Institutional dimensions of veterinary services reforms: responses to structural adjustment in Northern Ghana

K. Amankwah, L.W.A. Klerkx, O. Sakyi-Dawson, N. Karbo, S.J. Oosting, C. Leeuwis, A.J. van der Zijpp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the effect of the post-1980s' structural adjustment reforms on the delivery and smallholders' use of veterinary services in two districts in Northern Ghana. Our analytical framework distinguishes between allocative, cognitive, and normative institutions to analyse the effects on four areas of service delivery: (1) prevention; (2) clinical services; (3) provision of drugs, vaccines, and other products; and (4) human health protection. The reforms were accompanied by substantial reductions in the allocation of both financial and human resources to public veterinary services; this in turn induced fragmentation in service supply, preferential service to progressive (or wealthy) farmers, and non-adherence to international protocols for livestock health reporting. A few communities self-organized to access veterinary services. Thus, the reforms triggered changes mostly in formal allocative institutions, but these triggered further changes in informal allocative, cognitive, and normative institutions that structured the impact of the reforms. The paper concludes that institutional change is not a one-off outcome of an intervention. Rather, such interventions trigger new dynamics that policy-makers and analysts need to take into account. This requires regular monitoring of anticipated and unanticipated effects of privatization and decentralization to enable policy adjustment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-315
JournalInternational Journal of Agricultural Sustainability
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • animal health-services
  • developing-countries
  • delivery
  • innovation
  • privatization
  • constraints
  • provision
  • economics
  • systems
  • world

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