Table of Contents

Environmental Governance and Decentralisation

Environmental Governance and Decentralisation

New Horizons in Environmental Economics series

Edited by Albert Breton, Giorgio Brosio, Silvana Dalmazzone and Giovanna Garrone

This book examines how different countries define and address environmental issues, specifically in relation to intergovernmental relations: the creation of institutions, the assignment of powers, and the success of alternative solutions. It also investigates whether a systemic view of the environment has influenced the policy-making process. The broad perspective adopted includes a detailed analysis of seventeen countries in six continents by scholars from a range of disciplines – economics, political science, environmental science and law – thus producing novel material that moves away from the conventional treatment of decentralisation and the environment in economic literature.

Chapter 15: Capacity Constraints on Local Government Environmental Policies in Ghana

Felix Ankomah Asante

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, public sector economics, environment, environmental economics, environmental governance and regulation


Felix Ankomah Asante 1. INTRODUCTION Decentralization, a potential and effective way of enhancing the quality of public administration, is defined as the de-concentration and devolution of power and responsibility to local levels. Decentralization helps to generate good contacts with citizens, brings decision-making to the level where events generally take place, helps to strengthen the democratic process and lays the foundation for the emergence of autonomous institutions of governance within the structure of the national state (Ayee, 2003a). Tremendous shifts have been experienced under the current decentralization policy in Ghana. These shifts would not have been possible without a relatively high degree of political commitment on the part of the government. Not only is power – planning, administrative, financial, legislative and executive – being transferred, the ingredients to operationalize local government and decentralization are also being provided side by side. However, the pace of transfer of resources, means and competencies has not been appreciable due to administrative, financial, manpower, infrastructural and institutional reasons. The ability to achieve successful transfer of power depends, amongst others, on building administrative capacity at all levels of society, both by involving a wider range of organizations and by decentralizing authority and responsibility. It is essential to develop institutional capacity not only within the government structure, but also the institutional capacity of local organizations, and most importantly to construct both horizontal and vertical linkages between these organizations and the national political economy framework. Evidence abounds that the creation of a legal framework for transferring power does not...

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