Project planning and implementation should be mutually reinforcing for development to thrive in Ghana, says Nyaaba-Aweeba Azongo, a development planner.
There should not be any dichotomy between planning and implementation, he said.
Mr. Azongo has bemoaned the persisting culture of contracting experts to lead the planning phase of national projects, yet allow others to proceed with implementation without engaging the planners.
He says such practice allows the architect of these plans to escape accountability, adding that the “poverty of implementation” results in the non-attainment of expected impacts of plans.
“The architects of the plans would often exit the documentation phase of the plan and when it comes to the ground engineering aspect of the plan, they leave it to others who have very little knowledge about the documentation in terms of the content and the direction of implementation,” observed the planner.
Ghana prides in devising excellent plans and policies to drive socio-economic development but often fails in implementing such plans.
Mr. Azongo believes plans should not be determined by the quality of documentation but implementation outcomes.
“Development is a product of planning,” he noted. “Ultimately, we’ll have to rely on our planning regime to be able to generate the kind of development we all wish to see”.
Mr. Azongo therefore advocates that the architects of plans for government projects need to be part of the implementation team to achieve better outcomes.
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, he observed.
As consultant to Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organization (SMIDO), Mr. Azongo planned an initiative to secur a 1000acre land and a Gh₵10million private funding arrangement to implement the first phase of the SMIDO industrial complex project.
The project is a transformational resettlement scheme for artisans of Suame Magazine contained in SMIDO’s Policy Blueprint designed by the consultant in 2007.
The Suame Magazine Industrial Development fund (SMID Fund) has been launched to drive funding for the project.
Mr. Azongo has emphasized that there can only be a case of a good plan or bad plan and not the split-sided barometer Ghana has 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”.
Story by Kofi Adu Domfeh
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