Development brokerage has become a crucial and enduring phenomenon where local actors link their communities to the international development and aid system. Using the case of the World Bank-led Promoting Partnerships with Traditional Authorities Project (PPTAP) with the Asanteman Council in 2003, this study investigates the brokerage roles played by Traditional Authorities (TA) towards rural education. This study finds that the role of TAs was significant concerning improved time-bound projects, greater community participation and ownership, de-politicisation of projects, and accelerated land acquisition processes. However, issues of sustainability and gender remain critical concerns for the overall success of TAs as development brokers.
Bibliographical noteThis work was supported by The Royal Air Maroc grant number and St Antony's College, University of Oxford [STAR Grant TT16].
This study found that the involvement of TAs in the implementation of the PPTAP alongside the PPTAP secretariat outside the operations of the Ghanaian state ensured that the projects were done in a timely manner. This was in spite of the initial delays in project funds disbursement from the WB, particularly in 2003–2004. The active and supervisory role of the Asantehene and his paramount and village chiefs through the PPTAP secretariat ensured that the project delivery was on time. Due to the strong component of chiefs’ involvement, they liaised with technical consultants and project contractors involved with the PPTAP to ensure that undue delays and bureaucratic processes were reduced. Regarding the PPTAP, the political authority of the Asantehene was such that both subordinate chiefs and technical staff were keen to meet the time deadlines scheduled for the implementation of the pilot project. While the PPTAP, like other state-implemented projects, is funded by donor agencies, the overarching drive by the Asantehene and other TAs to enhance the ease of financial transfers proved useful for ensuring the timely completion of the project. As indicated by this participant:
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- capacity development
- aid effectiveness
- sub-Saharan Africa