GHANA SOCIAL PROTECTION REVERSE MISSION

DATE: JUNE 15 ? 19, 2015

THEME: SAFETY NETS IN GHANA ? INNOVATIONS, CHALLENGES AND SUCCESSES

A. Background:

Ghana has made impressive progress in reducing poverty over the past 20 years. In particular, the country has met the first Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty from 1990 levels. Since 2006, poverty has declined by another 8 percentage points.

World Bank
World Bank

Ghanaians have also experienced improvements in other non-monetary dimensions of well-being. For example, access to potable water, electricity, and sanitation facilities has improved. However, 2.2 million people in Ghana (8.4% of the population) still live in extreme poverty according to the 2012/2013 Ghana Living Standards Survey 6 (GLSS 6). In addition, across the regions of Ghana, there is signification variation in poverty, with a high absolute poverty rate of 70.7% in the Upper West in the north and 5.6% in Greater Accra region in the south.

Social protection (SP) is a key component of the Government of Ghana?s multi-pronged approach to poverty reduction. By reaching out to poor households through a mix of programs, social protection can help lift more households of poverty faster. However, the full potential of SP programs will only be achieved if adequate mechanisms for more transparent and clear targeting to reach the poorest households, expanded coverage, strengthened governance and efficiency, regularity of payments, and high quality of services are fully adopted.

The World Bank is supporting Social Protection in Ghana through an $88.6 Million Ghana Social Opportunities Project (GSOP). Additional Financing of $50 Million for ongoing project activities has been approved by the World Bank Board, bringing the total contribution to $138.6 million. The objective of the project is to improve targeting of social protection programs and provide income support to poor households through the Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty Program (LEAP) cash transfer program and Labor Intensive Public Works (LIPW) infrastructure in targeted districts. GSOP supports agricultural off-season employment in the poorest districts through LIPW, strengthening of SP systems (particularly, electronic payments, management information systems, and the establishment of the Ghana National Household Registry (GNHR) to support targeting of poor households that can be used by all social protection programs (e.g. health insurance for the poor), and the development of the Ghana Social Protection Policy. The AF is complemented by a Rapid Social Response Trust Fund grant through the World Bank, which supports a systems approach to SP by rolling out the implementation of the proxy means tested Ghana National Household Registry (GNHR) as well as strengthening operational efficiency of LEAP and LIPW.

B. Objectives:

The objectives of the mission are: (i) to highlight the innovations, challenges and achievements of the Social Protection sector in Ghana, with particular emphasis on the development of the Ghana Social Protection Policy and improving operational efficiency of social protection programs, (ii) to provide an opportunity for the Government of Ghana to learn from international experiences in strengthening the implementation of social protection programs, and (iii) to gain input on the development of Ghana?s Social Protection Policy. The mission will showcase the systems approach to delivering SP programs in a lower middle income country, including setting up of the GNHR, implementation of cash transfers and public works programs, e-payment approaches and strengthening of management information systems.

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