The Ghana Employment and Social Protection (GESP) Programme, on Thursday 17th June, 2021 organized a half-day debriefing workshop at the La-Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra, to solicit support from participating entities for the delivery of identified services and activities, building on and sustaining gains from the Productive Inclusion (PI) Intervention.
GESP Programme, seeks to contribute to inclusive growth in Ghana by strengthening social protection and employment systems.
In her presentation on the Productive Inclusion Initiative, Dr. Ester Ofei-Aboagye, Capacity Building Expert, indicated that, the programme is intended to support the Government of Ghana and other national stakeholders to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the social protection. However, it’s being implemented in fifty-two (52) local authorities in the Northern/Savannah, Western, Western North and Ashanti Regions.
She also noted that, as part of the agenda to support the less privileged in society through linkages between social protection and active labour market interventions, GESP has provision for a productive inclusion intervention.
Emphasizing that, information has been gathered to identify priority beneficiaries for an intervention that would equip them with skills and opportunities to enhance their incomes and sustain their living circumstances.
The presentation also mentioned that, “Ghana’s 1992 Constitution imposes an obligation on the State to protect its citizens in vulnerable circumstances and ensure that they have equitable access to social services and opportunities for participation in national development.
Various social protection initiatives have been implemented and in 2016, the National Social Protection Policy was launched. The Policy identifies “productive inclusion” as one of the tools to reduce vulnerability amongst the poor, break the cycle of poverty and cushion those with productive capacity and their families against risk and declines in quality of life.
Such interventions have been pursued by other programmes, including the “Ghana Productive Safety Net Project” (GPSNP) supported by the World Bank.”
It further disclosed that, “An assignment has been conducted under Key Results Area (KRA) 1 of the GESP to assess livelihood options for prospective beneficiaries in the Western and Ashanti Regions and gather relevant information to design an intervention. However, there are prospects for linking up with the other three (3) key results areas of GESP, namely (a) implementing employment management at the local level (b) strengthening and deploying technical and vocational education and training for informal economy and in agricultural value chains; and (c) improved access to effective business development services and finance in an enabling business environment.
Processes undertaken so far have included the preparation of a scoping study and project design including a budget and monitoring framework; consultations with regional and municipal stakeholders from three (3) regions and nineteen (19) municipalities/districts; and the production of an audio-visual record of the consultative process.
The next step in the process is to create awareness of the proposed intervention with national level stakeholders and solicit the technical support of the other key result areas of GESP and other development partners.”
About twenty-five (25) participants were drawn from the other Key Result Areas (KRAs) of GESP, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), the Office of Head of Local Government Service (OHLGS), the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR), the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development (MLGDRD) and the Ministry of Finance (MoF).
Other participants were also from the European Union (EU) Commission and the Departments of Community Development and Social Welfare, SNV (Green Programme), GIZ, Global Communities and the Market-Oriented Agricultural Programme (MOAP), and to name a few.
Some of the recommendations by the participants after intensive collaborations at the workshop include, advocacy for partnership and linkages to existing government programmes such as MASLOC, NEIP, Ghana Enterprises Agencies, BACs, OIC Centres, World Bank, ILO Exim Bank, West African Competiveness programme GSDI 3 and 4, for a better service delivery on the part of beneficiaries, to ensure the sustainability of the initiative.
That, it works better to put different educational levels together using a medium of instruction that is common to them in order not to widen differentials.
Also, programmes running in the districts, should not re-invent the wheel, but leverage them and integrate efforts to sustain the good gains.
In order to move beyond pilot stage and be able to show results; there must be advocacy strategies to attract resources to continue support.
There should also be a sustained budgetary support from the state to fund this initiative, Linking beneficiaries to ready markets, Complementary support from other DPs, Link to DSPCs and RSPCs for mainstreaming the agenda, Link to other SP interventions such as graduation mechanism for LEAP and proper documentation and dissemination of success stories.
These and many other recommendations were made by the 25 rich minds who were gathered at the workshop, to ensure that, the initiative realizes its goals.