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Evaluation of the contribution of community development to the economic and social development of Ghana


Academic year: 2022

Partager "Evaluation of the contribution of community development to the economic and social development of Ghana"


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24 June 1966 Original: ENGLISH



Report of

Community Development Evaluation Mission to Ghana 21 June, I963 - 3 August, 1963











A. List of extension oampaigns

B. Extracts from the Second Development Plan, 1959-64

C. Village and Town Committee Regulations, I963

D. Circular on "Processing of Self-Help Building Projects"

E. Note on Training of Community Development Staff

F. Extracts from an unpublished report on the Evaluation of

Adult Literacy Work, by Mr. F.A. Abloh.

G. Adult Literacy Statistics

H. Improvement of Statistical Records.





1, The views expressed in this report are those of members of the Community Development Evaluation Mission organized as a result of Resolution 48(IV) adopted at the fourth session of the United Nations

Economic Commission for Africa meeting in the Congo (Leopoldville)

in 1962. The Mission; appointed "by the Executive Secretary of the Commission, consisted of the following members:

Professor Charles Madge (sociologist), United Kingdom

Mr. Ramon Binamira (expert on community development), Philippines Mr. Benjamin Gil (statistician) and

Mr, Jean—Jacques Bochet (rural^economist)

2, As a project of high priority, the Commission had recommended the evaluation of community development programmes in selected African countries, on request of the countries concerned, with a view to

ascertaining the value of community development as a method of integrat ing human resources and its contribution to the economic and social

development of the countries,

3, The Government of C±?.-r.r, -greed that such an evaluation should be conducted in Ghana and requested that a team of experts should carry it out.

4, The Mission arrived in Accra, the capital city of Ghana, and began its work on 21 June, I963 when it had discussion with officials of the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development, and there after with other relevant government Departments and public bodies

l/ Prepared for the Economic Commission for Africa by Charles Madge, Ramon Binamira, Benjamin Gil and Jean-Jacques Bochet, appointed under the United Nations Programme of Technical Assistance.



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during the first week. The next four weeks were spent in visiting six of the eight Regions of the country, namely the Upper, Brong- Ahafo, Ashanti, Central, Eastern, and Volta Regions. The last week was also spent in Accra for final consultation with government of ficials of the Social Welfare and related departments. The programmes in the Regions were devised for the Mission by the Regional Officers in charge of community development. It was necessary for some of these programmes to be altered in the field and at short notice.

Tribute must be paid to the officers in Accra and in the Regions who went out of their way to meet the requests of members of the Mission often at much inconvenience to themselves, to the people of Ghana whose hospitality was so unfolding that it often involved the Mission in attending receptions, entertainment and speech-giving sessions time that the Mission considered could have been devoted to the work at hand and to the Government of Ghana which extended to them every hospitality and facilitated their movements within the country and the carrying out of their tasks. It should be noted here that Ghana is a relatively small country and that its communications are among the best in Africa. The problem of a rapid tour for purposes of evaluation would be much greater in a larger or less developed country.

6. The full terms of reference of the Mission were as follows:

(i) To study the planning and organization of Community Develop ment in Ghana and its integration in the national development plan;

(ii) To analyze the community development programme which is now

being carried out in Ghana and to evaluate the results so far reached in particular reference to the contribution of community development, as a method of integrating human resources, to the economic and social development of the

country, and



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(iii) To examine the various -ways of approach as applied in the community development programme and other method of mobiliz- - ing human resources in Ghana and also the ways of improving

them with a view to "bringing forth a greater efficiency.

7. The Mission realized from the beginning that it was .not to study community development in isolation from other aspects of sooial and economic development in Ghana, although their focus was to be on the rural areas and on efforts to promote an improvement in their standard of living with their own participation. Similarly, although the first oonoern of the Mission was with the activities of the Community Develop ment section of the Department of Sooial Welfare and Community Development,

such related activities as agricultural extension, rural health educa tion, and rural local governments were also studied. This comprehen sive interest has necessarily led to an evaluation of the way in which these various activities were organised and co-ordinated at different levels (see Chapter II).

8. The Mission was asked to evaluate the contribution -of these acti vities to the economic and social development of the country. It is*

of course, not always easy to draw a firm line between the economic and the sooial, nevertheless a distinction has been made between:

(i) The direct economic contribution, measurable in cost terms

where accurate figures were available (see Chapter III)j

(ii) The indirect economic contribution of improvements in, for example, literacy and health, measurable not in terms of

cash but, to some extent at best, in numerical terms (see

Chapter IV); ::

(iii) Other contributions which, though important, could not be

measured on any practicable quantitative basis (see Chapter V).

9. In evaluating the economic and social contribution of community development and allied activities, the question which has been asked was: if these activities had not existed, would the present level of the country's development have been substantially different. To arrive



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at an answer resources and institutions whioh were in existence before the community development programme, and also the effect during its life-time of other forces, political, economic, educational, religious, etc, have had to "be taken into account. All of these could not really be investigated and measured, so what was done was the application of judgement to the data at the disposal of the Mission, and on this basis their opinion has been given as to how the question might be answered.

10. More speoifioally, they have sought to assess the economic contribu

tion of (i) the self-help projects and (ii) the Roof Loans scheme. They have also examined the adult literacy campaigns and certain important

extension campaigns, especially the Cocoa campaign. In each case it has been necessary to make a critical examination of the available quantitative data. Where there are shortcomings in these, the Mission has regarded it as its function to point them out in the interests of more effective record-keeping and evaluation in the future.

11. It is agreeable that the direct economic contribution of the self- help projects is relatively unimportant and that their main significance has been the part they have played in establishing a new channel of communication between Government and people. This is really not a sociological contribution, and is more a political rather than an economic contribution. The Mission has therefore analyzed the socio political structure of Ghanaian rural society in relation to community development and allied activities, and also in relation to the growth of national and civil consciousness in a newly independent national state (see Chapter V).

12. Much of the documentation that has been collected during this study deserves to be better known by those concerned with community 'development and allied programmes in other countries, A selection

from this material has been included in the appendices.



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. . . ., CHAPTER I .;■;•■'


How it began, how it was built up, and the place it occupies

today in the Ghanaian scene

13. Ghana -was one of the first countries to set up a programme of.

community development and by now has one of the world's most effective ly organized programmes. This has already been described at book length by Mr. Peter du Sautoy, who was one of its main architects. We do

not intend to go into detail about its history, but some historical

background is essential, especially as Mr. du Sautoy's book-/, takes

the story only up to 1957, ^e year in which Ghana achieved independ


14. Mr. du, Sautoy traces the idea behind the programme back to a

British Colonial Office Committee report-^ issued as early as 1944>

which "stressed'the importance of securing the co-operation and■parti cipation of the.people.in their own development".-' This year also saw the appointment of a Secretary for Social Services in what was then the Gold Coast? and he and his staff formed the nucleus of the new Department of Social Welfare and Housing in 1946% which in 1952 became the Department of Social welfare and Community Development, a title which it still retains,

15. During the whole period of the programme, the Ghanaian scene has been dominated by the political movement which led to independence.

It must therefore be emphasized at the outset that community develop ment has always had the full support of those who are now the national leaders. Those responsible for running the programme were always mainly and are nowadays entirely Ghanaian. Much as the programme owes to

the practical outlook and administrative efficiency of the non-Ghanaian Civil Servants who helped to build it up, the more one looks into its ■ roots and into the way it actually works the more one finds it to be ' l/ Community Development in Ghana. Oxford University Press, 1958*

2/ Mass Education in'African Society.

2j du Sautoy, op. cit., p.22.



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an essentially Ghanaian programme. Indeed it could not have succeeded if this had not been soa

16, The initial emphasis in the experimental campaigns of I948-I95O which heralded the Community Development programme was.on adult literacy.

At the end of the war it was literacy, in Mr. du Sautoy's words, "which

the villagers then reckoned to be the first and most important step

to progress".-/ The term "Mass Education", was known and understood

in Ghana earlier than "Community Development". It connotes the educa tion of adults in more than literacy alone, and from the first was.

linked with the broad concept of "social development".

17. In 1951 the Convention People's Party Government was elected to

power in the first country-wide elections held under the new constitu

tion, and a leading member of the Party, Mr. Kojo Botsio, was appointed

the first Minister of Education and Social Welfare. Discussions between

the Minister and his officials led to the formulation of a "Plan for Mass Literacy, Mass Education and Community Development", which was unanimously approved by the Legislative Assembly, The first major

literacy campaign was launched in 1952, and there have been similar

campaigns each year since. In I952 a start had also been made with another major activity of the programme, the promotion of "self-help projects", in which the people of a locality contributed communal labour and voluntary contributions of money and materials, while the officers of the Department provided technical supervision, tools and equipment.

There is in Ghana a strong tradition of mutual help among kinsmen and neighbours, and communal labour at the direction of chiefs. Moreover

this tradition had been utilized both by the chiefs and by embryonic local government units, to promote construction work of local benefit,

before the Department itself was in being.^/ laking advantage of this

1/ °P« cit., p.22

2/ The following quotations from The Development Plan, 1951 are of

significance in this connexion:

"The resources of the Gold Coast on which development depends are

not only those of the Central Government. Commercial and private enter prise must play its part, and no amount of. Government, planning .can be of


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the department has encouraged rural communities to decide for themselves-what projects they can "best undertake for their own benefit with the limited resources at their, disposal. As a result, the whole of Ghana is now dotted with schools, post offices and other buildings, as well as feeder roads, .small vater-supply installations and street drains, in whose construction the local population has participated and which are pointed out "by the official "blue-and-white signposts

of the Department.

18. -The organization of the self-help projects at the village level

was aided by the formation of non-statutory Village Development Com mittees, which grew out of Village Literacy Committees formed in the initial Mass Education campaigns. A feature of these campaigns had been the recruitment and training in adult literacy teaching methods of voluntary instructors, often referred to as "voluntary leaders".

Although the terra "voluntary leader" may sometimes refer in Ghana to a person who has. displayed or acquired leadership in other ways than as a literacy teacher, the great majority of the male voluntary leaders are in fact voluntary, literacy instructors. The amount of time and

Footnote 2/ continued..

any avail without the co-operation of non-Government agencies and the hard work and united purpose of the people. The local authorities will have a big part to play, for it is by local initiative that much can be achieved. There has been a tendency in the past to associate the Central.Government too much and the Local Government too little with the execution of development projects...

"The Development Plan, if it is to succeed in its purpose, must have not only the active participation of the new local authorities, but must have also the wholehearted support of the people. It i3 essential^that the general public should V3 aware of the advantages to, be derived from development, and must exhibit an enthusiasm for raising their standard of living and a realisation that the most ef fective means of doing so is by their own local initiative. A scheme

to encourage development at the district and village level was begun in I949 through the formation of Local Development Committees in all

districts and the provision of funds to assist with the execution of small local development works planned by the committees in accordance

with local wishes. Provision ie made in the plan for the continuation

of grants to Local Development Committees and a total allocation of

£G500,000 is included in the plan. A fundamental principle of the

scheme is that the people must themselves contribute with labour, money

or materials to the work undertaken, so that a spontaneous spirit of self-help and initiative may be developed".



Page 8

effort put in voluntarily, by these instructors is one of the most strik ing features of the Ghanaian programme. It is also notable that a high proportion of the Mass Education Assistants who constitute the village level echelon of the community development staff have "been drawn from the ranks of the voluntary instructors.

19. Most of the members of the Village Development Committees on the other hand were farmers, and many were illiterate. The looal chief or subchief was an honorary member and the membership often included some of the elders and others who formed his traditional council. Th©

committees therefore represented a blend of old and new elements in local leadership, as well as of the older and younger generation.

20. The self-help projects were of necessity relatively small in scale but even so they stood to gain much in efficiency from technical-sup«jw vision, from the employment of paid masons-a^uL^carpen-ters and from the use of mechanical equipment. It was not easy to secure help of this kind from the Public Works Department which was occupied with operations on a larger scale. In I954 the Cocoa Marketing Board, a body with large funds at its disposal, agreed to provide- the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development with the finance to establish Technical Field Units equipped with bulldozers, lorries, tractors,

concrete mixers and other machines. "To achieve speed and flexibility of operation the Government agreed that the funds provided should be held in a special bank account operated outside the normal Government framework by the Director of the Department and his Deputy in their personal capacity".-' This represented, technically and financially, an important addition to the resources of the Department and increased the emphasis on self-help projects as a major preoccupation.

21. Through its work in the fields of literacy and "self-help projects", the Department was building up a valuable fund of experience and goodwill

1/ Du Sautoy, op.cit., p.129. The finance for the units has subsequent^

ly been brought inside the "normal Government framework".



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at village level. The field staff constituted a new channel of com munication "between Government and people and this was appreciated from the outset by the national political leaders. It was natural there fore that various Government Departments should ask the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development to mount "extension campaigns" on their behalf, sometimes on a scale which involved the recruitment of additional staff on a temporary "basis. In 1954 a major campaign took place at the request of the Ministry of Local Government to induce people to pay their local levies and thus enable their local government units to function more effectively on their behalf. The

same year also saw the planning of the most important of all the campaigns, carried out from 1955 to 1959 for the Department of Agriculture, to

educate cocoa farmers in methods of controlling the diseases and pests which were imperilling a crop vital to the national economy. In 195^

the Department undertook to organize, for the Ministry of Housing, village housing societies through which villagers who built their own houses to a prescribed standard could obtain roofing materials under what is known as the Roof Loans Scheme. There have been about forty campaigns at the request of at least ten different Departments, though not all have been as large-scale and significant as those mentioned above,—'

22, In 1957? the Department was called upon to assist in a scheme for resettling families of the Fra Fra people in an area where the land was less crowded and more fertile. The scheme has not been a success, but provided experience which may have led to greater success with the resettlement of the people of the fishing village of Tema, when new harbour installations were under construction there in 1959*

The Tema experience in turn has certainly contributed to the even more important operation of resettling the 70,000 people who will be dis placed in I964 by the vast lake which will be formed through the damming of the Volta River at Akosombo.

l/ For List, see Appendix A.


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23. A branch of work for which the foundations were laid by the Depart ment in 1954 and which has sinoe been developing steadily is the work with Women's Groups. About one-third of the established field posts are for women. Each woman Mass Education Assistant covers roughly a quarter as many villages as her male counterpart. This means that the number of villages covered by women's work is roughly a twelfth of the number covered by the other activities, while at the same time the women's coverage is more continuous and intensive. This may be

reflected in the statistics which show that at the end of 1962 there were 702 Women's Groups, while there were 3,022 Village Development Committees, the figures suggest that there were at that date Women's Groups in all the -Tillages covered by Women M.E.A's (Mass Education Assistants), while there were Tillage Development Committees in roughly half the much

greater number of villages covered by the male M.E.A's. It is also worth noting that the Women M.E.A.'s receive more training than the men. Iheir main function is to give demonstrations in those subjects, ranging from cookery to child care, which are included under the general headings of Home Economics and Home Improvement. The demonstrations

are combined with singing and dancing in a way which is characteristically Ghanaian^;

24. 2he range of the Department's aotivites, and the size of its establishment, have remained substantially the same since the achieve ment of independence in 1957. But there have been far-reaohing changes in the political structure of Ghana since that date and shifts of

emphasis in economic policy and planning. It is these ohanges, rather than changes internal to the Department, which have modified the status

^^? °°T*ibution from ^^ consisting mainly of vehicles and of equipment for demonstrations in home economics, only became

^ V! 1VB in 1%2' A condi"tion for this was the setting up

of a National Training Centre for Women.



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and functions of Community Development in Ghana since Mr. du Sautoy wrote his "book. The political changes have resulted from the imple mentation by the Government Party of its avowed intention to create a One-Party State in Ghana, In place of the District Commissioners who were"part of the British Colonial Service, the Ghanaian Goverrjnent appointed Distriot Commissioners of a" new kind who are not career civil

servants "but political appointees. The number of Districts is now more than twice the number under the former dispensation. The Distriot Commissioners have been given responsibility for all developmental activity in the Districts, under the direction of eight Regional Coifr- missioners with Ministerial status. Each Member of Parliament has a constituency which includes several of the new Districts.

25, The new District Commissioners were appointed in 1958* I*1 1959 the Government launched its Second Five-Year Development Plan, which stressed the importance of self-help by local communities and assigned to the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development a major role in"this connexion.—' Up to this date, there had been no direct financial grants from Government to the self-help projects, which were expected to raise finance either by local contributions or from Local.

Authorities * . Now the Department was provided with a total, over five years, of £G 2,241,200 ear marked for grants-in-aid to self-help projects.

This naturally increased the number and size of projects undertaken, especially in the years 1959 to I96I. Since then the grants have "been cut back, as one of the economies resulting from the priority being given to large—scale economic development. Mary projects which were

started when more finance was available have had to be suspended and

2/ ■ "■

in some cases abandoned for lack of funds.—'

26, A new National Seven-Year Development Plan is in draft, and at the time of writing it is expected that a revised version will be

l/ For relevant quotations from the Second Development Plan, see Ap

pendix B.

2/ For a detailed analysis of Government assistance to the projects,

see Chapter IV,



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issued in the near future. The draft version suggests that there may now "be imminent an even greater shift away from the Second Five-Year Plan's emphasis on Community Development and self-help projects and towards large-scale economic development and increased agricultural productivity. The draft of the new Plan only makes one mention, in

passing, of Community Development «/ and ostensibly provides no

finance for grants-in-aid to self-help projects. One reason for this, of course, may "be that the sums involved are relatively small in rela tion to the total Government expenditure proposed under the Plan- If the Department's expenditure, including grants-in-aid, were to remain at the same level as under the Second Five-Year Plan, its total expendi ture under the Seven Year-Plan would be £G3.5 inn, or about 1.4 per cent of the proposed total Government expenditure of £G 486.4 Mn,

27. While our Mission was in Accra, we had a meeting with staff and advisers of the Planning Commission from which it appeared that they were predominantly sceptical about the value of the Community Develop ment programme. We had nonetheless an even more authoritative view given to us in our interview with the Government Statistician, Mr. E.N.

Omaboe, who had been closely concerned with the Plan, and who said:

28. "The role of Community Development is implied rather than stated

throughout the Draft Plan. Funds for this activity are not directly allocated to the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development but to the various sectors of the economy. Thus, allocations for feeder roads and for education are listed under the appropriate Ministries.

1/ In Chapter 2, p,7, "Expenditure in health and community develop

ment will be evenly spread over the plan period".

See also Chapter 6, p.9 "In many parts of the country the villagers would be capable of constructing through communal labour simple weirs or storage tanks which could provide them with clean drinking



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29* "Qfcere may have been an omission in not actuaily^-etating the-xole of Community Development in the Plan and-the_ocntributions which.other Ministries could give to this activity. Such a statement will be incorporated in the next draft."

30. In his book Mr. du Sautoy wrote confidently of the increasing role that would be played by the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development as an agency for extension in the field of

agriculture. However in 1959 the additional one hundred Mass Education Assistants recruited for the Cocoa Campaign were disbanded, and since

that date there seems to have been little inclination on the part of the Ministry of Agriculture to seek the services of the Department.

Ihe Ministry was being urged by foreign and international advisers to set up its own extension service. However, the issue has been complicated by the increasing dominance in agricultural matters of the United Ghana Farmers' Council, an organization directly linked with the ConvBntion People's Party. In 1963 > the U.G.F.C. took over oontrol of the Agricultural Assistants who were in effect the Ministry's extension workers. Under present plans, the Ministry will be responsi ble for training new cadres of agricultural extension workers, but theiy will be employed by the U.G.F.C It now seems possible that the U.G.F.C. may call on the Department of Sooial Welfare and Community Development for help in the initial organization of Farmers1 Co

operative Societies. The position is fluid and the outcome unpredict able, but there would appear to be at present a lack of adequate liaison between the Department, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the


31. The Department also seems to lack adequate liaison with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health, although its activities con stantly impinge on both these Ministries. It has been criticized by

And Chapter 11, p.l. "It is proposed to continue the system whereby local authorities have matched the grants and other contributions received from the Central Government with local contributions in

the form of either money or communal labour".


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the Local Government Division (now in the Ministry of.

in the1 Ministry of the Interior) for promoting self-help projects which

are beyond the means of Local Authorities to maintain. These failures in co-ordination are discussed more fully in the next chapter;■ they.:

are mentioned at this point, because the reserve which seems to be felt about the activities of the Department by other important Depart ments may well be a factor adverse to its development and influence, 32; Against this must be set the following considerations. In the first place, the existing establishment of the Department is already over-extended and it could not undertake additional work in such fields as health and agriculture unless it either cut down its present acti vities or increased its staff.

33* In the second place, it has'only as recently as March, 1963j been assigned an important new responsibility by the Government*—' Regulations issued on this date called on the District- Commissioners to establish

in every village or town a statutory committee to take the place of the 3jO22 existing-non—statutory Village Development Committees formed by the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development. At the same time the regulations lay down that the committees shall meet at least once a week and shall be attended by a representative of the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development, that'is to

XJ This had been foreshadowed by the President four years earlier, in his speech presenting the Second Development Plan to Parliament in which he said:

"We must encourage voluntary labour and exhort every person to give part of his or her services voluntarily wherever' they might be most effective during the forthcoming years. In order to assist

this drive for voluntary effort, the Government intends to aet up Town" and Tillage Boards to plan, co-ordinate and encourage voluntary schemes, of development".



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say by the Mass Education Assistant posted to that particular area.

Some Jff.E.A.!s may then find themselves responsible for as many as 30 Village Committees, in which oase they could hardly attend meetings of all of them every week even if they did no other work. This part of the regulations is patently unrealistic and will probably be amended, but even so an important new tas1: has been assigned to the Department, whioh indicates the confidence felt in it at the highest levels of Government.

34- Ike same confidence is reflected in the national press and radio.

Every day these media give news of the self-help projects, which are thus constantly being biought to the attention of the public. In July

1962 there was unanimous approval in the National Assembly for a motion

commending the work of the Department, and many M.Ps made speeches in its favour, none against. It has also figured in the President's broadcasts to the ITation.

35* The present standing of the Department is therefore somewhat paradoxical. On the one hand it is being assigned important new tasks and enjoys high political favour. On the other hand, grants-in-aid for self-help projects have been reduced, its budget has been cut, the Department seems to Lave lost ground in its relationship with other Departments and it has been virtually ignored in the draft National Seven-Tear Development Plan,

36» Evidently one cannot predict the outcome of such an ambiguous

situation. It is a situation where the Department needs to clarify its own views and to stato them authoritatively. Unfortunately there is a division of purposes within the Department itself, 0"he main reason for this is the existence side by side in the Department of two separate activities, Social Welfare and Community Development,

the former mainly urban ard the latter mainly rural, the former concerned with services to groupe needing special support, the latter with the entire population of the rural localities.

37* The future of Con~:.i ity Development in Ghana may also partly depend on how far it is ponsibl< for a factual account to be given of its


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activities whioh will stand up to objective scrutiny. It is the view of our Mission that the Department has done good service to the Nation and that there is no agency which can -operate so effectively at vil lage level. As such it is obviously an important asset to the Govern ment, which will not lightly allow it to wither away for lack of support.

But there is need for objective reappraisal of some of the claims stati stical and otherwise which are made for Community Development. Our Mission had limited time and resources and in this report we can only point out some of the directions in which reappraisal is needed. But

our report could lead to a more serious attempt by the Department

itself, with the co-operation of the Central Statistical Office and

the Department of Sociology of the University of Ghana, to set up systems

of record keeping and operational analysis which would enable its work

to be more thoroughly and continuously evaluated. By doing so the

Department would perform a service to itself, to Ghana and to every

country in the world vith a programme of Community Development.


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The organization for community development; its relation to other government services5 00—ordination of activities.

38. The organization for community development in Ghana may be clas sified as being of the "adaptive type"-J, having been attached to dif ferent ministries during its fifteen-year growth from an experiment

to a full government programme.

39. The responsibility for the over-all planning and policy of the oommunity development programme rests with the Ministry of Sooial Welfare and Community Development, whose Minister is a member of the Cabinet. Under the Ministry, there is a Department of Social Welfare and Community Development physioally separated from the Ministry and which is concerned with the execution of the programme.

40. The activities of the community development section of the Depart ment are in four main fields; adult literacy, both in the local languages and in English? work among women on home economics lines; assistance to rural self-help construction projects; extension work for other government departments, including oampaigns in health and agriculture.

These activities are reflected in the internal organization of the Department, and are carried out by a descending hierarchy of officers and assistants down to village level where the Mass Education Assistant,

the front line worker, is assigned. This can best be seen by reference to the organizational chart on the next page.

l/ "Adaptive type. This type of programme is country-wide in scope, places emphasis on community organization and self-help, and in

volves little change in administrative organization of government...

they can be attached to almost any department and otherwise adapted to the prevailing administrative organization of government",

- Public Administration Aspects of Community Development

Programmes (UN publication, sales No, 59»H«H.2) para, 16 (b),


THEPRESIDENT aw)Cabinet MINIOTSROFSOCIALWELFARE andCownunityDevelopment I Parliaauntary Secretary PermanentSecretaryofthe Ministryand asmallstaff




Fieldstaff dealingwith socialwelfare, principallyin urbanizedaraa's C0MN5JNTTYDEVELOPMENT SECTION (Asst.Director)


GEtO.ADKHISTRA- TIOBSSCTTON (Priii.Personell Office)




Page 19

41. The Department is ■ headed "by a Director, -who is charged with the over-all execution not only of community development, "but also of the Welfare programmes. The Director is assisted by a Deputy. There are

seven sections in the Department composed of the following: (l) Wel

fare, (2) Rehabilitation, (3) Community Development, (4) Technical Services, (5) Training, Research and Publicity, (6) General Administra tion, and (7) Accounts. Tha community development and welfare sections share the budget allotted for the department and use the joint administra tive, training and transport pool. Under present personnel policies, the seniority rule is applied to staff above the level of Assistant Director without distinction and the present Director and Deputy Director were promoted from and had experience in the Social Welfare section. For administrative convenience, the Regional Offices are headed by either a Principal Community Development Officer or Principal Welfare Officer, whoever is senior, directly answerable to the Director.

Two regional officers at present come from the Welfare ranks,

42. The Regional Officers are assisted by Community Development Of ficers (CDO) who serve as their deputies and who mainly supervise field activities in the region. In charge of districts within the regions are Mass Education Officers (MBO). The district is further

subdivided into sections under Senior Assistant Mass Education Officers (SAMEO) who, in addition to covering about a half-dozen villages them selves, are the primary supervisors of the village workers — the Mass

Education Assistants (MEA).

43. There are 386 MBA's, 120 of whom are women- They are daily rated employees hired on an annual contract, on a month—to—month basis. The male MEA's are trained "on the job" and given annual in—service courses.

The female MEA's undergo pre-service training? in addition to the annual in-service courses. Most of the male MEA's come from the areas of

assignment, speak the local dialect and were recruited from the ranks of voluntary literacy instructors. The MBA's activities in the village are hackstopped at regional level by a Technical Field Unit which

provides the machinery and technical assistance for project work, and



Page 20

a Visual Aids Section that operates a mobile van in each region and presents movies, plays, dramas and puppet shows.

44. Community Development started as an experiment in adult literacy

(hence, the popular term under which it is locally known — Mass Education) conducted in 1948 "by a mobile team in what was the British

Otust Territory of Togoland. As the experiment progressed and newly literate villagers broadened their interests to cover fields other than literacy, the programme increased in scope and coverage. Original ly using staff from other services, the organization later recruited and trained its own staff and established a network of training centres in the various regions. These training centres conducted courses for "voluntary literacy instructors" who assisted in the conduct of literacy classes. Later, such short courses were extended to include village artisans, women's group leaders, and others who could be of assistance to the MEA.

45* Deficiencies in the use of mobile teams led to the assignment of the MEA to the village. Present experience, it is said, indicates the desirability of combining both the mobile and static approach to meet the ever-increasing demand for the presence of the thinly-spread village worker,

46. As programme emphasis shifted from literacy to extension and pro ject work, so has the Department been moved from one Ministry to another.

This "hunt" for its proper place in the government structure may be shown more clearly by the following oapsule history:

1943 - Post of the Secretary of Social Services created. Role : to co-ordinate Social Welfare in the Gold Coast.

1945 - Nucleus of the Department was formed by the provision/of

executive staff for the Secretary.

1946 - Department of Social Welfare and Housing was created.

1948 - Social Development Branch in the Social Welfare section

was established. Started experiment in Togoland by mass education mobile team.


E/CT.14/SWCD/31 Page 21 -

-. 1951 - Due to its educational activities, Department of Social

•■■::* Welfare was transferred to the. Minify of Education which became the Ministry of Education and Social Welfare.

1952 - Title, within the Ministry, was changed to "Department of Social Welfare and Community Development".

1954 - Community Development coverage was extended oountry-wide.

Re-oriented away from its stress on literacy and mobile


1957 - Department was transferred from Education to Labour, which became the Ministry of Labour, Co-operatives and Social


1959 - Department transferred from Labour to Health, which was known as the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

1960 - Department was detached from the Ministry of Health a?td transferred to a newly-established ministry : Social Wel fare and Community Development.

1961 - Department was transferred to Education, which became the Ministry of Educatio-n and Social Welfare.

1962 - Department transferred to the new Ministry of Social :- Welfare and Community Development, Labour and Co


47* Sfai:e; "hunt" has by -no -means ended and during the visit of this Mission there were rumours of an impending re-organisation and trans fer. Discussion in Parliament in I962 showed some support .from HP's for separation of community development from welfare activities by

the creation of a separate department of community development within

the MinistryM Skis trend is not an isolated one, and fourteen 1/" Eiacording to" the Director of Social Welfare and Community Develop

ment, "the suggestion" to establish a separate department of com munity development was initiated by MP's who, perhaps realizing the benefits that had accrued to their constituencies by way of the construction of self-help projects, were inclined to think that there would be an intensifioation in the self-help projects if there were a separate community development department..."


E/CN.14/SWCD/31 Page 22

countries of Asia, in a seminar conducted by ECAFE in August, 1961*

expressed a similar

48/ Within the Department, "those identified with Welfare "believe that any "transfer or reorganization should maintain the present- framework and include' "both the, Welfare -and Community development sections? while those identified with Community Development urge strongly the divorce of .the presently-married sections.

49. Neither at central nor at field level is there any special machinery for inter-departmenta], co-ordination on community development activi ties. Reliance is placed on "informal contacts" although the Director of Social Welfare and Community Development sits on a number of central permanent ad hoc committees where matters affecting community develop ment are at times considered. In extension work for other departments, questions of priorities are brought up to and decided at Ministerial or Cabinet level.

50. Co-ordination and teamwork-^ with other services and within the

Department itself, is emerging as one of the main problems of the

community development organization. There is evidenoe that the relatively

l/ "Ihere is need for the creation of a distinct agency of the govern^

mant to be responsible for the community development programme and for co-ordinating the community development activities of the Government's technical departments among themselves as well as with those of voluntary organizations".

- Report of the Asian Seminar on Planning and Administration of national Community Development Programmes (UN Publioa- 1 tion, ST/TAO/SEE.c/54) para. 28, p.7-

Co-ordination - "concerted action by different entities without loss of organisational identity".

Teamwork - "the spirited joint effort that emerges from dedication to the achievements of common goals and from respect for one another's contribution".

- Public Administration Aspects of Community Development Programmes, para.41, page 15>

para. 108, page 43.



Page 23

simple device of personal "informal contact" which may have sufficed during the early years of the programme is no longer adequate. Here, as in Asia, foreign and international advisers are in part responsible for inter—service rivalry and jealousies.

51. The Department of Social Welfare and Community Development, we feel, oould profit from an objective review and analysis of its organiza tional structure and its relations -with other services. Such a study might best be conducted with the assistance of an expert in public administration familiar with local conditions and with the special nature and requirements of the community development programme as well as sensitivity to the attitude of ether technical departments,

52. Following the enthusiasm generated in the villages as an outgrowth of the literacy campaigns, demand for technical assistance in the areas of health, agriculture, housing, home economics and related fields increased, and it became apparent that the technical services were

not prepared to meet this need at village level,■=/ Citing its network

of village-based workers, the Department sought recognition as the

mass extension agency for the rural areas. 'The line taken by the Depart ment was that they were not taking over the work of other technical services, but were merely acting as a link between these services and

1/ "A common tendency in community development programmes is to under

estimate the need for obtaining qualified technical personnel.

The choice of the work to be done through self-help effort and the quality of work done will depend on the technical knowledge available to a community. The report of the United Nations Mis sion to study community development in Africa noted that in the territories it visited the extension services, particularly in agriculture, health and home economics were spread too thin,,.,"

See Public Administration Aspect of Community Development Pro grammes, para. 106, page 42.



Page 24

the village people. Behind all this was the Department's concern to translate the enthusiasm generated into concrete projects.

53. Thus, the Department embarked on numerous "joint extension campaigns"

for other technical services, and dealt with such diverse matters as cocoa pests and diseases; fertiliser and dry-season gardening for the Department of Agriculture; nutrition and environmental hygiene for Healthy the Roof Loans campaign, resettlement, and even matters not strictly germane to community development such as census education,

beauty contests? tax collection., anti-nudity and footwear campaigns,-^

54* Initially, there seems to have been adequate co-ordination between the community development organization and technical sex*vices. The policy laid down by the Department was that "no compaigns would be embarked upon without a specific reauest from the responsible officers

- u 2/

01 the Department concerned".-' An auspicious start was made in the cocoa campaign by the training of the staff of Agriculture and Community Development jointly at the University College in December, 1954. The following year, junior staff of community development were trained in agricultural problems at the Department of Agriculture's Central Cocoa Station at Bunso and other rural training centres. And the Ministry of Health appointed a specialist-hygienist, Dr. D. Nugent to maintain liaison with the Department in health extension work.

55» In the regions, attempts were made by PCDO's to involve their regional counterparts representing other technical services, and the Regional and District Commissioners, in the planning of activities.

One noteworthy example was the first meeting on the "Rural Reconstruc tion Programme" held at Bolgatanga, Upper Region in July, I96I. Attended by the Regional Commissioner and representatives from the Agriculture, Education, Forestry, Labour and Information services, the group after considerable discussion agreed on a rural programme for the entire region, selected twelve villages to be "pilot" demonstration areas

l/ See Appendix A for a full list

2/ Du Sautoy, op. pit*, p. 144.


Page 25

where -efforts.w.oul.d be concentrated? and each agency then present ad justed, its plan of work to conform to the agreed programme". Ho provision was made, however, for regular meetings to check on the pro gress of work and the next meeting was scheduled to take place almost

a year later - in June 1^62, .•• ■ .1

56. The.Regional Committee, which advises the PCDO on the expenditure of financial grants from central government, could also have been utilized as an organizational device for promoting closer planning and co-ordination of activities, of the various services. It meets only, once a quarter, however, and there seems to be no indication that fund..allocation was used to integrate the planning and execution of activities.. , .

57« As "the p'rogramme has progressed, .the need for a more formal and continuing co-ordination machinery has been underscored. The heads of technical Services .who originally entered into joint extension cam paigns' With the .Department of Social Welfare -and Community Development either were transferred to.other positions or retired, and their replace ments, it-would seem,.were not aware of the agreements previously

entered into. Not-having had this background, they were surprised to learn that the Department was conducting these extension campaigns, and in some.cases, auspicious that it might be enoroaching on their * functions. As the number of the campaigns increased, and more and more agencies participated in "joint" campaigns, it became humanly impossible for the senior officers of the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development to maintain ifhe "informal contact" needed' to cultivate the continuing goodwill of the other services.

58, This year's intensive literacy drive was originally to have been sponsored "by the Ministry of Education but was later handed over to the Ministry of Social Welfare and Community Development. The subse quent attitude towards the campaign of the Ministry of Education has been ambiguous. Since the success of the campaign will largely depend on the voluntary partioipation of sohool teachers, the failure of the two Ministries to work together is a rather serious example of unco ordinated Government action. Part of the differences between the


Page 26

Education and Social Welfare and Community DevelopmentiDepartraents seem to

be in control of funds, but there are mora subtle.-differences referred

to by one Education official when he said that his Department did not want to "play second fiddle".

59 V Similarly, in the field of health education, a highly-placed of

ficial of the specialist-aygienist's office informed the Mission that their plans were to take over functions presently being exercised by com

munity development field workers, and that they were in the process of training their own staff of field nurses. This official expressed concern for the absence of effective liaison among the health and com munity development workers in the rural areas, citing the construction of health centres, Henderson boxes (a simple water filtration device) and other projects without the knowledge or approval of health person nel. In addition there were problems of maintenance. In the training of community development staff, this official expressed dissatisfaction with the present procedure by which they merely received a letter from the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development requesting lecturers on subjects and at hours predetermined without consultation.

Such training would be more effective, he thought, if the health of ficials were involved in the preparation of the course.

60. On the other hand, senior staff of the community development organiza

tion state that they are trying to work closely with the health agency and cite their own procedures under which no project would receive approval unless the required step of consultation and approval of the

technical agency concerned was made.-^


61. Ohis tendency by the Health Department to withdraw from the joint

extension campaigns began in 1959? at about the same time that the Department of Agriculture withdrew from the extension campaign. .A proposal made by the Minister of Social Welfare and Community Develop ment to the Cabinet late in 1961 that his department should have, res ponsibility for "composite villages" and that all funds intended for

expenditure by technical services in these model villages be integrated and spent through the Department, though made in good faith, may have

l/ See Appendix D. .



Page 27

put further strain on relationships "between the Department and the

technical services.; ... : .

62*. It is- significant that the senior officials of the technical

services involved in the joint extension campaign, including those that had withdrawn from these campaigns and were in the prooess of training their own corps of extension workers, all acknowledged the value of the assistance given "by the community development field workers citing the latter's experience in rural areas in gaining the confidence of villagers as the main reason for their effectiveness. The Programme Director for Health Education Services admitted that, assuming they had their full complement of trained-nurses and health educators, "they would still not be able to reach as much of the population as present community development workers are doing. The health education technique considered to be the most effective is community organization and present plans to organize a health sub-committee in each of the Village Com

mittees might be achieved sooner with the help of the Mass Education Assistant who is a member of and advises the Village Committee. The

Vice Chairman of the Ghana Housing Corporation stated that, the. village- level experience of community development workers made them especially qualified to organize the formation of Housing Societies in the rural ■.

areas. Present plans provide that they shall be asked to continue.

exercising this'function.

63* The net effect of the cessation of some of these joint campaigns has been to free the community development worker and allow him to concentrate on his primary tasks. The rapid rise in number and

variety of these extension campaigns, some of which were not strictly germane to community development, would have posed serious demands

on the limited time of the village workers.^. Pears have sometimes

been expressed that there -would be attrition of community development 1/ "The United Nations workshop concluded that the village worker

should not perform; (l) Technical functions beyond his competence .- as determined by technical officers; (2) Any continuing or inter mittent function which may impair his relations with the people;

(3) Continuing functions.. •fl See Public Administration Aspects

of CD Programmess para. 100 pp. 39-40.


Page 28

functions as the technical services build up their field staff, but we believe the reverse to be true: The strengthening of the technical services will lead to more community development activities. Community development will not take place without technical support; technical services will be more effective if they work through and with the com-

rait development organization.

64. We feel that the roles of the community development worker and ' the technician are complementary - not competing. Both can be more efficient in their separate roles if they recognize the expertise of one another. Thus, the community development worker with his training and experience in human relation can best lay the groundwork by his presence at village level and by organizing local groups. As these groups decide to undertake projects, the technical assistance required will appear and the community development worker can act as the link to make this fact known to the technical agency concerned. The burden then shifts to the technician to render the technical assistance required

to enable the people to complete the project.

65. Interestingly, one need not look for illustrations from other

countries to prove this point. The volta River Resettlement Project in Ghana is a shining example of close inter-agency co-operation to achieve a common purpose. Designed to relocate the residents of 600 villages which will be inundated by the lake when the dam is completed, the project is a joint effort of a number of governmental agencies ' under the charge of a ^settlement Officer.

66. The Department of Social Welfare and Community Development has.

made available special teams to the project and conducted a study of the social structure of the present communities to guide their reloca tion into 51 new sites. Sigtit teams composed of 46 MEA's are now

circulating in the villages affected, serving as a channel of communica tion and preparing the residents for the eventual shock of evacuation.

An agricultural unit from the Ministry of Agriculture planned and is

now executing a farming programme for the new communities.. They are

testing the soil to determine its suitability for farming. Regional


Page 29

Planning studies were conducted with the assistance of the National Physical Planning Commission- Designs, studies and tests on house

types were made by the Ministry of Works and Communicationsj .its Department of Town and Country Planning laid out the town sites, as sisted by staff from the Kwame Itoumah University at Kumasi, Prospect ing for water was done by the Department of Geology under the Ministry of Industries. Construction of o~/er 200 miles of access roads was undertaken by a construction unit set up by the Volta River Authority.

Whenever possible, the Resettlement Officer influenced the different agencies to include the costs of their contributions as part of the normal expenditures for the agency concerned.

67. The welding of these various specialized functions into a unified

approach was not achieved merely by written directives.. From the very start, each co-operating agency was involved in the planning and policy- level stages; inter-departmental meetings were held to agree on the broad lines of work. Later, there were numerous meetings at staff working level, and working parties were constituted to deal with

related problems. It was at this stage that the co-ordinating machinery was formalized and the Resettlement Officer insisted on regular meet ings. Major conflicts were resolved personally at meetings between the Chief Executive of the Volta Project and the Minister concerned.

The Resettlement Officer has access to the Chief Executive of the Volta Project, and keeps him regularly informed of progress and pro blems. An important factor in making the machinery for co-ordination run smoothly has been, no doubt, the personal, direct and strong interest of the President in the success of the undertakings

68. Ghana, though rich in natural and human resources, faces, the same

problem as any developing country impatient for progress : it has

limited financial resources to meet the huge demands imposed by develop ment. Unable to build up its extension services simultaneously, it must exercise care in its choice and utilize the few technicians it can afford to reach the greatest number of its people. The use of the community development worker as an interim extension arm pending


Page 30

the "build-up of the technical services has beon one step in the right direction. But it is not a perinanen+ solution. The generation of

demand as a result of community development 2-simulation is overtaking the capacity of the village community development worker, and he needs

more technical support. Me believe thai; this need is greatest in the

fields of agriculture, public health and public works, specially those affecting the construction of roads and water supply. If financially feasible, prevision should be made for priority in the build-up of these services -co .sup^rjt, not, compete with, the community development

worker who should continue to be the front line worker at village level,

69. Training may pro-o a u^:fvl device to help solve the problem of

co-ordination with other services. To sec.u-e the "administrative com

mitment" of the technical agencies for the programme, the Department could sponsor annual conferencey of administrators and senior officers of these various services. At regional level, supervisors could be brought together in annual "seminars". In both meetings, a frank re

appraisal of the programme should be made based on the year's experience,

and planning for joint activities be agreed upon for the ensuing year.

Village and town workers could be brought together at the rural train ing centres for "orientation training" sc aaoh may understand his role

in the total programme.

70. Ideally, where technical services are adequate, the community

development organization should not assign its village workers to

perform a technical function. Since technical services are rarely available at village level, then technical functions may be exercised

by the community development worke- provided that (l) there is prior

knowledge and consent of the technical agency; (2) the latter deter

mines the specific functions to be performed; and (3) it will not

adversely affect the relations of the community development worker

with the people- Only then can community development administrators

convince those of the technical agencies' that they are not out to

absorb the latter's functions, and are not building an "empire".


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