Ghana’s decentralization process has seen the creation of District Assemblies as organizations that must be managed in a professional manner. District Assemblies are concerned with how best to manage their business successfully within the administrative and political system in which they operate. But striving for success through the optimal transformation of input to output in a quality manner requires a healthy structure, process, material and environmental conditions. It is important that the necessary human resource is available to deploy the limited resources at the local level to meet the prioritized development needs of people in the locality.
The Master’s programme in Local Government Administration and Organization is a two-year programme tailored to meet capacity gaps and career development goals of local government practitioners and persons interested in pursuing a career in local governance. The programme is designed in response to the challenges and opportunities pertaining to local government with emphasis on the transfer of appropriate skills, knowledge and attitudes for a new working ethos in local administration.
5.0 Justification for the Programme
With the establishment of the local government service, the challenges facing administrators in the discharge of their statutory obligations will be enormous and for them to be effective it is important that they are abreast with trends in modern administrative and management practices. They must possess a detailed understanding of the local government system and be able to take up leadership role by employing appropriate management tools that will not only mobilise internal resources but provide an interface for community members and interest groups to keep engaging administrators in finding solutions and creating opportunities towards local development. This course will equip students to become effective leaders by exposing them to critical managerial functions that not only focus on the day-to-day administration in assemblies but to enable them to develop strategic approaches for quality service delivery.
6.0 Aims and Objectives of the Programme
The purpose of the course is to contribute to the development and improvement of local government administration particularly in Ghana by focusing on the local government environment, players, legislation, functions and roles and providing opportunities for the exchange of ideas and information among students. It will enable local government practitioners to appreciate their roles as developmental agents and equip them with tools and techniques to harness various resources at their disposal to bring about meaningful grassroots development. The objectives of the programme are:
- To equip students with advanced academic knowledge and skills for job performance in the local government sector
- To expose students to tools, techniques and trends in modern-day local government administration for effective management and leadership in assemblies
- To examine and related systems, functions and roles of local governments from a comparative study of other countries
- To foster independent and critical thought by educating students in advanced concepts and techniques in local government practice
- To develop students' scholarly and professional research skills and to
- Provide a foundation for further study in professional and academic levels.
The graduate of the Master’s programme will:
- Demonstrate mastery of advanced knowledge and skills and perform leadership roles to advance local government administration
- Demonstrate the ability to use evidence-based steps to design proposals and address organisational challenges
- Initiate collaborative relationships with other local government practitioners and stakeholders for mutual and professional support
- Formulate and implement plans for individual and overall organisational development
7.0 Admission Requirements and Target Group
The module is designed as a Master’s programme therefore the minimum entry requirements shall be a bachelor’s degree in the social sciences or any other related subject and a two-year post-graduation work experience. The target group includes all persons who are interested in local governance.
8.0 Career Opportunities
Although this course primarily targets practitioners in the local government sector it offers varied job opportunities for persons interested in local governance. The course by its design is rigorous and tailored to strengthen the capacity and experience of students and increase their competence level so that they can adequately fit into and manage organizations operating at the local level including public institutions, private sector and non-governmental organizations. Relying on the strength of the quality of its research, the course provides graduates the opportunity to pursue careers in research institutions and chart further academic career paths.
9.0 Mode of Assessment
The teaching methodology shall include lectures; problem-solving exercises, case study analyses, student participation in seminars, discussions as well as independent studies. Case studies culled from current academic and business publications have been carefully selected to stimulate learning. The entire programme and individual courses will also be assessed through a combination of:
- Graded Examinations
- Student Project Report and Case Studies
- Individual Study and Seminars
- Internships and Practical Attachments
- Masters Thesis
10.0 Graduation Requirements
- Candidates shall pass all courses and obtain minimum total credits of 43.
- Candidates shall report a minimum of 4 weeks of internship duly assessed.
- Candidates shall attend and pass an oral examination on their thesis.
- To pass a course, a student must obtain a minimum of 50% of the marks available and an average of 55% for all courses.
11.0 Programme Structure
The programme is designed for completion in four semesters, which shall spread over a period of two years. Each session shall last for an average of 3-4 months with a recess of about 2 months. There are a total of 14 courses packaged into 3 core courses and 3 elective courses per semester. Except for the thesis which is the individual research work, each course will consist of on-campus lectures. There will also be study tours and seminars.