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Policy Learning in the South: the Case of Pension Reform in Ghana 2004-2020

Student: Emmanuel Macyoung

Supervisor: Caroline Schlaufer

Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences

Educational Programme: Political Analysis and Public Policy (Master)

Final Grade: 9

Year of Graduation: 2021

Old-age policies in Africa are frequently overlooked because of the region’s youthful population. In 1994, the World Bank predicted that every population would have grayed in the following 30 to 50 years, thus putting countries with weak pension programs in danger and requiring reforms to keep up with demographic changes. The World Bank advised developing countries to learn from successful examples around the world. Ghana’s 2008 pension reform is a case in point. The problem is the paucity of literature about how pension policy lessons are drawn by developing countries. To understand how Ghana drew lessons from other countries during its pension reform, data was collected through interviews, reports, official documents, and relevant websites. Using an adapted framework of Rose’s lesson drawing theory, we found the framework useful. Despite evidence of learning from other countries and the indirect influence of transnational actors, the Bediako commission which was tasked to suggest a national pension policy consulted extensively with local stakeholders, thus resulting in a policy that was well adapted to the Ghanaian context. From the case study, we also found that lesson drawing appears unending and cyclical rather than a process to be terminated after policy adoption.

Full text (added May 23, 2021)

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