teams to prepare frameworks and programmes covering focus areas of the strategy.

VII.Linkages to Ghana-Vision 2020:  The overall poverty reduction process of the Government is derived from and tied to the Ghana- Vision 2020.  The objectives of the 1995 poverty reduction strategy informed the goals and approach adopted for poverty alleviation in the Vision 2020.  The update of the GPRS and the preparation of the Ghana Vision 2020 - Second Step framework are linked in several ways:

(a)    the six priority areas of the GPRS are covered by the Vision 2020 framework explicitly,

(b)   the GPRS is linked to the existing planning process with the GPRS deriving its focus from the Vision 2020 Second Step policy framework,

(c)    the timetables for the two processes were synchronized,

(d)   the outputs of the Second Step process would be factored into the GPRS update,

(e)    planning guidelines for use by District Assemblies and sectoral agencies would reflect the focus on poverty reduction as emerging from both the Vision 2020 and the updated GPRS.

VIII.Key documents:

· Republic of Ghana, Reducing Poverty through Improved Agriculture.  Main Report Prepared by the Government of Ghana for the Tenth Meeting of the Consultative Group for Ghana. Accra  November 23-24, 1999.

· The World Bank, Republic of Ghana – Development Strategy for Poverty Reduction.  Report No. 20186-GH.  March 8, 2000.

· Republic of Ghana,  Policy Focus for Poverty Reduction.  Technical Committee on Poverty (TCOP), Technical Secretariat, NDPC.  Accra.  September 1996.

·World Bank, Ghana – Poverty Past, Present and Future.  Report No. 14504-GH.  Population and Human Resources Division, Africa Region.  June 29, 1995.

·Government of Ghana, National Action Programme for Poverty Reduction.  Ministry of local Government and Rural Development, with assistance of UNDP.  February 1995.

IX. Observations on outcomes and effectiveness:  The GPRS has spawned three major interventions: (a) the National Poverty Reduction Programme with support from the UNDP, (b) The Social Investment Fund aimed at enhancing access of the poor to basic services and local-level capacity-strengthening with support from the UNDP, African Development Bank, (c) Community-based Poverty Reduction Approaches initiative.  Effectiveness of these projectized interventions is hampered by several factors including lack of micro-credit and implementation capacity weaknesses at the local level. Other initiatives that have taken on board the poverty reduction objective include the Village Infrastructure Project (VIP) and the Agricultural Services Sector Investment Programme (AgSSIP).

3.2.5    Common Country Assessment (CCA)

II.         Year initiated: 1997

III.       Brief description: A participatory process for reviewing and analyzing progress in national development goals and programmes and as foundation for programming and advocating development assistance under the UN system. Under the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), the UN Mission has since 1997 undertaken the Common Country Assessment (CCA) of the national development situation to provide standard reference for the government and UN system organizations in terms of the status human development, analysis of progress and problems in meeting common development targets, and, basis for development programming. 

IX.              Key Objectives:

·Provide an integrated and cross-sectoral assessment of the status, problems and challenges in achieving human development goals.

· Provide an instrument for programming and advocacy of development assistance from the UN system in-country through the UNDAF mechanism.

· Provide common framework for monitoring the efficacy of UN development assistance

· Provide a tool for improving development planning and coordination between the government, development partners, civil society and the private sector.

V.        Status of preparation and implementation: The first CCA was prepared in 1997 and used as an input into the preparation of Ghana’s first UNDAF for the period 1998-2000. The 1999 CCA formed the basis for the formulation of Ghana’s UNDAF 2001-2005 which prescribes the country programmes of the UN agencies.

VI.       Key stakeholders: The Government of Ghana, all UN system agencies, other development partners, representatives of civil society organizations and the private sector.

VII.      Main preparation process: The preparation of the Assessment was managed by Ghana UN Country Team, under the leadership of The Resident Coordinator, with the government playing a leading role.  The report was prepared by six thematic groups as indicated below:

CCA thematic work group

Government Lead Agency

Coordinating/Lead agencies

Food security and nutrition

Ministry of Food and Agriculture



Ministry of Health


Water, sanitation and housing

Ministry of Works and Housing



Ministry of Education


Income and employment

Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare


Protection and participation

Parliament/National Institutional Renewal Programme


Macroeconomic framework

Ministry of Finance/NDPC


VIII.     Linkages to Ghana-Vision 2020: By helping to engender common understanding and consensus of Ghana’s development needs across themes, sectors and donors, the CCA was to support the formulation of the Second Step of the Ghana Vision 2020.

VII.            Key documents: Ghana – Common Country Assessment.  United Nations, Joint Consultative Group on Policy.  March 1997.

Ghana Common Country Assessment 1999.  Accra.  August 18, 2000

X.        Observations on outcomes and effectiveness: The CCA has been effective in joint programming of UN development resources by the government and the UN system. The 1999 CCA was complementary to the CDF as it provided a cross-cutting assessment of human development, in contrast to the CDF process that was underpinned by sector and thematic group work.  However, the CCA has not received publicity as a development planning document and is not referred to outside the UN system.  Consequently, it was not widely used in preparing the Second Step Policy Framework of Ghana Vision 2020 partly due to its low visibility and because its areas of thematic classification did not closely match those of the Second Step formulation.

3.2.6.   Renewable Natural Resources Sector Strategy (1996-2000)

I.          Year initiated: 1995, completed in 1996.

II.         Brief description: An integrated strategic approach to the management of renewable natural resources (RNR) that ensures that various programmes aimed at enhancing the contribution of sustainable natural resource management to the accelerated social and economic development of Ghana are well-coordinated.  This is to improve the efficiency, impact and sustainability of sector programmes.  The strategy consists of a set of prioritized interventions that could be implemented within the current development environment and those that required significant reforms to overcome structural constraints in the sector.

III.       Key Objectives: The overall objective is that RNR is sustainably managed for the benefit of present and future society.  Specific aims are to:

·        establish effective institutional and legislative arrangements for the effective and efficient management of renewable natural resources

·        enhance regeneration of RNR, including biodiversity

·        increase the level of values-added to RNR products

·        make regulations in the RNR sector more enforceable

·        adopt appropriate technical options for resource utilization and management

·        reduce economic over-dependence on RNR

IV.       Status of preparation and implementation: The preparation of the strategy was completed. However, implementation has not been effective.

V.        Key stakeholders: Different stakeholders participated in the development of the strategy, but their scope could not make their involvement very participatory. A full presentation of stakeholder participation in the formulation of the RNRSS is presented in Section 5 of this report.

VI.       Main preparation process:  The government fashioned a process of consultations, consensus building and planning to ensure sustainable development of RNR through the Consultative Group on Renewable Natural Resources beginning with a Consensus Building workshop in September 1995.  This was followed by a Goal Oriented Project Planning (GOPP) workshop in November 1995, a series of consultations, and, a Strategy Formulation workshop in March 1996 that resulted in the draft RNRSS.  The draft Strategy was reviewed at a Stakeholder Forum in July 1996.

VII.      Linkages to Ghana-Vision 2020:  The strategy was developed in parallel to the First Medium Term Plan of the Ghana Vision 2020.  However, the strategic framework for RNR management was in line with the First Step.

VIII.     Key documents:

·        Government of the Republic of Ghana, National Development Planning Commission.  Report on Goal Oriented Project Planning Workshop to Formulate a Strategic Programme for the Renewable Natural Resource Sector in Ghana.  November 8-11, 1995.

·        Government of the Republic of Ghana, National Development Planning Commission.  Workshop Report on Strategy Formulation for the Renewable Natural Resource Sector in Ghana.  March 28, 1996.

·        Government of the Republic of Ghana, National Development Planning Commission.  Report Stakeholder Forum on the Draft Renewable Natural Resources Strategy (1996-2000).  September 12-13, 1996.

·        Participatory Approaches Learning Study of the Process of Formulating Renewable Natural Resources Sector in Ghana.  Prepared by George Botchie, George Ortsin, F. D. Tay, G. Laryea-Adjei for International NGO Training and Research Centre (INTRAC), Oxford and UK Department for International Department under the supervision of NDPC, Accra.

IX.       Observations on outcomes and effectiveness: It is not clear whether the government ever approved the RNRSS since the proposed institutional structure for managing the strategy, including the establishment of an inter-ministerial committee to issue policy guidelines and the expansion of the District Environmental Management Committees (DEMCs) to embrace other aspects of RNR management, was not set up.  Furthermore, most of the projectized interventions in the sector during the period arose from sub-sectoral strategic plans, such as the National Biodiversity Strategy (1998), Forest and Wildlife Policy (1994), the Forestry Development Master Plan (1996-2000), and, the Forest Protection Strategy (1995).  However, these initiatives and subsequent ones, such as the Environmental Sanitation Policy (May 1999) of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, National Land Policy (June 1999) of the Ministry of Lands and Forestry, and the Strategic Plan (1999-2003) of the Environmental Protection Agency were in congruence with the objectives and components of the Renewable Natural Resources Sector Strategy.

3.3       Identifying national strategies for sustainable development in Ghana

The DAC High Level Meeting in May 1999 defined a national strategy for sustainable development (nssd) as “ a strategic and participatory process of analysis, debate, capacity strengthening, planning and action towards sustainable development”.  The imperative is the integration of social and environmental concerns into economic development objectives.

However, the OECD-DAC-developing country dialogues have engendered a modification of that definition as follows: “a participatory  and continuously improving system, which harnesses processes of analysis, debate, capacity-strengthening, planning, innovation and investment for sustainable development”.

Given the dynamics of development administration various development instruments seek to address diverse development imperatives.  Hence, there are several strategies that seek to fulfill various development needs.

As a first step in identifying a national strategy for sustainable development in Ghana, it is essential to determine the extent to which various development administration processes meet conditions for sustainability and strategic orientation.  This requires determining the parameters that make a planning process achieve sustainable development.

Consensus is only now emerging on the parameters of strategic frameworks for sustainable national development.  The draft OECD/DAC Policy guidance for country-level strategies for sustainable development recognizes the following elements as necessary for a strategy process to achieve sustainable development:

(a)                Goals and Principles: A coherent vision, commitment, policies and strategies to integrate economic, social and environmental objectives

(b)               Mechanisms:  The following set of mechanisms are required to implement the process of strategy development:

·        Intelligence gathering

·        Research and analysis

·        Strategic environmental, economic and social assessment

·        Participation

·        Communication

·        Experimentation and innovation

·        Planning and decision-making

·        Finance

·        Monitoring and accountability

Assessed against the above parameters, there are several areas of weaknesses of the Ghana Vision 2020.  These include the following:

    • There is no overall and integrative model that integrates macroeconomic, sectoral, spatial/physical, and, financial aspects of planning.
    • It does not specify and agree on trade-offs in integrating the various pillars of the framework, such as environment, social and economic issues.
    • There was no scenario analysis to form the basis for strategy formulation and there has been no analysis of external linkages.  Hence, the exercise is less than strategic.
    • The framework does not provide ways of dealing with constant change on the path to achieving the goals of the vision.
    • Long-term policy objective priorities are not necessarily reflected in public resource allocation and incentive structures.

Despite these defects, compared with the CDF, CCA, and the RNRS, the Vision 2020 meets most of the criteria above.  The Vision framework:

·        is most comprehensive development programming exercise;

·        is a more of a strategic mechanism than most of the other;

·        defines the programmatic strategies required to achieve long-term goals;

·        takes the long-term view;

·        has provisions for strategic steps to achieve the vision (First Step, Second Step, etc);

·        has provisions for periodic review;

·        covers all the sectors needed to make a vision sustainable (economic, social, NRM, governance, gender, etc);

·        utilizes a participatory process of preparation.

In effect, the Vision 2020 is akin to an umbrella process that provides a broad vision of long term development goals, the big picture within which complementary strategies (such as GPRS and RNRS) can be identified as tools towards achieving the broad picture of the Vision, and the overall setting for the evolution of the institutional framework within which sector strategies and programmes are developed and integrated.  It provides a guide for the way forward and to the various strategic approaches required to reach overall national development goals.


Key stakeholders and processes in strategy work

The discussion will center on the key actors and processes for formulating and implementing four key strategy programmes to exemplify the process of developing nssd in Ghana.  These are: (a) Ghana Vision 2020, (b) the CDF, (c) the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy, (d) the Renewable Natural Resource Strategy.

4.1       Formulating Vision 2020: methodology, process and participation

Table 1 shows the process followed to prepare the Medium-Term Development Plan (1996-2000).  Steps 1-7 were concerned with the preparation of the NDPF.  As already explained, the NDPF was designed to provide a long-term perspective to the preparation of the plan.  Thus, although it was not the intention of the NDPC to prepare a vision document, the long-term orientation of the NDPF enabled the Government to refer to it as Vision 2020.  Following this decision, the Government directed the NDPC to initiate the process of preparing the medium-term plan that would constitute the first step in the implementation of Vision 2020.

Table 1:   Strategy Formulation Process – Vision 2020 & Medium-Term Development Plan (1996-2000)



1.      Goal Setting

2.       Stakeholder comments on goals

3.      Synthesis of stakeholder responses

4.      Hierarchy of goals and strategies

5.      Draft NDPF

6.      Review of Draft NDPF

7.      Finalization of NDPF

8.      Preparation of First Step (1996-2000)

9.      Approval by Parliament

10.  Preparation of First Medium-Term Plan

11.  Preparation of Programme of Action


NDPC, MDAs, DAs, Etc.


NDPC, MDAs, DAs, Etc.


NDPC, MDAs, DAs, Etc.




NDPC, MDAs, DAs, Etc.


The methodology for preparing Vision 2020 is similar to the approach used in preparing conventional medium term plans.  The NDPC established cross-sectoral planning groups to identify development constraints, and to coordinate ideas and proposals from Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).  These were then harmonized and published.  The main participants in the preparation process were the NDPC and the MDAs.

Table 1 shows that the NDPC initiated the process of setting the development goals for the NDPF.  The Commission proposed a set of goals and objectives and then sought the comments on the goals from MDAs and District Assemblies.  This general pattern whereby the NDPC took the initiative to prepare a draft and then submitted it to comments by other stakeholders was a general feature of the participatory process that was adopted to formulate the NDPF.  It should however be noted that the formulation of the NDPF was mainly dominated by central government agencies, including the NDPC itself and MDAs.

The preparation of the First Medium-Term Development Plan involved wide participation by various stakeholders.  After the Five-Year Policy Framework (The First Step) was approved by Parliament in 1995 the preparation of the Medium-Term Plan commenced with the NDPC distributing Guidelines for the preparation of sector and district medium-term plans.  These guidelines were sent to all sector Ministries, Departments/Agencies and all District Assemblies and Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs).

The Perspective National Medium-Term Plan was completed at the beginning of 1997.  This required the coordination and harmonization of three sets of plans:

·        5-Year district development plans by all 110 District/Municipal/Metropolitan Assemblies;

·        Sector plans by all sector Ministries, Departments and agencies;

·        10 Regionally harmonized plans out of the district plans;

In addition to the planning agencies of the District Assemblies, RCCs, MDAs and NDPC, the synthesis of the plan involved academic and research institutions, TUC, workers and farmers associations, the business community and civil society organizations including NGOs and CBOs.  Many of these institutions and stakeholders were grouped in six Cross Sectoral Planning Groups.  The Plan also benefited from critical comments from distinguished Ghanaians and professionals working in Ghana and overseas, international donor community and from members of the Governing Body of NDPC.

4.2       The Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF) process in Ghana

The original framework for coordinating development assistance by all development partners and for reviewing government’s development agenda was the Consultative Group (CG) meeting mechanism.  This review, programming and monitoring activity grew from the Economic Recovery Programme (ERP) and provided the stage for the government to present its programmes, report achievements and problems, and, seek development assistance from the multi-donor forum.  The forum was held outside Ghana.

As part of the transition from the ERP era, the regular CG process was replaced by a biennal Country Programme Review meetings held in Ghana (at Akuse) that focused only on World Bank-supported programmes.  Other donors who co-financed these Bank-supported projects were excluded from participating in these meetings.

To coordinate donor activities more effectively through frequent and more regular interaction between the government and all its development partners, to share information and resolve development policy and programme design and implementation issues in an integrated manner, the Akuse meetings were replaced during the first quarter of 1999 with the Mini-CG process.  This quarterly meeting of government and all development partners broadened the scope of consultation and shortened the time interval for those meetings from two years to three months.  The government chairs the Mini-CG.

The Mini-CG process laid the basis for the preparation of Ghana’s CDF through the setting up of a network of Sectoral Coordinating Groups (SCGs) to act as fopcal poins for the development of the comprehensive framework.  The SCGs comprised the sector MDA as lead national agency and development partners as focal support.  The concept of focal support replaced that of ‘lead donor’ under the previous donor coordination mechanism.  The list of fourteen SCGs is presented in Annex D.

The SCGs prepared Issues Papers on their respective sectors covering: (a) situation analysis, problems and challenges, (b) development strategy and programmes being utilized to address issues by various stakeholders, (c) key indicators for monitoring progress.  These papers formed the basis for the preparation of Ghana’s CDF by a joint government-donor team, albeit with major input from the World Bank.

The objectives of the CDF are :

§         A more coherent set of inter-related sector polices

§         A rapid move by donors away from the financing of individual projects towards the financial of programmes

§         A reduction in the "bureaucracy of development", and the huge burden on Government of administering different donor systems.

§         A much greater degree of ownership and management of the development programme by Ghana, and a genuine partnership with donors, civil society and the private sector.

§         A pattern of financing that is more comprehensive, covering gaps that exist now and reducing competition between donors in other areas.

The CDF formed the basis for Ghana’s request for assistance and donors’ commitments at the 10th multi-donor CG and the first to be held in Accra in December 1999.  The CDF is considered to be a first draft that will continue to be refined and updated as ‘a living document’.

4.3       The Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS)

            A.        Process

The government has been concerned about the poverty impacts of its economic programmes of the 1980 and made initial attempts to address these concerns through the mechanism of the Programme of Actions to Mitigate the Social Costs of Adjustment (PAMSCAD) initiated in the late 1980s.  To provide an empirical base for assessing impacts on living standards, the Ghana Living standards Survey (GLSS) was initiated in 1987.  By 1995, information from three rounds of the GLSS and from the Ghana Extended Poverty Study[1] helped to more accurately measure the extent, depth and effects of poverty, and provide the impetus for heightened action to address poverty as a central issue of Ghana’s development agenda.

Consequently, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, with the support of the UNDP, produced a National Action Programme for Poverty Reduction in 1995.  In response to the need for a national institutional mechanism to coordinate the development of initiatives to address poverty in an integrated manner, the government formed the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Poverty Reduction (IMCPR) in 1995.  The IMCPR, chaired by the minister of finance, and comprising ministers in charge of health, education, environment, science and technology, employment and social welfare, food and agriculture, local government and rural development as well heads of the NDPA and the National Council on Women and Development, is the highest policy making organ on poverty–related issues in Ghana.

The IMCPR is backed by an inter-agency and multi-sectoral Technical Committee on Poverty (TCOP) that produced the Policy Focus for Poverty Reduction in 1996, with the assistance of a local private consultant.  The consultant’s preliminary report was the basis for a government meeting with donors in December 1995 and a Workshop on Poverty in February 1996 that was attended by a wide range of stakeholders.  Under the ambit of the NDPC’s Poverty Reduction Unit (PRU), a Ghana PRS Task Force (now composed of the TCOP members) is coordinating the process of updating the GPRS through the use of Core Teams to prepare frameworks and programmes covering focus areas of the strategy.  These focus areas are: macroeconomic framework, employment, human resource development, vulnerability, and, governance.

The activities of the IMCPR permeates all planning levels within the decentralized planning system.  The District Planning Coordinating Units (DPCUs) at the district level and the Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PPMED) heads of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) are to ensure that poverty concerns are integrated into their policy and planning processes and serve as contact points for the NDPC/PRU.

The role of the Core Teams is central to the process of preparing the updated GPRS.  The concept is akin to that of the Cross Sectoral Planning Groups (CSPGs) being utilized for the preparation of the Second Medium Term Plan under the Vision 2020.  The GPRS Core Teams are formed with membership from relevant government agencies, the PRU, donor agencies and civil society groups.  The Teams are assisted by a consultant.

The work of the Core Teams in preparing the GPRS is phased into three stages involving diagnosis, strategy formulation, and programming.  Thus, the functions of Core Teams are to: (a) conduct situation analyses of poverty and its development implications and prepare strategic frameworks, (b) define strategic areas of action and develop policies and implementation strategies, and, (c) prepare poverty reduction programmes with accompanying resource, institutional and structural reform implications.

The planned steps in the preparation of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) include:

·      Agreement by IMCR and TCOP on framework for preparing the GPRS

·      Launching of GPRS process

·      Formation of Core Teams

·      Orientation for commencement of work by Core Teams

·      Consultations with civil society representatives on situation analysis, strategy and programmes

·      Technical Harmonization Forum

·      Consensus building forum on First draft GPRS

·      GOG/Donor Consultative workshop on Strategy and programmes for implementing GPRS

·      Finalization of Ghana's Poverty Reduction Strategy

·      Publication and Circulation of updated GPRS

In terms of the timeframe for the preparation, the update of the GPRS was launched in July 2000 and the Task Force established in August 2000.  The revised strategy is scheduled to be completed by March 2001 but would likely slip.

B. Participation

Stakeholder participation is an important part of the GPRS process aimed at assuring ownership through taking into consideration concerns of stakeholders, sharing information and providing feedback, and providing a platform goal setting, prioritization and target determination.  Emphasis is on avoiding the creation of parallel consultation and participation process by using existing avenues and mechanisms.  Consultations are to take place within government and between government and civil society groups, private sector, the vulnerable and poor and development partners.

The key stakeholder in the process include the IMPR, TCOP, NDPC/PRU, donors, Core Team members, consultant, district assemblies, civil society organizations, labour, employers, religious bodies, academic think tanks, and the media.

Participation mechanisms being utilized include:

·        consensus building workshops and meetings

·        public information campaigns

·        information dissemination through various stakeholder groups

·        field visits, interviews and focus-group discussions

·        consultative group meeting on the draft final GPRS document

The GPRS process would ensure monitoring and accountability through emphasis on community participation in monitoring and evaluation using completed Participatory Poverty Assessments as the baseline.

It is expected that at the end of the exercise, the updated GPRS would satisfy the six core principles espoused by the World Bank that underly the preparation and implementation of poverty reduction strategies by being country-driven, results-oriented, comprehensive, prioritized, partnership-oriented and driven by a long-term perspective.

4.4      Formulating the Renewable Natural Resource Strategy: methodology, process and participation

A study of the process adopted to formulate the Renewable Natural Resource Strategy (1996-2000) is instructive in several respects.  Unlike the Vision 2020 that did not specifically set out to design a strategy, the RNR Strategy process was organized to formulate a strategy for the sector.  This means that it could shed more light on some of the strategy processes that were not evident from the Vision 2020 process.  A second reason for interest in the RNR Strategy is that it covers sectors that are central to Agenda 21 and sustainable development.  Finally, a detailed study has been carried out to assess the participatory approaches that were adopted in formulating the RNR Strategy.  Such a study will enable us to deepen our understanding of the participatory processes adopted in formulating development strategies in Ghana.  Indeed the participatory approach followed in the RNR Strategy process is typical of the approaches adopted in the various sectors.

A.        Background

The development and management of the Renewable Natural Resource sector cuts across several sectors of the economy, including agriculture, forestry, livestock, fisheries, water and the environment, together with the concomitant agriculture-related industries.  The Vision 2020 document identifies objectives, targets and strategies for all these sectors, but not in an integrated manner.  For example, agriculture, including fisheries, forestry and livestock appears under the Production chapter; Water sector falls under the Social Development chapter, while the Environment is addressed under a separate chapter.

The Government of Ghana has over the years initiated a number of programmes to manage the RNR sector.  A lot of assistance has been received from a number of donor agencies, Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations in its attempt to develop and manage the sector.  These efforts and assistance have, however, been project and sub-project based without due consideration to the sector-wide needs, and the requisite linkage and coordination arrangements to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.  To address these issues the GoG, with assistance from the United Kingdom Overseas development administration (UKODA), initiated a process aimed at formulating the RNR Sector Strategy (1996-2000).  The aim is to ensure a coordinated and strategic approach to RNR development and management in Ghana.

B.         Methodology

The key methodology for formulating the RNR strategy was the Goal Oriented Project Planning (GOPP) approach.  The application of GOPP ensures a consistent train of thought and procedure and a uniform understanding of terms used.  As a tool originally designed for planning project preparation and implementation phases, it provides a framework for ensuring that project inputs, output, purpose, and development goals are linked logically.

C.       Participatory Process

Table 2 explains the participatory process used to formulate the Renewable Natural Resources Strategy (1996–2000). The matrix shows that the formulation of the RNR Strategy involved six steps and took about a year to complete.

Each step in the process had defined objective(s) and outputs.  For example, the initial workshop was aimed at getting participants to deliberate on issues, which affect the development of the RNR sector, and to build consensus on these issues.  This step involved mainly the participation of senior officials responsible for planning functions in the stakeholder ministries, department and agencies.  On the other hand, the objectives of the Stakeholder Forum reflected the need to reach consensus on all the key issues regarding the strategy and to ensure that all stakeholders were part of this important step.  A number of institutions and stakeholders participated in the Forum including Ministers of State, Heads of MDAs, representatives of Parliament, research institutes, Regional Coordinating Councils/District Assemblies, multilateral and bilateral agencies, NGOs, private sector and political parties.

A review of participants’ expectations of the Sogakope Workshop provides insights into the interests that were represented at the meeting.  Ministries, Departments and Agencies were concerned to ensure that there was consensus on a workable, well-coordinated, sustainable and implementable plan for the RNR sector.  The NDPC representatives were interested in ensuring an enhanced commitment to improved coordination and collaboration in the RNR sector.  The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development’s interests concerned how the Ministry, the RCCs and District Assemblies could support the RNR Strategy implementation in the regions and districts.  The NGOs wanted to identify and collaborate with other stakeholders in RNR areas of activity that were of interest to the NGOs.  Finally, donor agencies were concerned to see a clearly defined policy framework within which they could provide assistance to the RNR sector.  Clearly, these diverse but complementary interests go to support the need for to ensure maximum stakeholder participation in strategy formulation exercises.

D.        Analysis of Participation

The RNR Strategy formulation process has been the focus of an intensive study conducted by Botchie et al.  This study sought, among other things, to analyze a historical overview of the RNR strategy formulation process, the level of participation and effectiveness of the participatory tools used.  The primary data for the study was drawn from a sample frame of primary and secondary stakeholders who participated at each stage of the RNR strategy formulation process.

Table 3 shows a summary of conclusions of the study regarding assessment of stakeholder participation.  Stakeholders were classified as having had no participation, low participation, or high participation on the basis of criteria explained in Table 3.  The study revealed that the RNR Strategy was formulated through a participatory approach.  The study, however, concluded that the participatory process advanced towards the finalization stage.  The study did not quantify the extent of participation of the various institutions and stakeholders.

In Table 4 we have attempted to quantify the levels of participation of the stakeholders in the RNR Strategy process. Using Table 3 as a basis, we assigned numerical values of 0, 1, or 2 to “no participation”, “low participation”, and “high participation”, respectively.  We then proceeded to compute the level of participation of a stakeholder group in the process by dividing its column score by the possible maximum score of 12 if it had high participation at all six stages of the process.  Table 4 shows that central government stakeholders (both primary and secondary) dominated the participatory process.  It is also apparent that the level of participation of secondary stakeholders in central government was higher than that of primary stakeholders such as the Forestry Department, Lands Commission, Wildlife Department, and Timber Export Development Board.  The participation of the private sector institutions, local authorities, and traditional authorities was low.

The results of the Botchie et al study overstate the level of participation in the RNR Strategy formulation process.  This resulted from the fact that the study interviewed stakeholders who were invited to participate in the process.  Thus if a more representative list of stakeholders had been drawn up as a basis for assessing participation, the level of overall participation would have been lower than the 36 percent level recorded for all stakeholders in Table 4.


Table 3

Assessment of participation in the RNRS formulation process

Source: Botchie et al : Participatory Approaches Learning Study of the process of Formulating Renewable Natural resources Sector Strategy in Ghana, March 20, 1998


CG – Central government agencies; LG – Local Government; TA – Traditional Authorities; PS – Private Sector; NG – NGOs; EA – External Agencies

H – Low participation indicates a display of mutual understanding, open consultation, ownership and commitment by a group of stakeholders.

L– Low participation indicates little ownership and commitment to the process despite some representation at meetings.

N – No participation means that a particular stakeholder group did not participate at a specified stage in the process


Table 2:   Strategy Formulation Process: Renewable Natural Resources Strategy (1996 – 2000)





1.    Initiation of Process

2.    Sogakope Workshop

September 1995

·   Hold initial consultations to agree on need to undertake the strategy process

·        Deliberate on issues which affect the sustainable development of RNR sector

·        Consensus building


Chief Directors, Directors of PPMEDs of MOFA, MEST, MLF, MLGRD, Forestry Dept., NDPC (Chair); UK/ODA

·        Identified key constraints on coordination and sustainability for development of RNR

·        Consultative Group formed

3.      Consultative Meeting

4.      Planning Workshop

November 1995

·        Use the Goal Oriented Project Planning (GOPP) approach to prepare a strategic plan for the development of the RNR sector

MDAs, local government officials

Draft strategic framework for the development of the RNR sector

5.      Strategy Formulation

Workshop, Accra,

        March 28, 1996         

·        Formulate a draft RNR Sector Strategy

MDAs, District Assemblies, Research Institutes, NGOs, Donors

Draft Renewable National Resources sector strategy (1996 – 2000)

6.      Strategy Finalization (Stakeholder Forum)

Accra 12 – 13 Sept. 1996

·        Inform stakeholders of the process

·        Reach consensus on Draft Strategy

·        Define institutional responsibilities and arrangements for coordinating implementation of  Strategy

·        Identify mechanisms to integrate strategy into the national planning system

·        Define mechanisms for local level client consultations on Strategy

·        Define mechanisms to implement the Strategy

75 participants including Ministers of State, Chief Directors and Chief Executives of relevant MDAs, Research Institutes RCCs/District Assemblies, Parliament, Donors, Embassies, NGOs, Private Sector, Coordinators of relevant RNR projects, Political Parties

·        Finanlized RNR Strategy

·        Defined process to secure endorsement by Government and implementtation


Integrating institutions and initiatives

5.1       Issues of the current situation of strategy work

The current situation of strategy development and implementation has been discussed in earlier Sections 3 and 4 with respect to when they were initiated, the main focus and aims, status of preparation and implementation, key stakeholders, main preparation process, observations on outcomes and effectiveness, and, linkages to Ghana Vision 2020, if any.

This sections covers other issues of the integrating institutions and initiatives within which the frameworks for sustainable national development were prepared and implemented.  The discussion also supplements that on the institutional context of the frameworks.

5.1.1    Local level formal strategy and planning process: the District Development Plans

As noted earlier, the Vision 2020 policy framework is operationalized by a series of 5-year medium-term plans prepared and implemented by the District Assemblies.

The 1992 Republican Constitution specified a decentralized local government system that ensures that functions, powers, resources and responsibilities are transferred from the central government to local government. To effect the 1992 constitutional provisions, the Local Government Act of 1993 (Act 462), which replaced PNDC Law 207, established the district assemblies as district planning authorities within the framework of the new decentralized planning system which was legislated under the National Development Planning Commission Act 1994 (Act 480) and the National Development Planning (Systems) Act.

5.1.2    Linkage with global conventions

The development of Vision 2020 framework for long-term development was not linked explicitly to global conventions such as on biodiversity, climate change, desertification, and the Law of the Sea, but these issues (except that relating to the sea) were considered by the CSPGs in integrating environmental concerns into the framework and medium-term plans.

5.1.3    Inter-relationships between current processes

Opportunities exist for complementarities among the various strategic approaches and for integration between them.  This is because, due to its long-term vision, comprehensiveness, and integrated approach, the Vision 2020 frameworks provides an over-arching strategic framework for development administration programming in Ghana.  The Ghana Vision 2020 provides the guiding framework for several of the current strategic processes while at the same time incorporating many of the processes directly within its framework.

The development of some planning initiatives started before the finalization of the Vision 2020 framework.  However, these were either a system of managing development administration (such as decentralization) or sectoral strategies (such as the RNRS or the medium-term agricultural development strategy and programme).  Indeed, the decentralization programme started before the preparation of the pre-cursor to the Vision (the NDPF) was initiated.  However, in the spirit of building on existing work, Vision 2020 took on board strategy work in existence at the time of its preparation, such as the poverty strategy and SAPRI.

Regarding the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS), its objectives informed the goals and approach adopted for poverty alleviation in the Vision 2020 while the revision of the GPRS is being undertaken within the framework of the preparation of the second medium term plan of the Vision 2020.

As a planning approach, Ghana - Vision 2020 adopts the participatory approach to and promotes ownership of development policies and programmes through national consensus building on strategic development issues that cover the whole spectrum of Ghana's development needs.  This strategic approach to identifying and proposing ways of addressing development issues through consensus mechanisms also underlie the preparation of the CDF.

The core development ingredient of the World Bank's Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF) and the United Nations' Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and Japan's Integrated Human Development Programme (IHDP) for Ghana  have been adequately captured under Ghana - Vision 2020. These three initiatives fit into the strategies and methodology adopted under the policy issues contained in Ghana - Vision 2020 document.  For example, the network of Sectoral Coordinating Groups under the CDF cover essentially the thematic areas under the Second Step Policy Framework of the Ghana-Vision 2020.


5.1.4    Cross-sectoral linkages between government institutions

Regarding the extent and efficacy of cross-sectoral linkages between government departments and institutions, all key strategic frameworks envisaged strong linkages.  For example, the Vision 2020, CDF and CCA all utilize cross-sectoral planning or coordinating groups and identify lead and supporting implementing MDA for each thematic areas covered in their frameworks.  Correspondingly, there are several instances of cross-sectoral linkages among MDAs at the level of project design and implementation.  For example, under the Village Infrastructure Project (VIP), the lead agency of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture collaborates with the Ministries of Roads and Transport, and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.  As another example, all developments in mining are controlled by the Ministries of Mines and Energy, land and Forestry, and the EPA.  Also, there are many inter-ministerial coordinating mechanisms, such as for the GPRS.  Overall, however, intersectoral coordination in development programme implementation is generally weak.

5.2       Roles and responsibilities

Section 4 discussed in some detail the involvement of various institutions in strategy development.  In this section, we focus on the Vision 2020 and the Medium-Term implementation plans.

A very wide variety of governmental, non-governmental, private sector and civil society groups have been involved in developing the First and Second Step Policy Frameworks.  These include the NDPC, MDAS, Ghana Real Estate Developers Association, private think tanks, private press houses, the Private Enterprise Foundation, National Council on Women and Development, Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fishermen, the universities, organized labour groups, and traditional authorities.  [ADD COMPLETE LIST FROM NDPC]

The scope of participating institutions has been very broad in an attempt to facilitate an all-inclusive involvement of key stakeholder groups.  Nonetheless, a few notable groups or institutions relevant to sustainable development could have been included at the formulation stage of the medium-term policy framework.  These include: constitutional bodies such as the National Council for Civic Education and CHRAJ, queenmothers (as distinct from chiefs who tend to dominate participation by traditional leaders), religious leaders, micro-finance operators, representatives of the association of private schools and hospitals, and the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools.  [CHECK WITH NDPC LIST; JUSTIFY THEIR INCLUSION]

The nature of preparation approach adopted by NDPC as such that no specific roles or responsibilities were assigned to participating institutions to produce background papers on the basis of institutional affiliation.  Instead, all institutions contributed to the common agenda and programmes of the CSPGs in which they participated.  Thus, it is difficult to assess the effectiveness of different institutions in relation to their roles regarding the development of the Vision 2020 framework.

The structure and institutional representation on CSPG were determined by the NDPC based on factors such as: the need for adequate representation of all major stakeholder groups, inclusion of key knowledgeable individuals, the need for a manageable size of the CSPGs, and, the availability of financial resources to support the activities of the groups and the entire process.  A consultant serviced each CSPG.  The Terms of Reference (TORs) developed to guide the work of the CSPGs and the consultants were adequate.  However, the TORs did not include grassroots consultations due to time and financial constraints.

5.3       Enabling institutional conditions for strategy work

There is no unique steering mechanism for overseeing the preparation of the various strategic frameworks as adopted its own mechanism.  The NDPC has oversight responsibilities for the preparation, coordination, implementation and monitoring of the medium-term plans and strategic plans prepared by the District Assemblies and the MDAs.  The preparatory mechanism utilized by the NDPC involves the CSPGs that prepare draft policy frameworks reporting to the Commission which reviews and finalizes the medium term development policy framework and issues planning guidelines to inform the actual preparation of development plans and strategies.  Thus, the CSPG mechanism involves both preparation and oversight responsibilities.

A similar structured approach has been adopted for steering the preparation of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS).  As shown in Section 3, the coordination and oversight responsibilities for the preparation of the GPRS is ultimately entrusted to the inter-ministerial coordinating group via the NDPC (Poverty Reduction Unit).  Regarding the CDF, a smaller group comprising representatives of the government and the World Bank coordinated the sectoral groups while UNICEF and the UN Resident Coordinator performed the steering role for the CCA.

To a large extent, the District Assemblies follow the planning process entailed in the Vision 2020 medium term planning process more than the MDAs.  Although this is their second experience with the planning process, the DAs appear to have assimilated the routine of 5-year medium term planning.  The DAs understand their roles and responsibilities under the new planning system, particularly that they are responsible for preparing and implementing their own plans.

On its part, the NDPC fully understands its roles and responsibilities regarding the preparation, coordination, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development planning in Ghana.  It has been very alive to its responsibilities to the best of its abilities, despite the many constraints it faces.  These include: inadequate financial and human resources, low visibility in the public eye, low support of the executive to support NDPC enforce compliance with responsibilities of partner institutions necessary for effective discharge of its responsibilities, and, the generally slow progress towards integrating the planning function in the practice of development administration in Ghana. [ADD/MODIFY]

Despite efforts at enhancing the participatory nature of strategy development, the top-down mentality persist in development programming.  For example, the District Assemblies (DAs) have not been involved in the formulation of policy frameworks for the First and Second Step periods of the Vision 2020.  The DAs were not represented in the Cross-Sectoral Planning Groups that prepared the Frameworks, as their role was limited to receiving and complying with Planning Guidelines from the NDPC after the preparation of the Frameworks.  Similarly, the DAs were not involved in preparing the CDF and the CCA.

The participation in the planning process and the effectiveness of that involvement by the District Assemblies have been hampered by several constraints.  These include:

  • low financial resource base of the assemblies,

  • inadequate skills, manpower and methodology to fully operationalize bottom-up planning

  • lack of clarity regarding the nature and management of the intended shifts in power, functions and resources among various levels and agencies of government under decentralization

  • uncertainty among staff of decentralized agencies regarding their institutional allegiance

  • uncoordinated donor support activities at the local level

Overall, the implementation process of the First Step was unable to achieve programmed goals due to several factors, including:

(a)    low awareness of the Vision among the populace

(b)   inability of the NDPC to effectively coordinate sector planning by the MDAs due to a low resource base and the tendency of MDAs to view their programmes in isolation

(c)    inadequate budgetary resources for development work

(d)   poor linkages between the goals and targets of many MDAs to the First Step targets

(e)    inability of the District Assemblies to achieve their goals and targets

One noteworthy feature of development programme implementation in Ghana is the high dependence on donor funding for financing the cost of implementing the strategies.  For example, during the period 1996-1999, 61 percent of total government capital expenditure was foreign financed.

5.4       Country development framework coordination

A key aspect of assessing the institutional context for the development of national strategies for sustainable development is the effectiveness of coordination.  Regarding the Vision 2020, coordination between the NDPC and MDAs in the preparation of medium-term policy framework has been fairly effective since most MDAs participated in the development of the frameworks.  However, coordination between the NDPC and the MDAs regarding the preparation of sector strategic plans by the latter has been less than effective as the MDAs often prepared their plans with little input from NDPC or notification to NDPC of their intentions and arrangements.

Regarding the development of district plans under the Second Step of the Vision 220, resource constraints slowed the timeliness of completion of the policy framework in time for the DAs to initiate the preparation of the second 5-year plans.  Consequently, to enable the DAs meet their cyclical timeframe and to ensure coordination of the preparation of those plans, the NDPC completed the planning guidelines for the 2001-2005 medium-term plans before finalizing the second step policy framework.

Coordination between strategic initiatives, particularly between Vision 2020 and the CDF and CCA has been at the level of ensuring consistency among the objectives of the various initiatives.  However, since the CDF and CCA are of shorter-term duration than the Vision, it is not clear how the milestones in the two donor-driven initiatives relate empirically to the Vision 2020 targets.

A clear case of less than adequate coordination exists between the institutions responsible for strategic initiatives and the Ministry of Finance and the Ghana Investments Promotion Centre.  Two points are worth noting regarding strategic planning and public sector financing.  First, although the thematic issues of the Vision 2020 policy framework include the programming of public finances to support the achievement of programmed goals and targets, there is a dichotomy among the two as public finance programming develops a life of its own that is often unrelated to programmed requirements.  Second, Ghana adopted a medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) in 1999 involving the specification of mission statements and objectives, strategic plans and the prioritization and costing of MDAs policies and programme outputs.  However, this system is yet to be synchronized with Vision 2020.

Another aspect of the content for strategic initiatives is the relationship between strategic initiatives and international and cross-border issues and commitments.  The Second Step Policy framework of the Vision 2020 explicitly deals with regional issues by including regional cooperation and integration as one of the thematic areas aimed at: (a) implementing ECOWAS priority programmes designed to accelerate regional integration, (b) establishing a Ghana-Nigeria fast-track mechanism to push the regional integration agenda forward, (c) improving national capacity to manage ECOWAS programmes more effectively.

5.5       Monitoring

One of the most important yet difficult mechanisms in the strategy process has been monitoring the Vision 2020 and its implementation through the medium-term plans.  The NDPC has developed monitoring formats that they would use to collect feedback information from MDAs and the DAs.  However, the NDPC has been unable to implement this system, as it expected the MDAs and DAs to regularly submit monitoring information.  Furthermore, most of the indicators developed to monitor the First Step framework were implementation steps or output variables keyed to the Action Plans and could not be used to track progress on achieving the main Vision 2020 goals and targets.

Shared vision and commitment to strategy processes

1.      The key stakeholders that need to have a common and shared vision regarding the national strategy process are:

Ĝ      the government, comprising the executive, legislature, judiciary, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and local authorities)

Ĝ      political parties

Ĝ      private sector

Ĝ      workers associations

Ĝ      civil society, including traditional authorities, civil groups and the general citizenry

2.      An aspect of participation that deserves special mention was the failure to involve political parties in the decision to formulate the NDPF (Vision 2020).  Having regard to the time frame covered by Vision 2020, the political parties should have been involve in decisions on the methodology, processes and participation of stakeholders involved. Although political parties were not in existence in Ghana at the time the NDPF was being formulated, efforts should have been made at the earliest opportunity to seek their views on these preliminary issues.

3.      The Ghana-Vision 2020 is regarded within certain political circles as the response of a particular government to the constitutional imperative to produce a coordinated social and economic policy framework for development.  Consequently, other political parties have not demonstrated an affinity for the Ghana-Vision 2020 as a national vision.  Nonetheless, political parties participated in various stakeholder for a on the economic policy framework for the First Step of the Ghana-Vision 2020, culminating in their involvement in the National Economic Forum during which consensus was reached on several areas of national economic policy.

4.      In general, due to the relatively limited visioning process and inadequate broad-based stakeholder participation underlying the development of the National Development Policy Framework (NDPF) that subsequently became the Ghana-Vision 2020, the nature of political commitment to the Vision is more partisan than broad-based, as political party ownership of the Vision does not appear to be broad-based.   Consequently, the future of the Vision and the Second Step Policy Framework, as currently fashioned, is in doubt as the new government has not yet made a policy determination on how it would treat the Vision and the Policy Framework. We are unsure of its likely attitude and posture regarding the Vision since it has not yet made any official statement on the Vision and it has not yet announced the outlines of its economic policy framework.

5.      Regarding the nation at large, it appears that the majority of the citizenry are aware that there is something called Vision 2020 that provides a long-term goal of achieving a middle-income status by the year 2020.  However, they do not know the contents of the Vision nor what it entails to achieve it.

6.      MDAs and local authorities attempt to derive the raison d’etre and policies of their development planning efforts from the Ghana-Vision 2020 First Step.  This shows some degree of commitment of the administrative arm of government to the Vision.

7.      However, the NDPF is not very much in the public domain.  Hence, most people refer to the First Step as Vision 2020.

8.      The private sector exhibits a yearning for long-term growth and the need to fashion a common national front to achieve broad-based sustainable growth.  This is evidence from their participation in various institutional arrangements on consensual policy formulation.   These originated from the days of the Private Sector Consultative Group, through the formation of the Private Enterprise Foundation, involvement of the private sector in government investment promotion trips overseas to the participation of the private sector in more than eight workshops, conferences and forums since 1994.

9.      Five of the latter are noteworthy as they focused on building consensus on important economic issues facing the country, especially addressing inflation and re-gaining macroeconomic stability through government and private sector (and other stakeholder) dialogues.  These were:

Ĝ      Inflation Management Workshop in May 1996 at Akosombo (with participants including political parties, labour and opinion leaders)

Ĝ      National Forum on the State of the Economy, organized by the Tripartite Committee (Government, Ghana Employers Association (GEA) and the Trade Union Congress) at the end of May 1996 at Akosombo

Ĝ      Forum for Policy Dialogue: Towards a Re-Energized Partnership for Rapid Economic Growth, organized by the PEF in March 1977 at Akosombo

Ĝ      Conference on Ghana Reaching the Next Level through Global Competitiveness: A Public-Private Partnership, promoted by the PEF in June 1977 at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.

Ĝ      The National Economic Forum at the Accra International Conference Centre in September 1997.

10.  Private sector participation in these forums reflects a desire for a compact or social agreement among development partners on how to move the economy forward.  Despite these numerous efforts at deriving consensual policy on the growth of the economy, the private sector feels that agreed outcomes at these forums are not being effectively implemented as the environment for private sector growth remains weak.


Key lessons learned

Lessons learned from Ghana’s experience with strategies for sustainable national development:

1.      The pace of Ghana’s development has not matched the depth of its experience with development programming due to several reasons:

(a)    the concept of implementing development programmes within the framework of a long-term vision is relatively new as the previous development planing efforts were basically medium term planning,

(b)   very few of the previous development plans were fully implemented over their planned timeframes,

(c)    there was relatively little commitment by most previous governments to the development plans they themselves formulated;

(d)   stakeholder participation in the design of the development plans was either non-existent or very low and ineffective.

2.      There is the need to state up-front the expected output in the design of a national strategy. The developers of Ghana-Vision 2020 set out to prepare a medium-term plan but realized they needed a long-term framework, hence they prepared the NDPF.  They did not set out to produce a long-term vision. 

3.      For a nation to develop an effective and sustainable strategy for development, it needs to apply the appropriate methodology for it’s visioning process.  For example, the use of GOPP methodology does not directly address the issue of scenarios (forecasting) of the future.

4.      A NSSD needs to contain fall-backs as part of the strategy content to address vulnerabilities to assure resilient and sustainable national livelihood.  It is not enough to provide for reviews or implementation steps, as in the Ghana-Vision 2020 as the major corrective or re-aligning feature.  The Ghana-Vision 2020 does not provide alternatives or fall-backs based on scenario analysis.

5.      To achieve effective participation and quality of work, terms such as ‘strategy’ need to clearly defined.

6.      For enhanced shared vision, the ownership factor has to be raised through appropriate participatory processes. Regarding the nation at large, it appears that the majority of the citizenry are aware that there is something called Vision 2020 that provides a long-term goal of achieving a middle-income status by the year 2020.  However, they do not know the contents of the Vision nor what it takes to achieve it.  Furthermore, since the NDPF is not very much in the public domain, most people refer to the First Step as Vision 2020.

7.      A key finding was that the process of participation in the design of strategy work has been dominated by the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).  In the main, these institutions decided on the need to undertake the strategy formulation exercises, proposed the development objectives to be achieved, decided on which stakeholders to invite, and selected the methodology and processes to be used.  However, since national development objectives should be determined through a political process of consulting as many stakeholders as possible, more direct participation by other stakeholders would have enhanced the ownership and commitment to the Vision.

8.      For effective commitment and participation, stakeholders need time to prepare for their participation in forums and workshops held to elicit their support.

9.      For participation to be effective, outcomes need to be actualized to enhance commitment.  For example, the private sector feels that results from consultative sessions on the economy have not been completely or effectively implemented resulting a less-than optimal environment for private sector development.

10.  The use of ‘brainstorming’ as the key approach to participation has limitations in ensuring total participation.  The nominal group technique is more effective in eliciting response from all participants in a group session.

11.  Full participation by all social or pressure groups is enhanced by advance information, education and communication campaigns on the process, objectives, methodology and expected outcomes to all potential participants.  In the absence of this, ministries and departments and those they select to attend, dominate participation in stakeholder functions related to strategy work.  This is an issue of equitable and timely access to advance information by all potential participants.

12.  Although political parties were not in existence in Ghana at the time the NDPF was being formulated, efforts should have been made at the earliest opportunity to seek their views on the methodology, processes and participation of stakeholders involved to facilitate broad-based political commitment to the Vision.  Nonetheless, political parties participated in various stakeholder forums on the economic policy framework for the First Step of the Ghana-Vision 2020, culminating in their involvement in the National Economic Forum during which consensus was reached on several areas of national economic policy.

13.  In terms of donor versus government-led processes, donor-led processes are not necessarily less participatory than home-grown processes.  In addition, there is variation in the participatory nature of different donor-led processes.  For example, the Sustainable Natural Resource Management Strategy (supported by DFID) was more participatory than the Comprehensive Development Framework (World Bank promoted) whose participation was limited only to ministries and departments.



M-PLAZA HOTEL, ACCRA.  18th September 2000

1. Abner Bab Klu MTEF Secretariat Ministry of Finance P. O. Box M. 40 Accra Tel: 661424
2. Samuel Daisie MTEF Secretariat Ministry of Finance P. O. Box M. 40 Accra Tel: 661424
3. Mrs Marian A. Tackie NCWD Box m 53 Accra Tel 229119
4. Cornelius Adabla PURMARP Secretariat Ministry of Finance P. O. Box M. 40 Accra Tel: 669289/674387
5. Air Commodore Benjamin Cole NDPC Flagstaff House Accra Tel:773011
6. Laurencia Tettey C/O NPRPP. O. Box CT633 Cantoments - Accra Tel: 764907/08 Fax 764906
7. George Kwame Ofosu NDPC Flagstaff House P. O. Box CT633 Cantoments-Accra
8. Adjei-Fosu Kwaku NDPC Flagstaff House P. O. Box CT633 Cantoments-Accra
9. Charles Dzradosi NDPC Flagstaff House P. O. Box CT633 Cantoments-Accra
10. Stephen Nkansa Buabeng B.I.R.D Knust-Kumasi Tel 051-60406 BIRD@African.on.line.com
11. M. Bawa Amadu Department of Planning Knust-Kumasi Tel/Fax 051-60324 BIRD@African.on.line.com
12. Cyril K. O. Nsiah Office of Parliament Parliament House - Accra Tel 672781 Cell 020-2110041 Fax: 665957
13. M. A. Qusit-Therson Ministry of Finance P. O. Box M. 40 Accra
14. Mawutor Ablo National Institutional Renewal Programme (NIRP) P. O. Box 1618Psc. Building, Accra
15. Helen Wedgwood DFID/Ghana Rural Livelihoods Office P. O. Box 296, Accra Helnewedgwood@dfid.rlo.com.gh Tel: 223581
16. Nii Ashie Kotey Faculty of Law, Univ of Ghana Legon Tel: 500304, 027-579274 Euakotey@yahoo.com
17. Stephen Bass IIED3 ENGSLITON ST LONDON WCIH ODD Steve.bass@iied.org
18. Ferdin And D. Tay NDPC Flagstaff House P. O. Box CT633 Cantoments-Accra Tel:773011 Fax:773055
20. Barry Dalal-Clayton IIED3 Engsliton St London Wcihodd England UK.Tel +44-207-388-2117Fax:                      2826 Email: Barry.dalal-clayton@iied.org
21. Seth Vordzorgbe DevCourt Limited P. O. Box CT 1418 Cantoments-Accra Email:svor@africaonline.com.gh
22. Ben Caiquo P. O. Box GP 4376, Accra Tel: (233-22) 410032 Fax: (233-22) 410031 Mobile (233-27) 556379 Email:dma@africaonline.com.gh
23. Jonathan B. Alabi Senior Planning AnalystNational Development Plann. Comm. P. O. Box CT 633 Cantonments-Accra Tel: 773011 Ext. 103
24. Philomena Johnson NDPCSenior Planning AnalystNational Development Plann. Comm. P. O. Box CT 633Cantonments-Accra Tel: 773011 Ext. 103





The 7-Year Development Plan

I.          Name of strategy process: Seven-Year Plan for National Reconstruction and Development

II.         Year initiated: Approved by Parliament on 16 March 1964

III.       Brief description: The Plan was the first integrated and comprehensive economic plan in Ghana’s development administration history.  It was to implement a socialist  policy of economic development based on a programme of ‘work and happiness’ under which the state, as the leading sector of the economy, would promote, directly and indirectly, the creation of full employment and the economic well-being of all Ghanaians.  It contained: (a) a statement of the strategy for Ghana’s economic reconstruction and development, (b) the tasks of the plan, (c) the role of the non-government sector, (d) sectoral programmes for agriculture, industry and mining, infrastructure, education, manpower and employment, health, housing, (e) the Volta River Project, (f) public administration, (g) foreign trade and payments, (h) financing the plan, and, (i) plan implementation and management.

IV.       Key Objectives: (a) to accelerate economic growth, (b) to start the socialist transformation of the economy, (c) remove all vestiges of colonial structure of the economy.

V.        Status of preparation and implementation:  Implementation was cut short by the coup d’etat in February 1966.

VI.       Key stakeholders: The CPP party and government, the state sector of the economy, cooperatives, civil service, the intelligentsia, private business sector.

VIII.         Main preparation process:

·        The Conventions Peoples Party (CPP) prepared a Programme of Work and Happiness in 1961 that provided the overall framework and principles for the socialist approach to the development of the country.

·        The Planning Commission was established in October 1961 to provide a comprehensive development plan, instead of the public investment programmes that hitherto guided development efforts.

·        The Programme of Work and Happiness was adopted at the Congress of the CPP in July 1962

·        The Planning Commission created various Committees from its membership, which had representatives of civil service, academia and business, to develop proposals on themes for the Plan.

·        The commission collated and integrated the input from the Committees into a draft Plan.

·        The Draft Plan was discussed and reviewed at a conference in April 1963 attended by top development experts from all over the world, including Albert O. Hirchman, Nicholas Kaldor, Arthur Lewis, Dudley Seers, K. N. Raj and Walter Birmingham.

·        The Commission finalized the Plan in the latter part of 1963.

·        The Plan was approved by Parliament on 16 March 1964.

VIII.     Linkages to Ghana-Vision 2020:  There are no direct linkages between the two processes, given the time difference between them.  The only indirect link are that: (a)  the 7-Year Plan provided an integrated approach to planning upon which future planning processes were built; (b) the 7-Year plan incorporated long-term perspectives for the first time in the planning culture of Ghana.

IX. Key document: Seven –Year Plan for National Reconstruction and Development  Financial Years 1963/62 – 1969/70. Office of the Planning Commission, Accra.

X.  Observations on outcomes and effectiveness:    The Plan continued and expanded investments initiated under the First Development Plan and laid the basis for the country’s physical and social infrastructure, promoted state-owned enterprises in the economic sectors,

            Economic Recovery Program

II.         Year initiated: 1983

X.                 Brief description: A two-phased programme involving stabilization and rehabilitation under phase I (1983-1986) and liberalization and growth under phase II (1987-1989)  Major areas of policy reform covered: pricing, trade and industrial policy, investment, taxation and subsidy, and, human resource development institutional development.  A Program of Actions to Mitigate the Social Cost of Adjustment (PAMSACD) was initiated to address poverty issues arising from reform process.

IV.       Key Objectives: (a) arrest the decline in production, (b) restore internal and external macroeconomic balances, (c) rehabilitate productive and social infrastructure, (d) achieve sustained economic growth, (e) improve domestic saving and investment, (f) improve the management of the economy, (g) re-orient the economy towards market determination of prices, (h) improve the social and overall well being of Ghanaians, particularly the under-privileged, deprived and vulnerable.

V.        Status of preparation and implementation: Implementation of the ERP, including programmed structural reforms, has been completed.

VI.       Key stakeholders: The programme was prepared solely by government teams and collaborating officials of the World Bank and the IMF.  There was very little or no involvement of civil society groups in the preparation of the programme.

VII.      Main preparation process:  Preparation of the policy framework, including letter of development policy, by government officials, review by officials of the donor agencies, negotiations and agreement on terms and conditionality by government and donor teams.

VIII.     Linkages to Ghana-Vision 2020: The ERP provided the impetus for a long-term growth approach to development that laid the basis for the development of the National Development Planning Framework that was the pre-cursor to the Ghana Vision 2020. 

IX.              Key documents:

  • Republic of Ghana, Economic Recovery Program 1984-1986, Volume I, Report prepared by the Government of Ghana for the Meeting of the Consultative Group for Ghana, Paris  November 1983, Government of the Republic of Ghana, Accra, October 1983.

  • Republic of Ghana, Economic Recovery Program 1984-1986, Volume II, Report prepared by the Government of Ghana for the Meeting of the Consultative Group for Ghana, Paris – November 1983, Government of the Republic of Ghana, Accra, October 1983.

  • Republic of Ghana, National Programme for Economic Development (Revised), 1st July 1987.

  • Republic of Ghana, Towards a New Dynamism, Report Prepared by the Government of Ghana for the Fifth Meeting of the Consultative Group for Ghana.  Paris, 28 February – 1st March 1989.

  • Republic of Ghana, Economic Recovery Programme 1984 – 1986, Review of Progress in 1984 and Goals for 1985, 1986.  Report Prepared by the Government of Ghana for the Second Meeting of the Consultative Group for Ghana, Paris, December 1984.  Government of Ghana, Accra.  November 1984.

  • Republic of Ghana, A Programme of Structural Adjustment, Report Prepared by the Government of Ghana for the Fourth Meeting of the Consultative Group for Ghana. Paris.  May 1987.

  • Republic of Ghana, Progress of the Economic Recovery Programme 1984-86 and Policy Framework, 1986-88.  Report Prepared by 6the Government of Ghana for the Third Meeting of the Consultative Group for Ghana, Paris, November 1985.  Accra.  Ghana, October 1984.

X.  Observations on outcomes and effectiveness:  The ERP was largely effective in restoring macroeconomic balances through 1989-90; but there were major slippages from 1992.  Furthermore, the major structure of the economy remained unchanged in terms of dependency on a few primary exports, low technology agriculture, low contribution of industry and high dependency on aid.  Attempts to address social and poverty concerns under PAMSCAD were limited in scope and impact.  The participatory nature of economic policy formulation was enhanced towards the end of the programme through increased consultation with the private sector and through the SAPRI that informed the holding of the National Economic Forum in 1997.

However, the ERP was not a strategic planning process in the real sense as it was more of a policy response to solving structural economic problems.  It did not have a long-term development vision towards which the programmatic actions of macroeconomic stability, sectoral productivity and social development were geared.  Indeed the emphasis was on laying the foundations for long-term growth, the parameters of which were yet to be articulated.

Annex D


  Sector Lead National Agency Focal Support
i. Mini-Consultative Groups   Ministry of Finance  World Bank (WB)

Poverty Reduction (including TCOP, Nutrition, Street Children, Poverty Monitoring

iii. Governance (including Justice) NIRP/Office of the Speaker of Parliament UNDP
iv.  Health Ministry of Health Danida/DFID/USAID
v.  Roads Min. of Road & Transport EU/WB
vi. Education Min. of Education UNICEF
vii. AGSSIP/Food Security Min. of Food & Agric.  FAO
viii. PURMARP Min. of Finance   DFID
ix Decentralization Min. of Local Gov't & Rural Development CIDA/Germany
x. Energy Min. of Mines & Energy  WB
xi. Private Sector & Industrial Development PEF/Min. of Trade and Industry USAID
xii.  Urban Development  Min. of Local Gov't & Rural Development WB/AFD/Germany
xiii. Water Min. of Works &  Housing CIDA/DANIDA/DFID
xiv Natural Resources / Environment 

Min. of Lands & Forestry / Min. of Envi. Sc. & Tech

xv. Financial Sector  Bank of Ghana/MOF IMF/USAID


[1] World Bank, Ghana – Poverty Past, Present and Future.  Report No. 14504-GH.  Population and Human Resources Division, West Africa Department, Africa Region.  June 29, 1995.



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