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Considering Options for Livelihood Interventions in Northern Ghana

Published 02/23/2015 by Global Communities

Considering Options for Livelihood Interventions in Northern Ghana

Chenyan Lu, Cassia O. Moraes, Miks Muizarajs, Matthew J. Smith and Raul A. Soto contribute to Global Communities’ program research
Communities in northern Ghana face harsh and unpredictable climate which negatively affects local agricultural systems as well as well-being of the population which remains vulnerable to drought, famine and social unrest. Under the Resiliency in Northern Ghana (RING) project funded by USAID and implemented by Global Communities, critical components of the long-term sustainability of human development efforts in the northern Ghana region are addressed, including access to markets and improved nutrition. A menu of programmatic interventions has been developed for consideration by the RING implementation team but final selection of such intervention has not been made yet. A team of Master Candidates from Colombia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and their academic advisor, Dr. Tony Barclay were invited by the Ghana-RING team to analyze available options, prioritize interventions based on a comparative analytical framework, and to create a strategy for next steps.
The Columbia SIPA team developed a template scorecard allowing to determine the top five interventions that the RING team should suggest to be included in their work plans. The following factors were considered critical in making the decision:
Impact factors

agricultural market and value chain strengthening 

sustainable economic development potential 

improved nutrition 

gender sensitivity and equity 

employment generating potential        
Implementation factors

agricultural/economic fit

cost per beneficiary

cultural appropriateness

technical difficulty
Given limited funding, cost-effectiveness of interventions is among the top priorities for USAID but special attention needs to be paid to gender sensitivity as this socio-economic group is most frequently exhibiting poor nutrition outcomes.