Democratic developmental local governance and economic transformation in Ghana

To address some of the country’s development challenges, the Government of Ghana in 2017 started implementation of two major policies: ‘One District One Factory’ (1D1F) industrialisation programme and promotion of democratic local governance and popular participation (devolution). The implementation of the local democratic governance is likely to be affected by the December 2019 referendum that seeks amendments to the country’s Constitutions which requires the President to appoint Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives and also forbid political parties to participate in local government elections. On the implementation of 1D1F industrialisation programme, due to failures of industrial policy in the past, there are scepticisms by some key actors on the government’s capacity to implement. A broad-based support by key stakeholders at the national and local levels will be needed. To enhance chances of success in both programmes, there is a need to learn from past failures; analysis of the historical, social, political and economic context in which the 1D1F is being implemented; and lessons from countries that have established successful industrial policy. All of these will require research evidence. The proposed DDLG platform therefore seeks to facilitate a structured relationship between the central/local governments and private investors to enable and encourage rapid feedback on the policy and programme implementation and to adjust where need be. It will enhance the chances of the two policies attaining their intended outcomes; that is structural transformation of Ghana’s economy, provision of sustainable jobs and promotion of local democratic governance system.



  • To use research and practice evidence to inform the development and effective implementation of two major policies and programmes in the country
  • To ensure that research evidence informs and advances actions towards design of two new policies and programmes
  • Design of 1D1F policy that aligns structural change with broader societal objectives, such as job creation and equity
  • Design of DDLG policy that would promote entrepreneurial sub-national government that restlessly searches out new opportunities for inclusive local economic growth working with multiple state and non-state actors.



Host and main actors

Host: The Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS), Accra, Ghana


Other actors: Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee on Decentralisation; GIZ; 1D1F Secretariat; 10 Selected LGs; Ministry of local government and rural development; National Association of Local Government Authorities (NALAG); Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG); USAID; Office of the Head of LG Service; Political parties; and the Dutch Embassy in Ghana


Key deliverables

  • A functional and active democratic developmental local governance and economic transformation (DDLG) platform
  • Stakeholder mapping consultations and reports
  • DDLG Inaugural Forum
  • Local industrial policy study synthesis report(s)
  • DDLG studies synthesis report (s)
  • Empirical studies on 1D1F and implications on DDLG
  • Three Policy Briefs
  • Two newspaper articles
  • Two national policy forums
  • Three Breakfast/lunch meetings
  • 1D1F policy framework document designed and approved
  • DDLG policy framework document designed and approved
  • Meetings on the development of the two policy frameworks
  • Regular social media messages
  • Newsletters
  • Networks with other local platforms
  • Policy influencers/champions
  • Relationship between CG and LGs and between LGs and private investors structured in a way that enables and encourages rapid feedback on the 1D1F policies
  • Local government-private sector dialogue at sub-national level organised to create jobs, promote local value chain, and ensure income growth and mutually enforceable performance standards
  • DDLG provides access to research evidence on political decentralization (devolution) to key policy makers at national and sub-national level
  • LGs involved in the implementation of 1D1F industrial programme
  • Institutionalization and effective Implementation of the 1D1F industrial programme, enabling coordination of both central and sub-national government position on 1D1F as well as the interest of enterprises with sufficient autonomy, budgetary control and political support