This program addresses issues of economic and social development policies and their effect on growth, poverty reduction, wealth creation and distribution in the medium to the long-term. Ghana’s rate of economic growth has been projected at 20 percent per annum, as the economy expands into oil and gas production and export from late 2010. What are the implications of such a steep growth, from the current 4-5 percent, for poverty reduction, inequality and sustainable development in the country? The projected growth has raised expectation that Ghana’s aspiration to be a middle-income economy would be met sooner than expected. There are also expectations that such a high level of growth will facilitate the structural transformation of the economy, especially in agriculture, industry and services, strengthen production, create employment, improve the wellbeing of poor farmers, and access to high quality of education at all levels.
However, questions have been raised about whether such growth will also spur the establishment of a democratic developmental state in Ghana and improve natural resource and environmental governance, while bridging the urban-rural and regional development gaps in the country. To address these issues, systematic studies and critical analysis areto be undertaken,under this programme, to improve knowledge and inform the making of cutting edge policy decisions. Taking a rights-based and political economy approach, specific studies are also undertaken to understand trends in Citizens’ and other stakeholders’ participation in economic and social policy formulation and implementation, the crafting of national consensus and influence over policy choices and outcomes, and improvements in public financial management and revenue generation and utilization.
Questions of national ownership of economic and social policies and their impact on national development and social cohesion would are also investigated here. Further, studies are carried out to critically monitor and analyze compliance with the directive principles of state policy (1992 Constitution) in the formulation and implementation of national development plans for the medium and long terms. Against the backdrop of the growth of an emergent economy, this programme also undertakes reviews of global and regional development frameworks, such as Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs), Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) etc. and their impact on Ghana’s relations with the international financial institutions and bilateral donors are monitored. Finally, the effects and implications of the development of regional economic communities and trends towards continental political and economic integration on national development are also critically studied.