Enhancing citizens’ participation for effective Covid-19 responses

This project is funded by extra-budgetary resources provided by the Government of Canada.
  • Amount funded: £28,967
  • Year: 2021
  • Duration: 11 months
  • Locations: Ghana
  • Grant stream: Annual Grants Call

Vulnerable groups that are disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in Ghana are not always able to benefit from government recovery programmes due to limited knowledge or lack of access.

Project partners
Women Integrated Development Organization
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How we are helping

This project will facilitate engagement between government and civil society to identify gaps in the national pandemic response in meeting the needs of vulnerable groups. These findings will be used to shape more inclusive recovery programmes and policies.

About the project

Innovation for Poverty Action (2020) reported that 48% of Ghanaians had depleted their savings to pay for food, healthcare, or other expenses in the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Government of Ghana responded to the pandemic with a range of initiatives to mitigate its impact including the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme which included the provision of loans to small and medium enterprises, aiming to reach 200,000 SMEs. However, it is uncertain whether the programme is meeting the needs of vulnerable groups.

The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), the implementing body for the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme, received over 1,000 calls within 24 hours following the announcement on national television, from individuals seeking clarification on the application process. Many communities and vulnerable groups likely to be eligible for the stimulus package may not have access to mobile networks and other media sources to access this information.

Through ongoing community engagements in the Bono East region, WIDO have learned that women have limited knowledge of the recovery programmes and through work in the Upper West region, women have reported an increasing need to participate in the recovery programmes but a lack of opportunities to engage with stakeholders.

This project aims to improve the design and implementation of Covid-19 recovery programmes, and to ensure the benefits of the schemes reach vulnerable groups, through increased civil society participation.

This will be achieved by:

  • Conducting the ‘citizens scorecards’ model to gather perspectives from vulnerable groups (women, youth, persons with disability) on Covid-19 recovery measures in Bono East and Upper West regions of Ghana.
  • Facilitating a series of community interface meetings with citizens and group leaders to discuss and confirm the findings.
  • Convening a series of town hall meetings in the two regions with policy makers, National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), Assemblies, community leaders, women groups and disability groups to hear the findings and consider ways forward.
  • Developing a policy paper outlining the recommendations from the town hall meetings.
  • Engaging with policy makers on the recommendations in the policy paper.
  • Delivering advocacy campaigns to raise awareness of the recommendations through a variety of media.
  • Creating a platform for NBSSI to raise awareness of how to access the recovery programmes among vulnerable groups.
Project Partners
Women Integrated Development Organization

Women Integrated Development Organization (WIDO) is a non-governmental organisation for social and rural development. It was established in 2004 in the Nadowli Kaloe District of the Upper West Region of Ghana. It aims to create a society without poverty in which people have improved livelihood security, access to health services and education, and general well-being. Programmes involve the promotion of gender equality, education, food security, health and sanitation. WIDO have recently delivered a project involving local people to increase the transparency, accountability, and effectiveness of local government programmes.

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