What we do
The overall goal is to to reduce inequality and fighting poverty while promoting rights, gender equality and good governance in Northern Ghana.
We do this in close collaboration with our two Ghanaian partner organizations as well as other civil society organizations in Ghana.
We support local civil society organisations and groups for them to better organized and able to improve their own and other local people’s living conditions and ability to claim their rights.
Another important component of our work is national and international advocacy to influence policymakers, promoting rights and putting inequality on the political agenda.
Where we work
Ghana Friends works in the northern part of Ghana. The northern part of Ghana largely consists of savannah, and the climate is dry. The region is poor in resources, sparsely populated compared to southern Ghana, and has a sky-high youth unemployment rate.
Great changes have taken place in Ghana since the country became independent in 1957. Most for the better, but inequality is rising, between southern and northern Ghana, between men and women and between old and younger generations.
7 out of 10 of inhabitants in the north of Ghana live below the official poverty line of two dollars a day, and 90 percent are dependent on agriculture. However, the dependence of agriculture makes residents vulnerable because the weather is becoming more unpredictable. Long periods of drought can suddenly be replaced by heavy rain and flooding. For every five Ghanaians two are under 15 years of age, so the country is young in more ways than one.
Therefore Ghana Friends wants to help to strengthen primary school system and help children to school, equip young unemployed to be more entrepreneurial and start their own businesses, help farmers to improve their agricultural practices and lastly guide whole communities, in particular women and children, to better organized and able to fight for equality, good governance and social rights.
INFO OM NORDGHANA
Our thematic focus areas
We focus our work on three thematic areas:
2) Democracy and Good Governance, and
3) Inclusive Growth and Employment
...because these areas are the foundation for a well-functioning society.
In addition gender equality is an essential element of our mission and
permeates all activities and programs
See the description of the three focus areas:
What we work for
To contribute to GV’s overall goal of increased equity and sustainable development in Ghana, the desired change in education is that all children access quality education to achieve better learning outcomes. With main focus on the most deprived parts of Ghana this calls for special efforts, addressing access, quality and equity.
Within education GV and its partners pursue SDG 4 about all boys and girls completing free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education by 2030, with specific focus on targets 4.1 ‘Universal primary and secondary education’, 4.5 ‘Gender equality and inclusion’, and 4.6 ‘Universal youth literacy’.
What we will do
Partners organize civil society to push for increased funding and effective implementation of education pro-poor policies.
School governance has become more inclusive, transparent and accountable; and education resources are used more effectively.
New education methodologies are promoted for improved learning outcomes.
Girls and young women have better education opportunities.
GV and partners contribute to civil society pressure for effective implementation of SDG 4 through e.g. Global Campaign for Education and the CSO network on the SDGs.
How to achieve our goals
Without special measures catering for hard to reach children and deprived communities it will not be possible to bridge the significant inequalities in education. For these measures to have an impact there is a need for increased funding and more effective implementation. Civil society has a role to play in monitoring this and holding government accountable. E4L (Education for Life) is well positioned to take a lead in organizing civil society and coordinating efforts to compile evidence on inequalities in resource allocation and ineffective policy implementation and use it for advocacy. This is relevant at national, regional and district levels involving different sections of civil society.
DEMOCRACY & GOOD GOVERNANCE
Governance structures and networking
Effective use of education resources depends on well-functioning governance structures with duty bearers being able to manage funds as well as human and other resources; and a civil society holding them accountable. E4L has seen capacity building result in real improvements at targeted schools, and this will inform the future strategy for networking School Management Committees and Parent Teacher Associations and developing their capacity in order to have a stronger voice in holding duty bearers accountable.
School for Life - innovative learning methods
School for Life has extensive experience with pupil-centered learning methods and facilitating positive teacher-pupil relations. For these to be adopted and embedded in the formal school, not least in deprived areas, they should be demanded by the rights-holders in education (children and parents), recognized by the duty bearers (education authorities) and mastered by the teachers. Based on lessons learned, the program will cooperate with Ghana Education Service, school authorities and training colleges to identify conducive learning methodologies and environments suitable to the relevant context.
Encouraging girls to stay in school
In recent years the program has increased its strategic focus on supporting girls to stay in school and progress to higher levels of education. This issue will be tackled both from the perspective of the girls and their families and communities. In order to encourage girls to stay in school various supportive structures will be offered such as girls’ study groups at the youth centers and interaction with female role models.The program will use literacy and numeracy classes to build the capacity of young illiterate women to pursue income generation or make their voices heard. The training will include civic education, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and other life skills.
What we work for
The expected outcome for governance and E4Ls contribution to the desired change is as follows: Civil society engagement improves government transparency, accountability and performance.
The importance of good governance and strong institutions is widely acknowledged as reflected in SDG 16 that deals with the promotion of peaceful inclusive societies with access to justice for all and effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Especially with target 16.5 (reduction of corruption), 16.6 (effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels), 16.7 (responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels and 16.10 (public access to information and protection of fundamental freedoms).
What we will do
CSOs use social accountability tools to improve local governance performance.
Citizens’ awareness and trust in tax collection and utilization are increased.
Targeted districts reach their yearly target for Internally Generated Funds.
Partners contribute to more effective local taxation through networks and coalitions.
Youth are organized and create spaces to advance their interests.
Citizens put local corruption issues on the national agenda for resolution.
How to achieve our goals
We assume that good governance is a requirement for development; and that civil society has an important role to play by organizing and engaging people to demand their rights and press for transparency, accountability and better access to quality basic services.
A main element of the intervention will be citizen-led monitoring of capital development projects in the districts. Capital development projects deal with the construction of public facilities in the districts that are tangible and close to people’s lives, such as schools and health clinic.
Citizen-led management improves projects
GV and its partners have started to equip citizens groups with skills and tools to monitor the
projects and create dialogue platforms, so that they are able to engage with the relevant authorities. Experience so far shows that citizen led monitoring improves the management and quality of the projects, as contractors are compelled to adhere to project specifications and consider local need
Young people should be involved in decision-making
Corruption undermines trust in local authorities and hence the willingness of citizens to pay tax and engage in development processes. The program will inform rural communities on national policies and programs, so that they understand their rights and are able to identify misuse of funds. Citizen journalism will be used as a powerful tool to shed light on local cases of mismanagement and corruption.
Sustainable democratization and good governance in Ghana depends on the involvement of the youth, which constitute a majority of the population.
Young people need to be involved in decision-making, so that policies and programs address young people’s needs and utilize their resources. Youth will be supported to mobilize and organize themselves through youth centers, so they are able to collaborate and advance their interests. This will be done in new and creative ways, as the youth is linked with artists and other creatives that will assist them to express themselves in new ways, through for example cartoons and street art.
INCLUSIVE GROWTH AND EMPLOYMENT
What we work for
Sustainable economic development, inclusive growth and employment are three comprehensive development areas that to a high degree are influenced by political and economic structures, but we see an opportunity for the program to contribute to
this within three strategic focus areas: Improved livelihood strategies and climate
change adaptation, Business development and economic growth, and Youth and women entrepreneurs.
We continue to pursue SDG 2 to end hunger and promote sustainable agriculture and food security, as it is a foundation for the development of the rural poor. SDG 13 on climate change also plays an important role. We will work to create an entrepreneurial, business-oriented environment in rural areas in Northern Ghana in line with SDG 8 to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.
What we will do
Communities have adopted climate resilient livelihood strategies.
Farmers use strategies and technologies to improve and diversify their livelihoods.
Farmer groups have improved growth opportunities to make their businesses profitable and competitive.
Youth and women start up and sustain their own businesses and improve their livelihoods and employment.
Partners collaborate with civil society, state and business actors on improving the frame conditions for inclusive growth and employment opportunities in Northern Ghana.
How to achieve our goals
We will build on our work with small-scale farmers through groups, associations and cooperatives. The program will focus on youth and women as farmers and entrepreneurs to strengthen their participation in rural value chains and access to technology, know-how, finance, and markets.
Ghana Friends og YEFL Ghana train young entrepreneurs to start up their own businesses with our innovative entrepreneurship model. You can read more here og watch the documentary with one of the entrepreneurs.
Youth and women entrepreneurs
The objective for the program’s entrepreneurship intervention is for youth and women to become entrepreneurial individuals who start up and sustain their own businesses, and to create a supportive rural entrepreneurial environment. Youth between 18-25 years will be selected through the district youth centers and go through an entrepreneurship model that has been developed and refined over the last years.
Sustainability in a holistic way
Our work builds on an assumption that for rural livelihoods to be sustainable a holistic view is necessary, and climate change adaptation has to be an integral part of the strategies.
That calls for focus on building the capacity of small-scale farmers in effective farming methodologies that can improve their production and strengthen their resilience and
Agribusiness and commercial farmingThe small-scale farmers lack capacity, finance and volume to start viable businesses and take part in the existing value chains, and women and youth have limited access to productive resources. Therefore, the program will work to build the farmer organizations’ capacity in agribusiness and commercial farming and support them to use growth opportunities to make their businesses profitable and competitive.
Our programmes and projects
We support local civil society organisations and groups to organize and
fight for their rights.
We have a special focus on access to quality education, promoting good governance, and inclusive growth and employments as we assume that these areas are the foundation for the development of the well-functioning society.