A 1987 United Nations study of 38 countries found Ghana to have the second

A 1987 united nations study of 38 countries found

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appropriate the majority of revenues. A 1987 United Nations study of 38 countries found Ghana to have the second lowest transfers of revenues from central government (only 3.3% of centrally collected revenues in Ghana were transferred to local government). The majority of Assemblies are unable to devote substantial resources to development activities since most of their revenues are
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12 consumed in meeting recurrent expenditures. In 1998 new measures have been introduced that earmark 35% of the Common Fund for specific purposes. This includes 20% that has to be earmarked to support productivity, income generation and provision of employment, 10% to support and sustain community development initiatives and 5% for poverty reduction and rural housing improvement. This should improve interventions of District Assemblies in rural development. Challenges to the Implementation of Decentralisation Major problems that have emerged in the implementation of the decentralised structure include: x Difficulty in integrating decentralised departments into district assembly structures and decision- making; x Poor information flow between different actors in the system; x Lack of skilled personnel able to develop planning activities and create the necessary linkages; x Problems of accountability; x Lack of a sound financial base to support district development initiatives. Decentralisation has attempted to integrate a wide range of administrative decision-makers with different perspectives and support bases. The decentralised departments have ended up with a dual allegiance in this process to national and regional sector hierarchies still dominated by top-down decision-making structures and to District Assemblies who have been given the mandate to coordinate their activities. Since budgets, salaries, promotion and conditions of service have been controlled by central ministries, district staff have often responded more to department command structures than the district and have shown an unwillingness to integrate themselves into decentralised district administration. This problem is now being solved by devolving department budgets to the district level under the control of the Assembly. The Ministry of Agriculture has now reorganised with District Agricultural Officers responsible for developing district agricultural plans in coordination with the Assembly and responsible for setting plans and budgets that are controlled by the Assembly. In other sectors, the process of decentralisation is more complex. In the Forestry and Wildlife sector the Ministry of Lands and Forestry argues that timber resources in the high forest resource are a strategic national resource and cannot be coherently managed by numerous independent local authorities. However, savanna woodland and wildlife resources are seen as resources of local importance, thus the Ministry proposes to decentralise Forest Management in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Region and to build the capacities of District Assemblies to manage savanna natural resources. In the High Forest, the Forestry Department will assist the Assemblies in developing
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