Looking back, moving forward: Towards improving local governments' performance in Ghana

Hamza Bukari Zakaria


Abstract

This paper, based on a desk study, adopts a path-dependent perspective to explore how local government authorities in Ghana have attempted to institutionalise performance management at the organisational level. It questions the existing performance diagnostic framework that is used to assess local government authorities by arguing that any attempt to consolidate the prevailing ‘performance assessment regime’ ought to re-examine previous government initiatives that had in-built mechanisms for assessing local government performance. The prevailing system, despite its attempt to empower local authorities further promotes central government manipulation of local government administration. The paper concludes that performance assessment of local governments in Ghana will remain ineffective until local government councils genuinely serve local communities and their citizens by achieving goals and objectives that are consistent with the needs and aspirations of the latter rather than relying on annual performance assessments designed to ignore the opinions of citizens.

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