Lack of capacity leads to inadequate integration of social transformation analysis into development planning – REACH-STR


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The Resilience Against Climate Change-Social Transformation Research and Policy Advocacy (REACH-STR) project identified lack of capacity as the main cause of inadequate integration of social transformation analysis into development planning in Ghana.

This comes from a number of sources, including; above all a lack of knowledge in research and scientific literature on methodological approaches to analyze social transformation, and weaknesses in institutional capacity for analyzes of social transformation.

Dr William Quarmine, a national monitoring and evaluation researcher at the International Institute of Water Management (IWMI), blamed it on an inadequate allocation of funds for in-depth data collection.

He said standard national development planning guidelines only require the description and analysis of existing conditions highlighting the main development problems, their causes and implications for the planning period.

Dr Quarmine was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Wa on the sidelines of a learning event with development workers in the Upper West and Savannah regions.

According to him, society was changing and it was up to development planners to understand the changing trend, hence why they developed and tested an analytical framework to help development workers measure how society was changing.

The workshop, he said, was therefore intended to train development workers on how they could track changes in society and respond to them by taking appropriate actions that would lead to transformation.

He said the development of the analytical framework was based on their observation that development workers mainly focused on achieving outcomes such as roads, schools, hospitals, which created a development gap.

Dr Quarmine noted that in order for them to see how society was changing, they had to focus on other things such as the culture of the society, power relations, norms, ideals and value systems.

“Development workers really focus on things that are easy to measure at the expense of the core of society, which are belief systems, values, norms, ideals, power struggles, structures, winners and losers among others, ”he said.

“These are lacking in development work and in the situations where they are there, development agents do not have the capacity and resources to be able to follow them,” he said.

He said they expected participants to be able to grasp certain ideas from the training, which they could include in their work to help with planning and be able to bring about social transformation.

“This, if achieved, will improve the worst forms of poverty and improve society,” said the national monitoring and evaluation researcher.

Mr Michael Safo Ofori, team member, REACH-STR / IWMI, said a review of development plans for five districts found that most of the deliverables were observable rather than latent (beliefs and systems of values).

He said they believed that a focus on the latent could easily bring about a social transformation that the observable, which he said would need high-level magnitude and persistence before social transformation could. be carried out.

He recommended that the profiles and characteristics of the districts be described in an evolutionary way and not in their current state, adding that the medium-term development plans (MTDP) of the districts should not only be a tool to create a social transformation but also a tool to respond to changes. in society.

Mr Ofori said it was important to build capacity to monitor latent elements and that when that happened, then they could make plans to help change them and ultimately bring about social transformation.

REACH is a project sponsored by the European Union (EU) and coordinated by the International Institute of Water Management (IWMI) in partnership with the University of Ghana, the University of Development Studies (UDS) and the Scientific and Industrial Research Center (CSIR).

Source: GNA

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