Participatory communication for community development : the Ghanaian experience

Gbadago, F 2020, Participatory communication for community development : the Ghanaian experience , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

This research pursued a better understanding of development communication in a range of Ghanaian programmes in the education sector. Its focus is the nature of engagements between a range of actors during formulation, implementation and evaluation of the chosen development programmes. Provision of access to relevant information for people engaged in all forms of communicative practice around policy initiatives is considered imperative in securing full efficient participation and engagement. Researchers in the field of communication for economic and social development hold the view that such communication is best conducted in a consultative and dialogic fashion rather than the historically top-down approach often employed. In the wake of increasing concerns about the efficacy of development projects in Ghana, some attention has focused on the kind of communication that takes place around the formulation, implementation and evaluation of such projects. However, a substantial gap in knowledge was identified and addressed in this research. Three key initiatives in the education sector were examined: The Free Senior High School (SHS) Policy, the Community Day SHS (CDSHS) Project and Tigo’s Shelter for Education Project. Empirically, the research focuses on government authorities (funding actors) and community members – youths, traditional and opinion leaders using the case study and qualitative research approaches. These participants were strategically chosen using purposive sampling, allowing interviews and focus groups in data gathering. Results of data analysis undertaken provide evidence of low participation of some stakeholders, especially beneficiaries. There is also evidence of little or no knowledge of the needs and preferences of the direct beneficiaries. The intended direct beneficiaries of the development initiatives were not mostly given the opportunity to get involved in the consultation, engagement and decision-making processes during the formulation and evaluation stages of the initiatives but had little involvement during implementation stage. The thesis argues that the major contributing factors to this poor participatory communication practice are the domineering activities of government authorities in decision-making, as well as participatory limitations set out in the country’s laws where power is concentrated in the hands of those in authority. To fix the prevailing gaps of inaccessible areas of participation by some development actors and the intended beneficiaries of development initiatives, the thesis develops Methodical Participatory Communication Model as its conceptual/theoretical contribution. This model underscores the logical application of relevant, realistic and appropriate two-way communication activities in the design and execution of initiatives during formulation, implementation and evaluation of education initiatives by all stakeholders including intended beneficiaries. For the desired result, the application of the model specifies seven stages during project implementation following, a systematic procedure. Keywords: Ghana, development, communication, participation, initiatives, programmes, stakeholders, beneficiaries, Free SHS, Community Day SHS, Shelter for Education.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Simpson, S (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Depositing User: Francis Gbadago
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2020 11:38
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2020 11:38
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/58309

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