Gender Ministry to develop social protection policy

The Gender, Children and Social Protection Ministry on Monday said it’s collaborating with key stakeholders to develop a national social protection policy that will help coordinate Ghana’s social intervention programmes.

The national strategy will also be concluded with the results of the rationalization report, which is being finalized by the technical team.

Presently, Ghana is implementing social intervention programmes, including the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty Programme (LEAP), and the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, at a launch of a new Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) in Accra explained that the M&E tools had been developed for the LEAP programme.

She said a social protection required a well-established institutional framework to coordinate and have oversight over the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Ghana’s programmes.

She said it was important to make M&E an integral part of social protection interventions to ensure that such programmes met their objectives while state resources were utilised judiciously.

Nana Oye Lithur explained that a recent evaluation of LEAP revealed the positive impact of the programme on income, education, health, production and local economy.

“This report is very crucial if we are to come up with policy and programme management recommendations that will enable us make a very strong case to government for funding to expand the LEAP,” she said.

She said the LEAP evaluation would also help provide vital evidence of progress for assessment of social programme and provides the basis for their improvement.

The Minister said the LEAP M&E system, would serve as guide to develop an M&E framework for the National Social Protection Strategy within the national M&E framework developed by the national Development planning Commission.

Ms Susan Ngongi, UNICEF Country Representative, said the overall goal of social protection is to reduce poverty and vulnerability, through ensuring a minimum standard of living.

“Of particular concern are those who are most deprived, living in abject poverty, in isolated communities or groups, excluded from basic social services, with little capacity to live even a basic, dignified life.

The new LEAP M&E had been designed with the support of UNICEF (USAID) and the Oxford Policy Management Institute (OPM) to help assess the programme and to ensure the effectiveness of other intervention programmes being implemented in the country.

The M&E was designed with support of UNICEF and USAID Funding.

UNICEF Ghana and the Gender Ministry also jointly facilitated a discussion on how other social protection programmes could benefit from LEAP initiative.

The Government of Ghana has shown considerable commitment to Monitoring and Evaluation with the launching of the new National M&E Manual by the NDPC last year. GNA

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