Based on the key development problems and priorities, the goals were formulated in line with the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy thematic areas. The Thematic areas include;
1. Private Sector Led Competitiveness
2. Human resource development
3. Good governance and Civic Responsibility
The goals were arrived through the identification of problems in the community analysis. A goal is an idea, an aspiration, desire, expressed in very broad and generalised terms meant to reflect a general improvement of the conditions of the community under question. In other words a goal is a long term aim. From the analysis it was realized that the formulated goals were highly compatible with the national goals and the formulated district goals. This means that their achievement will not have any adverse effects on the achievement of other goals within the district and that of the nation and vice versa. It can be concluded that the goals fall within the framework of the national goals and the entire district goals.
Human Resource Development
The main development goals and theme formulated under this broad thematic area are as explained below:-
The development theme represents the key issue or the main area of concern in planning for development. The development theme under human resource development and basic service is the broad goal which intensively needs concentration and resources within the priorities and prospects for development in order to achieve all the other goals under the thematic area. The development theme was derived through the inter compatibility analysis (district goals against national goals). Thus the development theme should encompass all the technical goals that have been derived. From the analysis, all the goals are likely to get support during implementation as they are found within the framework of the national policy (GPRS). The development theme derived for the thematic area is,
‘TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF THE HUMAN RESOURCE IN THE DISTRICT’
To Enhance Entrepreneurial Skills: This goal was derived as a result of low level of entrepreneurial skills which is caused mainly by High illiteracy of the target group, inadequate personnel and logistics and low access to credit facilities. The component of entrepreneurial skill development will target young people who have completed junior secondary school, secondary and tertiary education but are unemployed as well as those who wish to be self employed. Entrepreneurial skill is very important as it equips personnel with various skills in various fields or disciplines. The focus will be on training and retaining, with emphasis on business management. Skills development needs to be enhanced and improved because it promotes employment for the youth and increase private investment. This goal when achieved will help to achieve the other goals of this thematic area.
To Improve Educational Performance and levels: With the introduction of the free compulsory universal basic education (fCUBE) nation wide, it becomes necessary to improve the educational performance as a result of the problem of low performance at the basic level. This is mainly caused by inadequate teaching and learning materials especially the technical equipments for practicals and textbooks and lack of libraries, among others.
On Educational levels, high school drop out rate (13%) and Inadequate educational facilities (Only 2 SSS) are the main issues for consideration. The result is that over 48.7% of the population are not educated to at least JSS level. There is the need to devise strategies to address these low levels of education.
To Ensure High Access to Reliable Supplies of Safe Water and Adequate Sanitation Facilities. Improving access to potable water and sanitation is critical to achieving favourable health outcomes, which in turn facilitate economic growth and sustained poverty reduction. Adequate sewage and sanitation facilities are important for environmental cleanliness and prevention of many infectious diseases such as diarrhoea and dysentery. This goal was formulated to solve the problem of high rate of water related diseases and poor sanitary conditions which is caused by irregular water supply, long distance to water facilities/ source and improper waste management in the district.
To Improve Health Status for Accelerated Economic Growth: Improving the health status of the district is crucial for poverty reduction, given that ill health is both a consequence and cause of poverty. This goal was derived to solve the problem of High maternal and infant mortality rate and low patronage of NHIS. These problems are caused by inadequate logistics, inadequate health personnel and ineffective sensitization on the essence of the NHIS respectively.
To Ensure that HIV Prevalence Rate is Reduced to a Minimum Level: According to the data collected from the district health service, there is high prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the district and this is attributed to the fact that Influx of commercial sex workers seasonally in the district and un-sustained HIV/AIDS programmes within the district. The goal of ensuring that the prevalence of HIV is reduced is very critical and must not be over emphasized. HIV/AIDS and poverty are intricately linked, because they are associated with cost for victim, family and society, exclusion and loss of income earners. This goal seeks to solve the problems that may result of the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the district.
To Provide Decent and Affordable Housing Facilities within the District: Access to adequate housing, together with access to safe water and sanitation facilities, is an important ingredient in efforts to improve the health outcomes and livelihoods of the people in the district. The goal of providing decent and affordable housing facilities in the district became necessary as a result of problems and priorities identified in the district.
To Ensure Sound Environmental ManagementL: From the data gathered, it was realized that there is a high incidence of degradation of the forest which is mainly caused by indiscriminate and unauthorized exploitation of timber and other forest products In order to curb this problem, it is essential to ensure that communities especially those around forest reserves are mobilized and sensitized to check this menace.
Private Sector-Led Competitiveness
Key Development Issues: Low agricultural production, capacity weakness of the department of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in the district as well as limited credit facilities for farmers have been identified as the major problems in the agriculture sub-sector. Agricultural production in the district is greatly hampered by the inadequate number of extension personnel. Survey results revealed that there are only seventeen officers in the whole district giving extension officer- farmer ratio of 1: 3,412 which is over and above the national acceptable ratio of 1:2,500. Most farmers are therefore denied the opportunity to be introduced to new varieties of crops as well as other technical pieces of advice that could help boost productivity.
Limited availability of industries of all kinds (small and medium scale) is the major problem in the industrial sector. Increased provision of agro-processing factories like the Oil palm and Gari processing plants for instance, could help reduce the incidence of post harvest loses as the produce could be processed into finished or semi-finished goods. Low investment services is the major problem in the service sector and it is mainly caused by the difficult access to credit facilities and the small amount of seed capital (average seed capital of 450,000 cedis) used in the establishment of businesses.
Development Theme: The development theme represents the scope within which resources will be committed in order to bring about development in the district. The development theme for the district is “Increasing income through the creation of enabling environment for gainful employment”. Increasing and sustaining production in all sectors namely agriculture, service and industry will increase the income level of workers and also contribute to the absorption of the labour force in the district. Production in all the three sectors of the economy is low. In view of this, most workers in these sectors are not gainfully employed as they earn low incomes with most of them classified as very poor (agriculture 51.5%, service 32.8% industry 21.0%). By providing entrepreneurial skills and making micro-credit facilities available and accessible, people will expand and manage productive activities hence they will be gainfully employed. Creation of gainful employment will therefore enable workers to earn high returns and improve upon the standard of living in the district.
To facilitate modernization of Agricultural Production to achieve food self sufficiency: This goal will increase and sustain agricultural production by strengthening the performance of the department of Ministry of Food and Agriculture, their extension officers will then advice farmers on improved farm practices and the usage of improved storage and processing facilities to increase and sustain production levels. This goal will conflict with the goal to protect the environment. The area of conflict will be resolved by integrating environmental protection measures into production practices such as extension officers advising farmers on the use of the required quantities of chemicals in other not to pollute the land.
To create the enabling environment to enhance production in the industrial and service sectors on sustainable basis: By giving capacity training to local entrepreneurs and giving them access to financial assistance, their production levels will be increased. Measures will however be instituted to regulate industrial operations to ensure that they conform to environmental standards.
To increase income levels through the creation of gainful employment: The achievement of this goal will ensure that workers are gainfully employed in all sectors of the economy to enable them earn high incomes. This goal is not found to be in conflict with the other development goals in the district.
Good Governance & Civic Responsibilities
Development Theme : The development theme represents the key issue or the main area of concern in planning for development. The development theme was derived based on the development problems identified and the goals formulated aimed at bringing remarkable development in the thematic area under concern. The development theme derived for the thematic area was: “ENHANCING GOOD GOVERNANCE IN THE MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE DISTRICT”
The assembly’s response to public demands as well as the level of service delivery has been low as far as the wellbeing of the people is concerned. Also, the involvement of the people at the grassroots in development has been an issue which has not received adequate attention. These serve as the bases for the numerous problems identified. Under this theme, the goals formulated will be directed towards proper training of staff, adequate provision of the needed logistics, and institution of incentives as well as sanctions to be applied to effect transformation within the assembly set-up. Efforts will also be directed towards increasing the revenue base of the assembly.
Good Governance - Development Goals
Fiscal Development and Management
- To develop the administrative capacity towards higher performance within the district: This goal among other development issues is directly related to the problem of ineffective functioning of the various departments within the Assembly. This goal will seek among other things to put in place all mechanisms that will ensure capacity building of all relevant personnel within the assembly to ensure effectiveness in their operations. From the analysis, this goal was compatible with all the district goals as well as the national goals; in other words it serves as the bases for achieving most of the goals formulated for the district. In relation to the national goal which falls within the same sector, the government seeks to
- Upgrade and update knowledge and skills of District Assembly staff in policy, planning, management of infrastructure and services
- To improve participatory process within the district: This goal also directly relates with the priorities of the district as presented in table 2.0. The goal seeks to empower those at the grassroots (the people) as far as their involvement in development issues is concerned. It will also seek to ensure the increase of women in decision making process in the district. The national goal which falls under the same sector (which this goal receives much of its support) i.e. to accelerate the implementation of decentralization in Ghana also seeks to empower all structures within the decentralization structure to ensure the involvement of all development stakeholders in developing the districts.
: To enhance the financial capacity of the assembly towards higher performance within the district: this considers itself with revenue mobilization. This goal among other things seeks to ensure high increase in the generation of internally generated funds for development projects within the assembly. It also aims at ensuring the effective use of the limited generated funds as far as poverty reduction in the district is concerned. This goal when achieved will bring the agenda of self initiative by district assemblies in development to a meaningful realization since there will be adequate funds to cater for such projects which are aimed at developing the people. The goal of improving fiscal resource mobilization, which represents the national goal within this sector also seeks to:
- Strengthen revenue collection institutions & DAs for tax collection
- Improve collection of non-tax revenues
To ensure that peoples’ rights are protected under the ‘rule of law’Human Settlement Patterns, Spatial Interactions & Environment
: The development theme represents the key issue of concern as far as intervention within the theme of spatial interaction and human settlement pattern is concerned. The development theme was based on the development problems identified, priorities of the district and the goals formulated for the thematic area. The development theme was defined as: “Provision of adequate efficient and equitably distributed infrastructure”.
This theme took into consideration all the three technical goals formulated for the district. It was realized from the analysis that 37% and 63% of the population are located in urban and rural centres respectively whilst 39.2% and 60.8% of the facilities are located in rural and urban centres respectively. The provision of relevant basic facilities will consider areas within low access zones as far as the availability of these facilities are concerned. Low density areas identified during the situational analysis would be considered in the adequate provision of facilities. Lastly, the rehabilitation of deplorable roads would be considered to ensure easy accessibility within the district. All these factors have been considered in this study since they would enhance an improvement in the standard of living of the people within the district. The theme of the government of reducing poverty in Ghana can be achieved if those at the grass roots levels (district) are empowered; and this can be realized if the necessary attention is given to their needs. Spatial interaction and human settlement pattern is among the many areas that needs to be comprehensively looked at. The goals formulated under this sector therefore require maximum attention.Development Goals
Below is an overview of the operational goals under these headings:
- To strengthen the spatial linkages within the district:
From the analysis, it was deduced that the district goal was incompatible with the national goal. This goal would seek to rehabilitate inaccessible roads to communities within the district to ensure easy human and goods mobility. The issue of maintenance would also be considered.
- To provide basic facilities equitably within the district:
This goal which would seek the entire well being of the district was highly compatible with all the goals within the analysis. This is in relation to the provision of basic facilities such as health, education, water and sanitation facilities within the district. This goal would be basically revolve around areas of less concentration (in terms of population) within the north-eastern and south-eastern parts as well as uneven distribution of facilities.
- To ensure spatial balance:
Analysis of this goal also saw a high level of compatibility among the goals. Existent within the district are problems of rural-urban disparities which this goal seeks to address considerably. Strategies would therefore be put in place to ensure that more service centres are created within the district with relevant emphasis to the low and least access zones.