|Type of paper:||Dissertation conclusion|
|Categories:||Development Sustainable development|
RQ4: What plans has the Ghanaian government implemented for sustainable development (social, economic and environmental)?
For the purpose of this study, twenty participants, who consented, partook in the research. The researcher recruited the participants through snowball sampling. The participants lived either inside or outside Ghana. I used face-to-face interviews as well as electronic means such as emails and telephones, to interview participants depending on their availability. Interviews for the study occurred between December 10, 2017 and January 5, 2018, following approval of my application by IRB of the Walden University.
The twenty participants I interviewed for the study included three academicians (university professors), four non-profit organizations executives, three university students, three journalists, two religious clerics, two state actors, one mining engineer, one petroleum engineer and one environmentalist. Seventeen (17) of the participants identified themselves as Ghanaians, of which fourteen (14) reside in Ghana and three live in Nigeria; the balance three identify themselves as non-Ghanaian Africans residing in Ghana.
After receiving IRB approval of the study protocols, the researcher use the data collection stage to horn the following vital measures: (i) engagement of study participants, (ii) application of interview questions and study materials, (iii) data collection, analysis and coding, and (iv) interpretation and reportage of data. Also, the researcher met and discussed with two key regional public policy leaders on the relevance of my study and the benefits it provides for not only Ghana, but the entire ECOWAS sub-region.
Drawing on 'purposive sampling' with the application of the 'snowballing technique', I reached out to each identified research participant; this was done one on one basis and at different intervals by phone calls, e-mail, or face-to-face to assure confidentiality (Patton, 2002). The targeted participants included Ghanaians residing in Ghana, as well as, in Nigeria and non-Ghanaians Africans with residence in Ghana. I subsequently travelled from Nigeria, where I reside, to Ghana where bulk of the research participants live and had face-to-face interaction with them. The researcher secure the data collected from the participants on his computer to assure accuracy of the analysis.
This section includes the data collected from the transcripts of the interviewees who participated in the study. Participants were given a pseudonym, for instance, R1 to R20 to ensure that they were protected from any reprisal. I used thematic analysis with the aid of NVivo qualitative software, as the method of analysis. The data analysis process generated three thematic labels critical to the central question regarding how good governance and stability impacts sustainable development including (a) active governance, (b) effective governance and (c) fair governance.
Thematic Label 1: Active Governance
The first thematic label includes an emphasis on the importance of an active government.
Active governance usually anticipates and responds to citizens' needs, as well as the evolving development challenges. Mainly, this is often with deliberate, targeted, and pro-active planning and delivery which is essential in getting the business of development done. The themes of politics and democracy fall under this thematic label. It should be noted that the theme of active governance requires institutions that are capable of delivering reliable and quality services whenever needed. Additionally, it also requires public administration which can collect revenues honestly, allocate and invest public funds wisely, manage the public goods including land and natural resources, for the benefit of all. It included national development initiatives in Ghana which have created major impacts and pushed for sustainable development.
The themes of politics and democracy fall under this thematic label. Active governance is sustained when there are institutions in place that assure delivering consistent and value services as may be required. It also entails public management regime that is honest; such that revenue collection and utilization, as well as, natural resources are efficiently and effectively applied for the greater public good. It included Ghana's national development initiatives which have impacted and advanced the sustainable development agenda. As R1 observed:
Ghana has made some progress in poverty reduction through the implementation of the Ghana's Poverty Reduction Strategy Policy over the last decade regarding reducing the number of poor people. At such, the poverty levels in Ghana have continued to decline, even though still higher compared to the international standards; it is a step in the right direction.
Based on account of the above statement, I inferred that the government played a significant role towards sustainable development by recognizing that earnings growth is a pre-requisite for sustain reduction of poverty level in a given society. In other words, poverty exacerbates sustainable development challenges; such as, pitiable and inadequate housing facility, poor nutrition, lack/weak health and other critically essential services, as well as, reduced education levels. R5's observation is also grounded on the issue of active governance by putting in place checks and balances to ground the people:
The constitution provisions grounded the stability experienced in Ghana. The Constitution in 1992 provided the establishment of the National Development Plan Commission with fourteen members and was given the power to advise the president on the national development agenda. Among the Commission's functions included advising the President on providing development planning, policy, and strategy by providing a national development policy framework and ensuring that strategies such as consequential policies and programs are carried out effectively to enhance the living standards and well beings of all Ghanaians on grounds of sustainability.
When the government has such provisions enshrined in the constitution, the citizens feel catered for and trust the nation more. At such, there are reduced instances of unrest or skirmishes and the energy is directed towards sustainable development initiatives. R10 acknowledges that:
It is worth noting that the separation of the three branches of government including the legislature, the judiciary, and the executive had resulted in most individual trusting the government and the leader's good will is an indication that impunity is intolerable.
R6 recognizes the contribution of active governance in fighting corruption while at the same time instituting measures that assure political stability:
Ghana's good governance and improved aspects of accountability have immensely contributed to the stability experienced in the country. When Rawlings came into power, he was very focused on stopping the spread of corruption which was evidently a cancer. He called upon everyone to join in on this movement as Ghana underwent the transition.
With an effective leader who understands the importance of the citizens and the role they play towards sustainable development, Ghana's governance appeared to be trusted by people.
Ghana is referenced as a center of excellence with regards to the practice of democracy in Africa; at such, public participation is highly valued. The citizens are involved in making decisions regarding the policies, regulations and other factors that matter to them. R18 observes that "Ghana established robust communities and legitimate institutions in the fragile democratic republic." He agrees that democracy is the first step toward good governance, stability and ultimately positively impacts on sustainable development. R1 reiterates on just how important democracy is by stating:
The political scene in Ghana is one of its most notable features. When describing Ghana, one can never miss the fact that compared to its neighbors, it has experienced free and fair elections; more than twenty years of stability, relatively lower levels of corruptions and the social/political instability is on the low.
One of the main setbacks of sustainable development in Africa is ethnic and political conflicts as well as militarism in the political body. Gains achieved over time can easily be eroded by military coups resulting to looting and experimentation as well as corruption and ethnic upheavals. R20 observes that:
Ghana has been living in a democratic experience for the past two decades and the open free media, access to both the public services and legal systems as well as deregulation in doing business has significantly contributed to the stability in Ghana. However, there has been few instances of high tensions particularly during the electioneering period and has posed a threat to stability; it is yet to escalate to the red flag levels.
The building of trust between the public policy practitioners and the governed is particularly necessary to harness the principles of the social contract designed to ultimately act in the best interest of all citizens and by extension the accomplishment of sustainable development. At such, there is need for Ghana to fight for a much stronger democracy as noted by R9:
In the long run, I believe that real democracy should have reliable political alternatives, as well as, the ability of individuals being able to choose governments on the grounds of policy platforms and their competence in delivering them, is centered on both democracy and development.
A stronger democracy is characterized by transparency, public participation, and accountability. Accountability holds the public officials responsible for the government behavior and makes it vital for them to be responsible to the needs of the citizenry. The populaces should also be involved in all matters of national development to ensure that each stakeholder plays their part. R12 acknowledged:
The commitment ensures that policies and programs adopted for Ghana reflect the interests of the public, not just the ruling elites' parochial interest. Ghana's electoral system should be more credible and transparent to enhance the quest for sustainable development as also as the principles for sustainable development.
To this end, it is important for the government to apply both the bottom-top and the top-bottom approach to governance.
Politics remain a big part to ensuring the success of the national development strategy. The participants noted that in Ghana the power of the president was eminent and the presidency defin...
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