Development Communication and Project Sustainability
Empirical Analysis of Ejura Sekyedumase Municipality in Ghana
Communication and development are perceived as closely intertwined phenomena in which one is believed to guarantee the other. This paper argues that, sustainable development initiatives are those that guarantee the participation of those who have some interest in the intended change. The paper further argues that, communication facilitates community participation in development projects. However, development interventions at the community level seem to ignore the important role communication play in sustaining development projects. This paper highlights the importance of communication in sustaining development projects in the Ejura Sekyedumase Municipality in Ghana. The research adopted the exploratory case study approach using four communities and three purposively selected projects. The data for the study were obtained from a survey of institutional and household heads and focus group discussions. The results show that development communication facilitated the participation of communities in development projects and increased their willingness to commit resources such as money, accommodation, information, labour etc. to sustain projects. Also, projects with effective communication had good operations and maintenance culture with better prospects of sustainability than those without effective communication. Therefore, Development Communication facilitates the effective operations and maintenance of development projects which ensures that the intended benefits of the projects are realised over the entire project life. Development communication is also effective in building local capacities through training and sensitisation to initiate, implement and take ownership of local level projects. The study recommends that communication should take center stage in the planning, implementation and monitoring of rural projects for their sustainability.