The concept and practice of participatory planning is not new in Ghana, however the link to the national planning system is either weak or non-existent. This article highlights the experiences of two projects which aim to deepen community participation in planning and link it to the existing planning system of the country. It also discusses GhanaÆs experience in planning at the sub-district level, reviewing approaches by the communities, NGOs, project interventions, etc.; and outlines GhanaÆs local government system, CBP (community based planning), and the way forward. It describes the application of CBP in Ghana with experiences from a project which was part of DFID funded action research project covering Uganda, Zimbabwe, Ghana, and South Africa, where GhanaÆs experiences of participatory planning processes were reviewed and a steering committee established. The councils, New Edubiase and Morso/Kuofa, were chosen to host a CBM pilot project which proved successful. The second project was the Village Infrastructure Project (VIP) which aimed to empower local communities to manage infrastructure investments; increase local access to development resources; strengthen institutional capacity at community level; and support government strategies for decentralisation. The article goes on to look at some of the innovations in the use of participatory methodologies used in the projects, and lessons learned. It concludes with some recommendations for future CBP in Uganda such as reactivating the council as an appropriate level for managing community driven development (CDD); harmonisation of CBP and CDD approaches; the need for promotion of CBP within the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development; and the institutionalisation of an experienced CBP steering committee.
International Institute for Environment and Development