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Barriers to implementing health sector administrative decentralisation in Ghana: A study of the Nkwanta district health management team

E. Kojo Sakyi (University of Ghana Business School, Legon, Accra, Ghana)
J. Koku Awoonor‐Williams (Ghana Health Service, Bolgatanga, Upper East Region, Ghana)
Francis A. Adzei (University of Ghana Business School, Legon, Accra, Ghana)

Journal of Health Organization and Management

ISSN: 1477-7266

Article publication date: 9 August 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine empirically the ways in which workforce knowledge and organisational factors of an implementing agency affected the implementation of health sector administration decentralisation in Ghana with insights from the Nkwanta district health administration.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a qualitative study using data from individual and group interviews through purposive selection of health officials, who were directly involved in the work of actual implementation of the programme. Specifically, participants included senior management, middle management and junior workers, who had worked at least for the past three months in the district.

Findings

The study found that most of the interviewees involved in the implementation process are knowledgeable of the objectives of the decentralisation process. Also, major factors that are militating against effective decentralisation in the district include inadequate funds, lack of qualified personnel, inadequate logistics and equipment, poor interpersonal relationships, lack of transparency and a good operational system, lack of incentives to motivate the staff, political interference, poor infrastructure and high rate of illiteracy.

Originality/value

The findings of this study will help improve the implementation of decentralisation within the health sector in Ghana. The paper provides recommendations, which, if considered for implementation, will help improve the decentralisation process.

Keywords

Citation

Kojo Sakyi, E., Koku Awoonor‐Williams, J. and Adzei, F.A. (2011), "Barriers to implementing health sector administrative decentralisation in Ghana: A study of the Nkwanta district health management team", Journal of Health Organization and Management, Vol. 25 No. 4, pp. 400-419. https://doi.org/10.1108/14777261111155038

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited