The Politics of Development and Participatory Planning. From Top Down to Top Down

  •  Victor Lord Owusu    


This paper measures the level of participation in Ghana’s four most recent development policy and planning documents, from the Vision 2020 to the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda. Using Systematic Review and a developed modified version of Arnstein’s Ladder of Citizen Participation, the paper concludes that development planning in Ghana is top down and non participatory. The paper further uncovered that civilian and military governments before and after independence in 1957 adopted the top down approach and planned from the centre with no traces of citizens’ participation in the planning processes. It was further determined that this top down and non participatory mode of planning is deeply enshrined in Ghana’s current and past development planning culture and history, a legacy bequeathed to colonies by colonialists.

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