Decentralisation and struggles for rights in Northern Ghana
Room 11.13, LUCAS Library, Social Science Building
Centre for Development Studies
Dr Gordon Crawford, Reader in Development Studies
This seminar will present findings of recent fieldwork in Northern Ghana on issues of decentralisation, human rights and extreme poverty. The seminar will address two key questions: to what extent has decentralisation enabled local rights-holders to make claims for basic socio-economic rights; and to what extent have local government duty-bearers been able to respond to such claims?
Although new opportunities for claiming rights are noted, two crucial shortcomings impact adversely on prospects for realising rights. First, the rights-promoting strategies of NGOs are wanting, failing to develop political strategies such as community mobilisation and network building and to make collective demands on local government.
Second, the accountability of local government duty-bearers to local citizens is very limited, arising partly from democratic deficits in the national political framework of decentralisation, one intentionally designed to maintain central government and ruling party control. Struggles for rights in a decentralised context raises issues of both local and national democracy.
Room 11.13, LUCAS Library, Social Sciences Building, University of Leeds