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Communication challenges in implementing health sector decentralisation at district level in Ghana: A study of health workforce and stakeholder opinions from three district health administrations

E. Kojo Sakyi (University of Ghana Business School, Legon, Ghana)

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 4 May 2010

1016

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to examine how internal communication of reform objectives to health workforces and stakeholders has influenced the implementation of Ghana's health sector decentralisation at district level.

Design/methodology/approach

Data collection involved in‐depth interviews with district public health officials, private health providers, local government officials and health‐related non‐government organisations which had been working in the district for at least two years.

Findings

The study's findings showed that communication (the sharing of information) about reform objectives were centralised among the top hierarchy of the District Health Management Teams; and the process of transferring reform information to district health workforces and stakeholders was through a top‐downward approach. This vertical style of communication resulted in limited information getting through to district health workforces tasked with the implementation. This impacted negatively on reform implementation.

Originality/value

The paper reveals that there is a connection between the level of comprehension of the objectives for decentralisation reform both by the health workforce and stakeholders, particularly the expected new roles they are supposed to play. A lack of effective transfer of information affects commitment and ownership of the decentralisation reform at district level; contributing significantly to the poor implementation of the reform programme.

Keywords

Citation

Kojo Sakyi, E. (2010), "Communication challenges in implementing health sector decentralisation at district level in Ghana: A study of health workforce and stakeholder opinions from three district health administrations", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 156-171. https://doi.org/10.1108/17511871011040733

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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