Partnerships, learning, and the Millenium Development Goals: a case study from Ghana

Decades of development practice suggest the fundamental importance of improving aid-delivery systems and stakeholder competence in order to improve the well-being of poor people. However, it is questionable whether the aid system is able to change its attitudes and values through such partnerships in a way that will do this. This paper suggests that for this change to be possible, processes of individual, organisational, and inter-organisational learning have to be encouraged, in ways that do not sacrifice the knowledge obtained by aid workers in the processes of global management. The paper explores procedures of bilaterally funded community education projects in Ghana, in order to give insights into the working of partnership arrangements as a means to contribute to the alleviation of global poverty. Critical instances from the case study projects reveal the ways in which learning is facilitated, used, ignored, and hindered as the organisational relations develop.