One aspect of the development and planning profession that has not been critically integrated into the development agenda in Ghana is the advocacy on development planning issues and best practices. This realisation is profound not only among the illiterate population of the country but also among the elite society of the country. Ironically, the professionals in this field have the erroneous perception about increase advocacy on best practices on development for fear of loosing contracts from the market. Notwithstanding this perception which most professionals would vehemently deny, the transition of trained professionals in development into other sectors of the country; because of the human resource development, project management and systematic and analytical capabilities of these individuals; has been a contributing factor. Coupled with the political challenges to planning solutions to developmental problems in the country which undermines the abilities of planners in their effort to reduce poverty in Ghana, it is imperative for effective advocacy on development and planning to put politicians and other decision makers on their toes.
A well informed populace would demand accountability from the politicians and decision makers as they would now know what questions to ask and what issues to espouse in order to correct the biases and inappropriateness in the development and planning processes in the country. This therefore warrants that both planning professionals, development analysts, lecturers, students and the general populace especially civil society become abreast with the inherent problems, potentials and challenges to the process of development and planning in Ghana.
One enormous potential is the development and planning institutions in the country. However, these agencies have their own limitations and objectives to meet and therefore critical analysis of development and planning issues; and advocacy only becomes a by-product of their existence. It is therefore necessary to have not essentially an institution, NGO or consortium but a network of ideas ranging from both theorist and practitioners to share ideas on national and local development issues in the country and relaying this information to the populace to enable them contribute their effort and knowledge to the process of development as well as demand accountability from the decision makers.
Network for Development Induced Impoverishment (NDII) would therefore provide an avenue for relaying development issues to all and sundry and facilitate knowledge sharing. Primarily, the network would seek to meet the following objectives:
1. To broaden the knowledge of development practitioners on development issues and ways of improving upon approaches by sharing ideas of concepts and best practises.
2. To facilitate advocacy on development issues by making the populace aware of development issues and areas of concern in order to demand accountability from decision makers.
3. To facilitate the transfer of knowledge of information on development to students of development to increase their knowledge on the subject matter.
4. To initiate and facilitate research into new ideas and phenomenon that may aid progressively in the achievement of development goals and hinder the achievement of development goals accordingly and make necessary recommendations thereof.
Fundamentally, since the idea is founded on a network of ideas from both theorist and practitioners, various specialisations of the facet of a development system is considered. This is to promote integrated sustainable development. Thus, this blog aims at discussing issues related to the following.
a. The first section which deals mainly with theory and how they have manifested their realisation in the stream of development practice.
· Social Development
· Economic Development
· Urban/City Development
· Rural Development
· Transportation Development
· Regional Development
· Integrated Development
b. The substantive issues of translating development models into action.
· Project Management and implementation
· Monitoring and Evaluation
· Financing Development
· Institutional/organisational Enhancement and Capacity
It should be noted here that the issues mentioned above are not exhaustive. I subsequently entreat all and sundry and those interested in development issues to join in this discussion to help educate people on development issues and demand accountability.