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CHAPTER2: INTRODUCTION 8 Rural infrastructure, location theories, and decentralized rural development-rural infrastructure and settlement systems-definitions of hard, soft, and institutional infrastructures-relationship between hard, soft, and institutional infrastructure-rural infrastructural services and settlement systems-spatialfea- tures of development-the scope of the study-field survey and data base. CHAPTER 3: THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK: THE CENTRAL PLACE THEORY 21 Definitions of basic concepts-the process of emergence and growth of a central place-the formulation of central place theory-the relevance of central place theory to current analysis. CHAPTER 4: REVIEW OF SERVICE PROVISION AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN GHANA 32 Introduction- disparities in availability of and access to, services-disparities by the regions of Ghana- disparities by the districts of Ghana-past and present policies of regional development in Ghana-na- tional physical framework- regional decentralisation-integrated rural/regional development and na- tional policy on growth poles-measures of decentralization in Ghana-the national development plan- ning system-conclusions. CHAPTER 5:PROVISION AND USE OF RURAL SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC SERVICES IN THE STUDY AREAS 50 Current thinking on development planning in Ghana-Sub-Saharan Africa, Ghana, and decentralized rural development-rural infrastructural services-the distribution of rural infrastructural services-the hierarchy of rural social and economic services-the entry thresholds of rural social and economic services-the ranking of services and the centrality of settlements-broad patterns of rural service provi- sion-the travel patterns and categorization -of settlements-the hierarchy of service centres-the func- tional characteristics of service centres-the functional characteristics of services-the pattern of inci- dence ofservices-the incidence of service provision in sub-regions of majorservice centres-the implica- tions of ratio values for district development planning-relationship between hard, soft, and institutional infrastructures-the regional context of service provision-central place theory, and planning for provi- sion of rural services in Ghana. CHAPTER 6:REVIEW OF PERIODIC MARKETS AND RURAL MARKETING SYSTEMS IN GHANA 77 Periodic markets in West Africa- people and periodic markets- periodic markets as central places-the hierarchies of periodic markets-the organization of periodic markets-the regional distribution of peri- odic markets in Ghana-rural households and daily and periodic markets-what governs locations of periodic markets?-how can the periodicity be explained?-consumers, traders, administrators, and pe- riodic markets-amenities and services in wholesale and periodic markets-roads, transport facilities, and agricultural production-conclusions. CHAPTER 7: RURAL MARKETS AND RURAL MARKETING SYSTEMS IN THE STUDY AREAS 89 locations of rural markets-day of market meetings-service population of rural markets-traders in rural markets-rural markets, and rural service centres-use of services provided by the service centres and rural markets-the mechanics of providing mobile services at the rural markets. CHAPTER 8: CONCLUSIONS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS 100 practical policy implications for the district assemblies-decentralized rural development-spatial or- ganizational features of rural service and rural marketing systems-planning for rural service system- planning for rural marketing system-conducting collaborative policy research with district assemblies- training and capacity-strengthening of district assemblies-empowerment of the core planning teams- generation, and dissemination, of relevant policy information-theoretical, and empirical, implications of the study-facilitating development of the regional economy-poverty reduction- empowerment of women- generalising the results for replication elsewhere.