Dissertation Defense: Felix Kwame Yeboah - 06/11/14

Date: June 11, 2014
Location: Dissertation Defense: Felix Kwame Yeboah - 06/11/14 338 Natural Resources

INCORPORATING STAKEHOLDERS’ PERSPECTIVES AND PREFERENCES FOR IMPROVED POLICY INTERVENTION

Dissertation Defense

Felix Kwame Yeboah

Wednesday June 11
10 a.m.
338 Natural Resources

Abstract:
Researchers, resource managers, and development practitioners increasingly recognize the value of integrating the input and preferences of stakeholders into decision-making processes. Increasing participation of stakeholders in policy decision-making is generally considered favorable since it helps account for public concerns, reduces conflicts, increases public acceptance of and compliance with the resultant program rules, and enhances the overall effectiveness and achievement of program objectives. As part of efforts to improve program planning and foster achievement of program objectives, this dissertation explores the perspectives and preferences of key stakeholders regarding the design of two programs: Ghana’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) program known as Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty program (LEAP) and the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) in Michigan.  The dissertation is built around three essays. Essay one uses mixed methods to explore the socio-cultural context of CCT program implementation in Ghana. It examines perspectives of beneficiaries, program managers, and community leaders on LEAP programming focusing on their sociocultural attitudes towards poverty, perceptions of cash transfer as a poverty reduction strategy, and experiences with LEAP implementation. Essay two reports the findings from a discrete choice model exploring preferences of households in a LEAP community regarding key CCT program elements including conditionality, targeting, and payment method. Essay three also uses a discrete choice model to examine the decision of agricultural landowners in Michigan’s Saginaw Bay Watershed to participate in conservation programs for watershed protection. It specifically examines the key programmatic, socio-psychological, and demographic determinants of landowners’ decisions to enroll in a CREP filter strip program.

Dissertation Guidance Committee:
Dr. Michael D. Kaplowitz (Chair)
Dr. John M. Kerr
Dr. Frank Lupi
Dr. Laurie G. Thorp