GHANA - IMPAQ conducted a Mid-Term Review of the first, five-year, $547 million MCA-Ghana Compact for the Millennium Development Authority–Ghana (MiDA). The key to advancing the Compact Goal of poverty reduction is the two-fold objective of the program, first, to increase the production and productivity of high-value cash and food staple crops in the Intervention Zones and, second, to enhance the competitiveness of Ghana’s high-value cash and food crops in both local and international markets. The Compact is anticipated to help alleviate poverty and enhance the livelihoods and welfare of over 1.2 million individuals.
During the compact’s proposal development phase, consultations were held with a cross section of Ghanaians which provided the basis for the selection of the three components of the compact, namely Agriculture, Transportation and Rural Development. The Compact program is designed to help reduce rural poverty through targeted agricultural, transportation-related and social infrastructure (rural water supply, sanitation, education and rural electrification) interventions. The Compact identified three key objectives to advance the overarching goal of poverty reduction via economic growth:
- Increase productivity and business skills of small and medium sized farmers, both men and women, and their employees via activities described within the Compact’s “Agricultural Development Project”;
- Reduce transportation costs between target production centers and national, regional, and global markets via activities described within the Compact’s “Transportation Infrastructure Development Project”; and
- Improve critical social services by providing additional water supply, sanitation and education facilities in select districts, via activities described within the Compact’s “Rural Services Development Project”.
The goal of the Mid-Term Review (MTR) was to assess how far MiDA-sponsored projects in Agriculture, Transportation and Rural Development have progressed, and whether or not they are moving in the right direction and at the right pace to be completed by the end of the Compact. The objectives of the MTR were to:
- Provide project-specific assessments of implementation approaches, methodologies and strategies to flag out the challenges and accompanying risks for redress.
- Facilitate a MiDA-wide self-assessment workshop and use the outcome as one of the working documents for the Mid-Term Review process.
- Document major successes and/or failures for each activity and advise MiDA on the best way forward.
- Conduct field visits to selected projects in the Intervention Zones to assess progress of work and compare with reported results of the projects selected for the study.
IMPAQ’s review methodology by program component included initial consultation with MiDA senior management and project staff, inspection of physical works of the entire length of the N1 Highway, document reviews, a MiDA-wide Self-Assessment Workshop, consultations with project Implementing Entity partners in Accra and field visits to conduct interviews in sampled beneficiary districts in the three intervention zones of the project (Northern Intervention (Northern Savanna) Zone; The Afram Basin; and the Southern Horticultural Belt). Two districts were selected per intervention zone following an analysis of high risk projects (post-harvest infrastructure, irrigation, feeder roads, access to credit, rural bank computerization and community services activity). IMPAQ dispatched three teams concurrently to each zone to conduct the fieldwork using interview protocols, focus group guides and self-administered questionnaires designed for this data collection and approved by MiDA.
IMPAQ also reviewed the procurement and contract management functions, monitoring and evaluation function and the effectiveness of gender mainstreaming in the implementation of the MCA-Ghana compact.
Finally, IMPAQ provided Final Recommendations to help better align the project execution to ensure that the Compact’s goal is achieved and also help promote sustainability and ensure that the impacts on poverty reduction in Ghana will be substantial.