Most of Ghana’s development plans lack creative quality

Thu, 14 Aug 2014 Source: Krampah, Seth

The consultant to the Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organization (SMIDO), Mr. Nyaaba-Aweeba Azongo, and a Development Planner has observed that contrary to what has been largely perceived as Ghana’s bad implementation culture to good Plans, the challenge he admitted stems more from the lack of imaginative quality and practical substance of Ghana’s Development Plans produced than the poverty of implementation.

Mr. Azongo was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the Suame Magazine Industrial Development Fund (SMID Fund), a successful initiative designed by the Planner which has secured a 1000acre Land and a GH¢10million from private arrangement to implement the first phase of the SMIDO industrial complex project, a transformational resettlement scheme for artisans of Suame Magazine contained in SMIDO Policy blueprint designed by the consultant in 2007.

He observed that Ghanaians are always quick to pass the blame on implementation for planning failures and praise the good-intention content of Plans referenced from existing literature without any creative originality informed by the Planning Environment. He asked rhetorically Why as a nation we have never questioned the economic deprivation of districts in Ghana, the ritual reliance of District Assembly Common Fund as the primary development funding source, and the exponential growth of the rural-urban migration against the consistent investment in Medium-Term plans and implementation by Districts in the Country since the establishment of the District Assembly system and the National Development Planning Commission.

According to Azongo, Planning and Implementation are not separate activities and that implementation is part of the planning process. The dichotomy doesn’t exist in planning theory. It is a grand deception that has been consciously fostered to protect a carbon copy intellectual industry that lacks the creative ingredient to drive the complexity of contemporary Development demands. He noted that putting together a carbon copy blueprint referenced from existing theories and literature is the easiest professional enterprise. The planning-implementation duality has only succeeded in creating an escape route for professional laxity, making documentation phase of planning an exit- route comfort industry. In other words, it allows the architect of these plans to escape accountability.

He intimated that Planning is a guided process of which implementation is a part of the process, and therefore there cannot be a case where the very architect of the plan exit the field-Matching engineering stage of the plan and comes back to say there was a poor implementation to a best plan. There can only be a case of a good plan or bad plan and not the split-sided barometer we have been constantly fed with. He posited that, “If preparing a plan is seen as rocket-science professional enterprise, then matching it on the ground cannot just be said to be the responsibility of others without its architect as the leading marksman to facilitate the process towards its realization.

He called on Ghanaians to stop judging plans by the depth of intentions and documentary verbiage but the quality of the visible footprints on the ground which together constitutes the planning process to challenge the overly academic outlook of the existing failed planning trajectory. He said this is urgently required to inspire a more creative and intellectually-challenging revolution in planning design.

Mr. Azongo indicated that without this any attempt to isolate Implementation as a separate activity to cover-up planning deficiencies creates an avenue for business -as- usual with far reaching implication for national development.

Columnist: Krampah, Seth