The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has organized a capacity building workshop to equip personnel of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) with the requisite skills to strengthen the policy unit and other key units.

The three-week capacity building workshop which began on April 18 and ended on May 24, 2017 took participants through project planning, policy cycle and policy planning, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) as well as policy analysis.

The participants, numbering 17, were drawn from the MoFA’s Policy Planning and Budget Directorate (PPBD), Agri-Business Unit, Project Coordination Unit and the Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate.

The PPBD’s mandate is to lead the technical processes for the development of policies, plans, programs and budgets of the ministry, with a vision to coordinate and harmonize agricultural policy environment to help ensure increased agricultural growth and incomes.

The broad mandate of the policy unit is to undertake rigorous agricultural policy analysis in order to promote evidence-based decision making.

However, due to lack of adequate resources and low staff capacity, the unit is unable to do this effectively.

USAID, through its Agriculture Policy Support Project (APSP), is providing technical assistance to MoFA to strengthen the policy unit and other key units.

The APSP is a five-year ‘Feed the Future project,’ with the goal to improve the food security-enabling environment for private sector investment.

In this direction, the USAID is working to improve the capacity of these units to conduct policy research and analyses; provide evidence for decision making; and develop periodic policy briefs on impacts of initiatives, programs, and projects in the sector for policy formulation.

These skills, organizers say will enable it to design appropriate policy interventions that promote agricultural growth and development in Ghana.

The training is part of a comprehensive approach adopted by APSP to strengthen both the institutional and human capacities of the policy unit through staff training and provision of Information Technology (IT) equipment and related software packages.

APSP, through Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), will continue to provide technical coaching of the trained staff to enhance their skills.

The project is expected to follow-up on their use of these analytical tools to carry out rigorous policy analyses to provide the Ghanaian government with technical analysis on impacts of macro-economic policies on the agricultural sector, analyze effects of agricultural policies, and facilitate the development of medium-term, sectoral and sub-sectoral objectives. Enditem

Source: Francis Tandoh/