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Come together, right now, over what? : an analysis of the processes of democratization and participatory governance of water and sanitation services in Dodowa, Ghana

Jenkins, Shona LU (2016) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20161
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
Delivering essential services to burgeoning peri-urban cities in the Sub-Sahara will only become
an increasing challenge, as the population in this region is expected to double by 2050. Finding
effective governance arrangements, institutional settings and building participatory arenas that
give a greater voice to citizens and foster greater responsiveness from democratic authorities is a
delicate endeavour, fraught with difficult trade-offs. Critical political ecology provides analytical
channels to investigate the interplay between water and sanitation management, power and
knowledge.
An investigation of the process of decentralization and participatory governance of water and
sanitation services at the local level was conducted... (More)
Delivering essential services to burgeoning peri-urban cities in the Sub-Sahara will only become
an increasing challenge, as the population in this region is expected to double by 2050. Finding
effective governance arrangements, institutional settings and building participatory arenas that
give a greater voice to citizens and foster greater responsiveness from democratic authorities is a
delicate endeavour, fraught with difficult trade-offs. Critical political ecology provides analytical
channels to investigate the interplay between water and sanitation management, power and
knowledge.
An investigation of the process of decentralization and participatory governance of water and
sanitation services at the local level was conducted in the peri-urban city of Dodowa, Ghana.
The suburbs included in this case study comprised of two suburbs with an established community
water and sanitation committee (WATSAN) and four suburbs with no such committee. A
qualitative investigation via semi-structured interviews, informal discussions and narrative walks,
using mixed sampling methods revealed a very complex picture.
Analysis was conducted based on a framework elaborated from a literature review of
decentralization, participatory governance and political ecology theory. My results have shown
that institutionalized local democracy in Dodowa has created participatory spaces with a very
narrow mandate and limited capacity to evolve and adapt to changing local needs. WATSAN
committees have failed to foster an inclusive participatory arena and provide a louder local
political voice around locally defined priorities. Grassroots-derived participatory arenas are a
promising alternative for strengthening local political voice, but more resources, power and
discretion need to be afforded to local governments in order for them to become more responsive
to citizen voices. A more detailed discussion around the context-specific barriers to
democratization and how grassroots civic engagement can be fostered is included throughout the
pages of this thesis. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Jenkins, Shona LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
participatory governance, democratization, water & sanitation, Ghana, sustainability science
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2016:018
language
English
id
8880152
date added to LUP
2016-06-16 10:42:42
date last changed
2016-06-16 10:42:42
@misc{8880152,
  abstract     = {Delivering essential services to burgeoning peri-urban cities in the Sub-Sahara will only become
an increasing challenge, as the population in this region is expected to double by 2050. Finding
effective governance arrangements, institutional settings and building participatory arenas that
give a greater voice to citizens and foster greater responsiveness from democratic authorities is a
delicate endeavour, fraught with difficult trade-offs. Critical political ecology provides analytical
channels to investigate the interplay between water and sanitation management, power and
knowledge.
An investigation of the process of decentralization and participatory governance of water and
sanitation services at the local level was conducted in the peri-urban city of Dodowa, Ghana.
The suburbs included in this case study comprised of two suburbs with an established community
water and sanitation committee (WATSAN) and four suburbs with no such committee. A
qualitative investigation via semi-structured interviews, informal discussions and narrative walks,
using mixed sampling methods revealed a very complex picture.
Analysis was conducted based on a framework elaborated from a literature review of
decentralization, participatory governance and political ecology theory. My results have shown
that institutionalized local democracy in Dodowa has created participatory spaces with a very
narrow mandate and limited capacity to evolve and adapt to changing local needs. WATSAN
committees have failed to foster an inclusive participatory arena and provide a louder local
political voice around locally defined priorities. Grassroots-derived participatory arenas are a
promising alternative for strengthening local political voice, but more resources, power and
discretion need to be afforded to local governments in order for them to become more responsive
to citizen voices. A more detailed discussion around the context-specific barriers to
democratization and how grassroots civic engagement can be fostered is included throughout the
pages of this thesis.},
  author       = {Jenkins, Shona},
  keyword      = {participatory governance,democratization,water & sanitation,Ghana,sustainability science},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {Come together, right now, over what? : an analysis of the processes of democratization and participatory governance of water and sanitation services in Dodowa, Ghana},
  year         = {2016},
}