(Contract) Future Cities Africa (FCA) - Part of Output 2 - The Role of the Informal Economy in City Growth in the Context of Uganda



Approval Date
Core Focus
Secondary Cities
Country Type


Research Project 3: Urban Governance and Service Delivery in the context of Ghana 15. Under the impacts of globalisation, urbanisation and decentralisation, the relationship between national government, local government, civil society and private sector in shaping urban development has been subject of extensive research. Nonetheless, the balance of the different public and private role players and the definition of what constitutes an effective model of governance able to deliver equitable growth is still the subject of much dispute. In the African context, the roles, powers and core values of businesses, municipalities and social capital structures undergo dramatic variations across cities especially as they come to interplay or contend in the provision of basic services where interests and livelihoods are at stake. In addition urban services that need to be managed as integrated systems that cut across administrative boundaries such as drainage, water and waste removal are increasingly hampered by administrative fragmentation. 16. Within Ghana’s major cities, recent years have witnessed a trend toward diminished relative access to basic services (as a share of urban population). As urban areas have greater service provision than rural areas, Ghana’s rapid urbanisation has resulted in a greater overall share of the population with access to basic services. Within urban areas, however, resident demand and population growth has outpaced service supply, leading to a lower share of the urban population with access to piped water, sanitation, and toilet facilities. 17. The efficiency of urban service delivery is largely influenced by the institutional human resource capacity of service providers and the provision of adequate financing. The evidence suggests that both available human resource capacity and fiscal transfer and municipal revenues however are insufficient for the scaling up of needed infrastructure investments. To fill the gap within informal areas self-supply and informal systems are dominant and highly based on the self-organisation of local communities and support of civil society. In addition even though few examples exist the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda 2010-2013 (GSGDA) mentions public-private partnerships (PPP) as a vehicle for improving service delivery and infrastructure. 18. In other terms, there is limited understanding of the scale of the problem, its causes and effects and what modes of governance are available and realistic and in a context of rapid urbanisation and GDP growth such as Ghana. The purpose of this research project is therefore to fill crucial theoretical and evidence gap, by collecting and analysing data on urban governance models, cities and service delivery, testing the relevant theories/models/hypothesis and feeding the results into the current academic and policy debates at national and international level. City-level data and evidence should be gathered by, but not limited to, cities of focus to the FCA project (Accra, Tema and Gama city region) and aggregated at the national scale. It is expected that the results of the Ghana case study are also compared at the continental and international scale to further validate and generalise the research results. 19. In addressing the topic the following research questions are of initial guidance to the service provider. It is recognised that the main research question and its sub-questions will need further refinement as part of the Project Initiation / Inception Phase – taking into consideration the more detailed context of the study and likely research challenges. The development of an appropriate framework for analysis should form part of the Inception Report. • What are the main causes and consequences of the incomplete and unbalanced provision of basic services in Ghanaian Cities? • A comparative analysis of governance systems (institutional framework and current practices) in Ghana vis-à-vis African cities in provision of basic services.
20. Tasks. The research plan should include the following tasks. It is anticipated that these tasks will be refined and operationalised in a detailed work plan as part of the inception phase: • Task 1. Inception. This task will lay the conceptual foundations of the study and the plan to execute research. During the Inception Phase, the service provider will provide a literature review covering the most recent global and regional theory/debates on the subject, identify key challenges, gaps and trends, define the main research questions and sub-questions, define the main hypotheses and models to be tested, and assess the available data sources. The detailed deliverables’ description, work plan and project management arrangements will be further developed and specified along with the approach to collaborating and building capacity of the participating national and regional research networks/centres, research institutes/universities and other stakeholders. • Task 2. Mobilisation and engagement of the scientific communities. As part of this task, the service provider is expected to mobilise and engage the existing networks of research professionals/entities in the country (such as AURI where available) as well as the national research entities and other stakeholders in the development, review and dissemination of the research project. While the national level is the most relevant, engagement should also involve the international scientific community – especially within Africa through AURI or other leading institutions. Engagement should take place at all stages in the research process through a series of workshops, knowledge exchanges, roundtables, seminars etc. in the final modalities and schedule as agreed with the Cities Alliance Secretariat. The critical focus here should be to build long term research capacity within the participating research institutes and to develop a research agenda aimed at strengthening resilience and inclusive growth as part of the urbanisation process. • Task 3. Data collection and analysis. This task includes the collection of the best available secondary data and as practical primary data at the field level for the main case study in the Ghanaian cities (sample should include Accra, Tema and Gama city region) as well as nation-wide data. Data will be then be statistically analysed, aggregated and structured to test the research hypothesis and models related to urban governance and service delivery. Methods of analysis should be quantitative to the extent viable. Qualitative data should be used to triangulate and complement information where relevant. Data collection might also include secondary data and other data gathered from the other FCA countries and other relevant regional example for cross comparison, testing and induction purposes. • Task 4. Write up and dissemination. This task includes the finalisation of the different deliverables, most notably the monograph of the case study as well as activities finalised at the dissemination and ownership by the scientific community of the research project outputs. This task should also define potential research frontiers and setting future priorities for a country research agenda.
Expected Impacts and Results
• Subject Area: Urban Governance and Service Delivery. Case studies/evidence/data from other countries in the region should be used to complement and expand the initial scope of the work in order to draw conclusions of general relevance. The expected outcomes of the four research projects are the production and dissemination of high-quality scientific research findings which are expected to fill relevant evidence gaps, lead to setting and influencing the research agenda of the participating countries (and wider African urban research agenda) and ultimately inform effective policy making. While the studies will have a degree of country specificity, the results and supporting evidence should also be of wider relevance and application at regional and global level.