Aid for basic education development in Ghana – the recipients’ experience

Owusu, Mama Bema (2018) Aid for basic education development in Ghana – the recipients’ experience. Ed.D thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Development agencies have been sending educational aid to Ghana for more than three decades, their declared purpose being to support the country’s educational development. Despite the aid and development agencies’ own literature indicating the aid is promoting education development, there has been little research exploring the aid’s actual outcomes as experienced in country by recipients. This dissertation therefore sought to explore experiences of Ghanaian educational aid recipients: teachers, head teachers, district, and national education managers, focusing on whether and how educational aid has contributed to or hindered educational development. Using an interpretive approach, the participants’ perceptions of their experiences of aid were sought. The interviewing method was used to collect data as it gave the opportunity to hear from the recipients’ individually. 13 participants were interviewed from the Ministry of Education, the Ghana Education Service, two primary schools and a District Education Office. King’s (2007) template analysis strategy was used to identify important themes in the recipients’ accounts of experiences, and the themes interpreted to arrive at findings. Six major findings were identified, the most significant being that the outcomes of aid are mixed – having both positive and negative impacts. Positive impacts include increased funding and learning experiences, whilst the negatives include aid conditionality. The other findings are that aid may be funding non-priority items; an urgent need to improve the delivery of aid; measuring the outcomes of aid is a challenge; there are tensions around the appropriateness of aid; and, aid not being the first option for recipients to seek assistance. Implications of these findings for practice include recommendations to: decentralise needs assessment for aid processes from the national authorities to include a cross section of regional, district and school staff in consultations; development agencies to allow recipients to decide what and how funds are used to meet local educational needs; the recipient nation to develop a standardized evaluation framework that can generate necessary data to report aid results; the need for the national government to incrementally wean the country off aid by pursuing alternative sources of funding; and in the short term, the need for development agencies to provide sustainable aid if the need arises. The concluding observation is the urgent need to recognise that aid can be improved for the betterment of those who it is intended to benefit.

Item Type: Thesis (Ed.D)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Educational aid.
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Enslin, Prof. Penny and Houston, Dr. Muir
Date of Award: 2018
Depositing User: Ms Mama Bema Owusu
Unique ID: glathesis:2018-8661
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2018 14:04
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 11:47

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