ANNUAL REPORT 1999
COMMUNITY LEARNING CENTRE
Starting with much anxiety over the sustainability of the centre and the CLC concept in Ghana, the year 1999 was very challenging for CEDEP CLC. The centre's activities advanced over the year due to the standard performance of the new computers and the setting up of effective administrative systems.
The Training Officer, Ms. Elizabeth Plas-Otwe manned the Centre together with her three Assistant Training Officers, Mr. Kwame Manu-Antwi, Mr. Salifu Mohammed and Ms. Ellen Comfort Awuah and the Front Desk officer, Mr. Solomon Kwame Opoku.
Change of Computers
On 12 May 1999, the CLC received ten (10) Gateway Personal Computers from the USAID to replace the non-performing computers used at onset of the project. This came as a great relief to staff, clients and CEDEP Management because the previous ones did not measure up to expectation and the Centre was losing public confidence. The new machines therefore restored confidence by boosting activities at the centre.
In January, Ms Elizabeth Plas-Otwe attended a workshop organised by USAID on the preparation of a business plan in Accra. She also represented the centre at a 3-day conference on Information Technology at AITEC (African IT Exhibitions And Conferences), Ghana held in Kumasi.
Training of Trainers
The CLCs Co-ordinator, Mr. Jonnie Akakpo organised three training sessions on the following areas for the trainers of the centre. This was to equip them with the necessary skills to enable them offer effective training to clients.
Internet Orientation for CEDEP Staff
CLC organised training sessions in computer literacy and Internet orientation for CEDEP staff in Kumasi. The training was to equip staff with the necessary computer skills to carry out their duties and to enlighten them on the Internet as a tool for development as well as its effect on the world of communication.
A total of 35 staff were taken through skills such as basic computer literacy, file management, components of the computer, practical sessions on Windows 98, Word processing and Spreadsheets.
The Internet orientation course covered computer networking and their applications, origin and history of the Internet, growth and rules governing its use using illustration to explain how data files are transmitted from one computer to another on the Internet. Internet services such as Electronic mail (E-mail) Listservs, discussion groups, file transfer and the use of search engines were discussed.
Introduction of the CLC Concept
The outreach team comprising Comfort Awuah of the CLC (leader) and two Marketing students on a two-month attachement to the CLC visited 40 organisations in and around Kumasi to introduce the CLC concept to them, with introductory letters and questionnaires to assess their level of Internet usage.
Two seminars on The Millennium Bug, Origin, Myths and Realities were organised at the Kumasi Polytechnic and the Institute of Management Studies in March as part of the CLC's objective of creating IT awareness among the youth in the Kumasi metropolis. The 150 students who attended were informed about the Y2K problem and its implications for them as future accounting and marketing personnel.
Workshop for Private Medical Practitioners
In June, the CLC organised a workshop on the topic The Computer, a Tool in Medical Practice for the Ghana Association of Private Medical and Dental Practitioners in Kumasi. Fifteen doctors attended the workshop, which explained the different areas in medical science where computers could be of great importance, the use of Telemedicine as a way of improving healthcare as well as the benefits of using the Internet.
As part of the CEDEP CLC 's objective of making the Internet accessible to both men and women in the Kumasi metropolis, it organised an open week for women in and around Kumasi. The week-long programme, from 23 to 27 August, had a total of 212 women from all walks of life participating.
The objectives for the women's week was to reach out to as many women as possible; bring into focus the numerous benefits from the use of computers and the use of the Internet as a tool for the development of women.
The CLC's NGO Week
With the objective to sensitise our sister organisations on the uses of information technologies and communication (ICT) for development, a week-long Internet usage awareness was organised for NGOs in and around Kumasi in October. In order for them to know how best to use the centre, the 25 organisations that participated were introduced to the activities of the centre.
They visited Internet sites relating to their work such as gender issues, development education, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, poverty as well as websites of other partner NGOs. For most of the participants it was the first experience although they had heard a lot about the Internet and e-mail.
The CLC organised a lot of training sessions in the year for the general public the most significant of which was a six week training for 10 private medical practitioners to upgrade their knowledge and skills in computing.
A total of 96 participants made up of 45 females and 51 males were trained in basic computer literacy after which they undertook courses in various programmes offered by the centre such as Internet orientation, word processing, spreadsheets, desktop publishing and database management.
Majority of these participants were secondary school leavers and administrative personnel who wanted to acquire some basic computer skills.
Internet Access and E-mail
The CLC provided Internet access and e-mail to the public at a very competitive fee. An average of 500 people used the Internet every month in a ratio of three male to one female. This service to the public is the major activity of centre and this was well patronised.
Projection for the year 2000
Expansion of CEDEP CLC Activities
As part of CEDEP CLC's plans to expand its activities to reach out to a wider populace, the centre will undertake the following projects:
The successful turn of events during the year clearly indicates that CEDEP CLC has the potential for expanding. As computers stand on the threshold of a new millennium we look forward to a successful and challenging New Year, which ushers us into the Information age.
PUBLICATIONS AND DOCUMENTATION UNIT
CEDEP Publications and Documentation Unit (PDU) has seen an important transformation during the year under review. From an office with one computer and printer, the unit has grown to a full-fledged desktop publishing "company" with very modern and powerful equipment thanks to the Irish Embassy in Nigeria. This has enabled the unit to begin to take off in a direction that would not only look at jobs within CEDEP but offer desktop services to other NGOs and CBOs and other external clientele. 1999 has been a year of activities, changes, upsets and success
The PDU, as part of the restructuring was moved to the Home Stores building, Adum again in the first week of April with the infusion of two new staff members from other units. Michael Mensah came in as the new Communications Officer and Victoria Kumi-Woode moved from the then Secretariat to PDU as the Assistant Communications Officer. Harriet Avle was however moved to the Youth Initiative Unit.
Later in the year, Samuel Otu Mante, the national service person who was the Graphic Artist left after his service. Felicia Adusei joined as the new service person in October. Michael was appointed the Acting Unit Head in September with Kathleen Lowe moving into her original position of Publishing Advisor. Kathleen however left in December at the end of her VSO service. Gustav Oheneasah's contract with CEDEP as Circulation Clerk ended in December. PDU was thus left with a staff of three at the end of the year.
The Unit received a grant of ˘17,000,000 from the Irish Embassy in Nigeria in response to a proposal submitted on its behalf by the then Acting Unit Head and Publishing Advisor, Kathleen Lowe. Part of the money was released to the unit during the third and last quarters of the year for the purchase of the needed equipment, which included among others a Packard Bell computer, an HP DeskJet 1120 printer, an HP ScanJet 5200C scanner and an Ibimaster spiral binding machine. Also acquired were two computer workstations, a filing cabinet, a trimmer and a host of office supplies. The advantages of the new equipment could not be over-emphasised. The unit's activities were greatly enhanced by the new equipment.
THE INTERNAL MARKET
The unit provided a lot of support to other units. These included the production of fliers for the Gender and Development Unit on the sharing of domestic chores among the girl child and the boy child entitled ''Kofi Can Cook Too''.
For the Community Leaders Development Unit (CLDU), PDU produced fliers on Kaasi Biogas Latrine. Another set of fliers on the Susu Project started by the PDU was suspended due to ?????(Can Rev. Awuku give reason here?)
The Unit designed and produced a brochure and visitors book for the CLC as well as training in CorelDraw for CLC trainees. The Unit also supported the CLC during the Women's and NGO Weeks and exhibited its products.
For the Programme Support Unit and the Directorate, PDU designed and printed a new CEDEP Brochure, visitors book, christmas cards, complimentary cards for staff, and supported the cataloguing of books in the library. PDU also assisted in the designing of a website for CEDEP.
For the CEDEP Consutancy Services, PDU prepared samples of Training Manuals for GTZ and the Wildlife Department, designed and printed certificates for participants of Samartex PRA and MOH's PRA research on Inequalities in health. It also designed brochures for CEDEP Resource and Services Department.
The Unit also did a compilation and production of the Fund-raising Workshop Report and completed PLWHA proposal for funding agencies for Accra office.
Apart from the above, PDU also provided other services such as editing, designing of cover pages, printing and binding to other units.
To reach out for external market, the PDU made minor inroads outside CEDEP especially during the second half of the year when the new equipment started coming in. With the market surveys undertaken, the Unit was able to draw a price list for both internal and external clients.
The survey also looked at the reading public's attitude towards reading in general and magazines in particular to find out how the NGO Forum newsletter could be improved. This survey made the Unit learn many lessons that will help it improve upon the contents and outlook of the NGO Forum.
A few jobs were done as found below:
CONSTRAINTS Should add or not to??????
The PDU was not without problems during the year under review.
Another constraint was the lack of finance for the production of CEDEP Update and the NGO Forum although there were a lot of materials readily available. A new approach for these two CEDEP publications has however been considered for the next year.
PROJECTIONS FOR 2000.
To pursue its path as outlined in the strategic handbook of the organisation, the PDU in 2000 hopes to:
The year 1999 has been a challenging one for CEDEP in general and the PDU in particular especially since the year came with restructuring. The challenges were met in most cases with success and in some cases with failure. Documentation was one area that was left to fallow away. Attempts to get the unit on its feet met a few setbacks, but these were considered as part of the learning process. Though the criticisms of the unit's work at certain times were quite demoralising, it however gave staff the impetus to work on to improve upon their work.
The purchase of new equipment for the unit also posed its challenges including mastering their use for optimum results. The PDU believes that with the lessons learnt in 1999 it can look forward to a more positive year 2000.
The year started with the Acting Accra office Manager and representative of the CEDEP Consulting Service and the co - ordinator of the HIV/ AIDS project as the key officers supported by a secretary, a Driver/ Logistics officer and a Security officer.
The Accra Office Manager, Ben Vikpeh-Lartey worked in the course of the year on a number of programmes. These were, the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES) Project ECSELL programme, GTZ sub- district institution training programme on capacity building for Area Councillors and some decentralised departments and staff and PRA research in the Hohoe and Kadjebi districts in the Volta Regions for the Ministry of Health in collaboration with DFID.
The persons living with HIV/AIDS Co-ordinator also worked actively on his programme in collaboration with UNAIDS and other partners.
The Assistant Manager, Funding and Marketing who assumed duty on May, 3rd 1999 drew up a fundraising plan for the rest of the year based on a fundraising workshop organised at CEDEPS head office in Kumasi and made several contacts for funds.
These scheduled activities were carried out in addition to other assignments from CEDEP Head Office in Kumasi and were ably carried out with the assistance of the secretary and Logistics Officer.
CONSULTANCY SERVICES / ACCRA OFFICE ADMINISTRATION
IFES PROJECT ECSELL
The year started with the IFES Project ECSELL activities. The initial phase lasted from the 1 February to 14 March 1999. Activities included curriculum development, training of trainers, financial management and proposal writing workshops. After these a report was written and made available by April 30, 1999. The Accra Office Manager who also served as one of the lead trainers for the IFES programme on IFES co-ordinated all activities.
In June and July the fifth and final phase of the IFES project ECSELL activities were carried out. These were development of training manual, training of trainers workshop and fieldwork. The Accra office again hosted nine CEDEP trainers from the three northern regions who undertook the training. Field reports on these training programmes were eventually harmonised and presented to IFESs Head Office in Accra in August.
GTZ TRAINING ACTIVITIES
In September, the Programme for Rural Action (PRA) Project which is a bilateral technical co-operation between the German government and their Ghanaian counterparts organised series of training activities in three districts with the active collaboration of CEDEP. West Gonja, Kintampo and Hohoe Districts were the target of the training programmes.
These were aimed at building the capacity of the various actors at the sub-district level to ensure effective decentralisation. A review meeting was consequently held in November between GTZ and CEDEP as an executing partner. Future training programmes may be forth coming although this has not been confirmed by GTZ
"MAPPING OF INEQUALITIES IN THE HEALTH SECTOR"
The workshop, which was a joint effort of the Ministry of Health and DFID which provided funding, drew about 30 Health workers from the 10 regions of the country to join 10 CEDEP staff conversant with the use of PRA techniques, including the Accra office Head, to collect data. From mid November to 24 December saw the Accra office Head fully involved in the PRA research activities namely Trainer of Trainers (TOT) workshop organised at Kinsby Hotel, Accra; field work in the Hohoe and Kadjebi districts in the Volta region and finally the synthesisation and harmonisation workshops held at Akyawkrom near Ejisu in Kumasi.
The Accra office facilitated an orientation workshop for nine volunteers from the British Voluntary Service Overseas from the 21 April to 2 May 1999.
PERSONS LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS PROJECT
Attempts at recruiting an assistant for the Persons Living with HIV/AIDS Project Co-ordinator which started in January were not successful because of the educational level of members of the various associations. The only candidate who met the requirements for recruitment unfortunately died before he could be issued with his appointment letter.
FORMATION OF ASSOCIATIONS
The objectives of turning the groups of persons living with HIV/AIDS into associations were to enable each group share experiences, attract assistance and execute joint income generation programmes. This was achieved by March with the coming into being of five main associations: Korle-Bu (Accra), Agormanya, Battor, Agroyesum and Techiman. These groups were to attract more members from their various areas. Accordingly executive members of the associations were elected and respective bank accounts were opened. The Associations wrote their respective project proposals, which were vetted by CEDEP and funds approved and deposited in their accounts to be used to execute the projects.
The executives and some members of the various associations underwent various forms of training programmes with topics like leadership, communications, meeting skills, group mobilisation, income generation, existing opportunities, choices, management of individual and group projects and project proposal writing. The first of such programmes was held in March while the other was organised in October by the project co-ordinator with assistance from Mr. Michael Angaga, a PLWA consultant from Kenya. It was aimed at keeping participants abreast with HIV/AIDS information and build their capacity to effectively disseminate information.
The project coordinator personally attended several workshops on HIV/AIDS organised by national and international organisations. Several meetings were also held with partnership organisations, the most notable being the International Partnership on the Response to HIV/ AIDS and the Friends of Persons Living with HIV/AIDS. (FOP+).
Another major event was the inauguration of the Wisdom Association (PLWA) in Accra at the Korle-bu Teaching Hospital during the latter part of 1999.
Follow-up visits to all the five Associations were carried out through out the year.
The main constraint to the effective execution of the PLWHA project has been the non availability of a vehicle solely for the project. This affects monitoring and co-ordination. Also, lack of efficient secretarial accessories (ie. computer) delays reports and affects communication.
PROJECTION FOR THE YEAR 2000
The project intends to carry out the following programmes in the year 2000 :
* Form about10 more associations of persons living with HIV/AIDS in other parts of the country.
* Form a national network of Association of persons living with HIV/AIDS to facilitate exchange of information and ideas.
* Form an Educational Team which would involve Persons Living With HIV/ AIDS to educate the general public about the HIV/ AIDS menace and also advocate for care and support for those who have already contracted the virus and their children. This unit hopes to achieve through the mass media and talks with students at all levels.
FUNDING AND MARKETING
The officer in charge of funding was recruited in May 1999 to research into sources of funds and liaise with the programmes division to develop proposals that would be acceptable to donors as well as serve as link between CEDEP and donors.
FUND-RAISING WORKSHOP / PLAN
In May, a major fundraising workshop was organised at the CEDEP head office in Kumasi to, among other things, invite views from each member of staff on how to raise funds. It was also to give each member of staff an opportunity to gain a fair understanding of what fundraising entails. Based on this workshop a fundraising plan was developed to cover the period June to December 1999.
As a way of encouraging members of staff to develop the art of giving an appeal was made to all members of staff of CEDEP to donate towards the CEDEP Village for Sustainable Livelihood Project. This appeal has not yielded much result.
Proposals already developed by the various units were submitted to identified donors, These are:
* Flea market proposal - circulated to SNV, AID to Artisans (Ghana), Standard Chartered Bank.
* Greening Kumasi proposal - Submitted to Standard Chartered Bank.
* CEDEP Publication & Documentation Unit proposal - presented to the World Bank, Canadian High Commission .
* Poverty Alleviation Programme for Upper West Region project - presented to The Royal Danish Embassy, JICA and the British High Commission.
* Institutional Support for Funding/ Marketing Unit- proposal submitted to The Royal Danish Embassy.
Positive response was received from the Royal Danish Embassy (DANIDA) for the Poverty Alleviation Proposal of the CEDEP Wa Office. An amount of $ 280,000 US dollars has been provided for the first two objectives of the programme which involves a community self help project among others.
APPEALS TO ORGANIZATIONS FOR COMPUTERS
Some organisations, including UNILEVER Ghana Limited, Barclays Bank Ghana Limited, Standard Chartered Bank, Interact of UK and COCOBOD were approached for computer donations. These have not yielded any results yet.
PROSPECTING VISITS TO DONOR AGENCIES
The fundraising unit undertook prospecting visits to some donor agencies. The purpose was to explain CEDEPs new strategic focus and line of operations to donors and to identify areas of possible collaboration. Places visited include Canadian High Commission, JICA, World Health Organisation, British High Commission, UNFPA, German Embassy, Care International, Plan International and the Royal Danish Embassy.
ACTIVITIES FOR THE COMING YEAR
Fund-raising activities for the coming year will follow the same trend as 1999 with much more attention to the private organisations.
The lack of efficient secretarial accessories (eg. computer) has been a constant source of worry. This delays reports and affects communication.
For the year under review, the Accra Office worked with six staff, Bernard Vikpeh-Lartey, AG. Head and Assistant Manager in charge of the C. C. S; Benjamin A- B. Laryea , Assistant Manager, Funding and Marketing; Elvis S. Addae, Project Co-ordinator, Advocacy/ PLWHA; Victoria Lawson (Ms), Volunteer/ Secretary; Richard Botchway, Logistics Officer and Joseph Akyeampong, Security Officer. An assistant to the Person Living with HIV/AIDS co-ordinator is yet to be appointed
The year 1999 was quite an active one. With the appointment of the funding and Marketing Officer in May, the activity areas have increased to three, namely Consultancy, Persons Living with HIV/ AIDS Programme and Funding.
NORTHERN OFFICE ANNUAL REPORT 1999
Whilst the rest of Ghana may have been preoccupied with planning for the coming of the third millennium, to the people of the North the great floods overshadowed all other events. Not only did the floods cause the collapse of most dwellings in towns and villages, they also damaged roads, crops and livestock, bringing many families further beneath the poverty line.
With floods everywhere and most roads completely washed away, travelling become not only perilous, but also impossible to many communities. It was on one such roads that our office vehicle was involved in an accident on 11 September. By Gods grace, no one was injured.
It became difficult, perhaps even unreasonable to get community members, who were desperate to salvage whatever little was left of their lives during this period to focus on development issues. It is in this respect that these floods also affected the programmes and projects of development agencies in Northern Ghana, as many had to change their strategy from capacity building functions to providing relief services.
Objectives for 1999
With the termination of funding for the NGO Support Project at the end of 1998, the Northern office started the year with some uncertainty and no clearly defined work plan, but nonetheless determined to pursue the following broad objectives:
In pursuing these objectives, the Northern office carried out the following activities in the midst of severe financial constraints. All support received from our Kumasi office is hereby acknowledged.
Most of the women complained that they had either invested in farming or grain banking and that the market price was very low compared with previous years. To us, however, this was an achievement of food security, which is one of the objectives of the NGO Support Project. The fact that prices remained stable signified availability of food and security for vulnerable families.
Despite intensive efforts to have all loans paid, we ended the year with a number of groups still owing various sums amounting to ˘2.3 million. With some of these groups we could discern some reluctance to repay the loans because they were not going to be reloaned as in previous years.
Besides, the poverty alleviation loans of some District Assemblies have never been recovered and so people tend to generalise that all loans are "free money". As a result of this negative response, the project could not be wound up as expected.
On the part of the service NGOs, there was little co-operation with us as the heads of the organisations would not even meet us for discussion of their difficulties. In some instances, we were aware the loans had been recovered from the groups but not paid into the project account for months.
Many useful lessons have been learnt during this phase of implementing the loan scheme, which will improve the operation of future programmes, by the Northern Office.
The new project proposal produced with the assistance of Ms. Celia Marshall has three key objectives:
We were fortunate that a fund-raiser was engaged by the Accra office of CEDEP at the beginning of the year who had taken copies of the proposal to a number of agencies and embassies in Accra and even though none had as then indicated an interest in funding it, we were not discouraged. These included DANIDA, JICA, USAID and the European Union.
Meanwhile we have also kept in contact with the District Assemblies and the RCC for possible assistance and it seems to be receiving some attention. We are particularly hopeful that the return of the former Regional Minister, Alhaji Amidu Sulemana will favour us.
At the beginning of the year, Action Aid-Ghana moved into the Upper West Region and selected the Sissala District as the focus of its development programmes. The issues on its agenda include food security, health, education (formal and non-formal) poverty alleviation, capacity building and community mobilisation. Action Aid entered into collaboration with a number of organisations, including CEDEP, District Assembly, MOH, GES, NFED, MOFA, Technoserve, Christian Mothers, Tumu Agric Project in the implementation of these programmes.
CEDEP's role is to organise capacity building workshops for various groups in the programme area and to have a general oversight responsibility for all projects within the programme. For this reason, CEDEP has engaged a Project Assistant to be based in Tumu.
Whilst the details of a Memorandum of Understanding were still being worked out to formalise the collaboration between the two organisations, CEDEP facilitated three workshops funded by Action Aid for various groups, including NGOs in the Micro-finance sector in the Upper West Region. The other two were for leaders of Christian Mothers groups and Unit Committee members.
Our Consultancy Unit undertook a number of fund-raising training sessions during the year. The IFES programme which had started in 1998 finally came to an end with three workshops, which were devoted to discussion of the working relationship between staff of District Assemblies and Civil Society Organisation in the development of the Districts.
The Unit was also involved in GTZ training in West Gonja and Kintampo Districts. The focus was on building the capacity of the Assemblies and Area Councils to raise revenue, budget and plan for the development of their areas.
The Unit also held training sessions for the Women in Public Life project with Goziir womens group. The issues discussed included violence against women, the intestate succession law, democracy and womens rights. A follow-up session could not come off due to non-availability of funds from the sponsoring organisation (CENSUDI.)
The Northern office also participated in a number of field research including the World Bank study on poverty dubbed "Consultation with the poor"; the operation of poverty alleviation loan schemes by District Assemblies in the Upper West Region; a study of the incidence of trachoma in the UWR; and "Mapping of inequalities in the Health Sector" by the Ministry of Health.
(v) External Linkage Programme
Some time in 1997, we were approached by Tools for Self-reliance (TFSR) a UK-based NGO which distributes refurbished tools free of charge to needy groups in developing countries. A number of educational institutions and workshops were assessed and their needs sent to TFSR. These included carpentry tools, black smithing tools, welding equipment, car fitting tools, sewing machines, etc.
The first package was delivered in April 1999 and the excited recipients only paid a token fee for clearance and transportation before carrying their tools away. The recipients are being monitored on the use and benefits of the assistance to their workplaces. We intend setting up a network of these groups.
We were also able to link the Wa Workers College to "INTERACT" another UK-based second hand computer donating NGO which sent them twenty desktop computers and some printers. This has enabled the secretarial course run by the College to upgrade its programme as they were previously doing only typing. The Workers College has also set up a training schedule in computer literacy for workers in town. The facility was recently commissioned by the Deputy Regional Minister, Mr Bede Ziedeng.
Staff of the Northern Office never rested on their oars during the year despite the problems that confronted them. Regular staff meetings were held to provide feedback on issues being pursued and to plan together the way forward. A summary of our achievements include the following:
The constraints of the Northern office during 1999 were mainly financial. With the termination of the NGO Support Project, we unsuccessfully searched for funding and by April had to depend on the Consultancy Unit which unfortunately was not able to land many jobs. As a result we had to rely on our Kumasi office for financial support for most of the year.
The delays by communities in repaying the loans also proved very expensive to CEDEP since vehicular and staff movements involved bills which had to be absorbed by CEDEP. Threats to surcharge defaulters with such expenses did not prove effective.
Plans for the year 2000
Inspite of these setbacks of the year under review, the Northern office is determined to forge ahead in the coming year in the hope of turning around its dwindling fortunes. In the pursuit of this goal, we intend:
Every field of human activity has its ups and downs and each situation provides useful lessons. These lessons constitute the building blocks for organisational development if they are reflected upon and digested. As such, even failure can produce positive outcome for the future.
At the turn of the new millennium everyone hopes to achieve positive results in life. It is the determination of the Northern Office that no effort will be spared in pursuing the objectives it has set itself for the year 2000. We shall however require the goodwill of many individuals and organisations so that together we can reach out to some of the poor and marginalized communities in the Northern sector and by that move Ghana forward.
COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT UNIT (CLDU)
The Community Leadership Development Unit (CLDU) came into existence in 1999 following the restructuring of CEDEP. The CLDU took over some of the programmes of the former Community Resource Development (CORD) unit of CEDEP. These included the Ashanti Regional Susu Collectors Co-operative Society (ARSCC) programme, the Kaasi biogas latrine project, and the Mid-Ghana NGO Network. These constituted the main work of the unit during the year under review. In April, the CLDU together with the three other units making up the Community Initiatives Department (CID) moved to the South Suntreso office premises of CEDEP.
The CLDU was initially made up of three staff. These were Rev. Nana Awuku, Assistant Programme Manager and Head, Mr. Asare Boadi (Programme Officer) and Mr. Solomon Fordjour (Assistant Programme Officer). However, in May and June, Solomon Fordjour and Mr. Asare Boadi were assigned to the CEDEP Consultancy Services Unit to assist on the Juabeso Bia Poverty Alleviation and Peri-Urban Research projects respectively.
Activities and Achievements
Ashanti Region Susu Collectors Co-operative Society (ARSCCS) is one of the Micro Finance Institutions in Ghana which was registered in 1989.
This group of men and women are "mobile bankers" who move form door to door, street to street, office to office and market to market to mobilise savings from the vulnerable in society especially, women and the youth. These vulnerable groups deposit as little as between ˘500 ˘2,000 a day which conventional banks regard too small to accept as savings deposits.
These Susu Collectors accumulate this amount for a period of one month or more and then pay back to their clients at the end of the month deducting the first days contribution as the collectors own commission.
With a vision of opening and operating a Susu Bank in future coupled with keen competition from non-members of the Susu Association, Rural Banks, Credit Unions and Savings and Loans Banks, ARSCCS members saw that they dont have the capacity to compete favorably with these institutions on the financial market and.therefore sought for assistance from CEDEP. CEDEP turned to DOEN Foundation in the Netherlands for funding which signed a 3-year contractual agreement with CEDEP for CEDEP to strengthen the Institutional Capacity of ARSCCS. This training started in August 1998 and is on going.
The Unit organised various workshops throughout the year including:
To create awareness on ARSCCS activities, to redeem the dented image of Susu collectors and to increase both the Association's membership and clientele the Unit organised programmes on the Garden City and OTEC FM stations which took the form of discussion, Phone ins and jingles. Also, two workshops/Seminars for both Clients and Collectors were organised at the GNAT Hall and Kumasi Polytechnic.
The first, which involved an amount of ˘45 million from Sinapi Aba Trust, a Micro Credit Institution in Ghana was in 1998. ARSCCS received a bonus of ˘600,00 at the end of the year to boost the association's capital base. 110 clients benefited. The second was this year and involved an amount of ˘150 million from the World Bank through First Allied Savings and Loans Ltd. ARSCCS is anticipating ˘1.5 million bonus. 200 clients benefited. In both cases, 90% of the beneficiaries were women.
The major constraint that affects the pace and the project vision is lack of office equipment (computer, printer and photocopier) to facilitate secretarial activities. ARSCCS has to do outside typing, printing and photocopies that have adverse effect on their financial resources. A proposal is however being written for a funding to buy these equipment.
From the improvement in collectors' attitudes and perceptions towards their business and clients trust we have learnt that good Institutional Capacity Building motivates organised groups to perform better. It empowers them to take ownership of the project and see to its success. It enhances division of labour whereby the groups activities do not rest on a few executives but on the entire membership as they share roles and each individual tries to do the best he/she can to move the group forward
For some time now, sanitation at Kaasi, a surbub of Kumasi has been very deplorable. People defecate in the bushes around the community as the existing 2 KVIP toilets in the area are inadequate for them. The toilets more often than not overflow polluting the atmosphere and threaten an epidemic outbreak.
Guinness Ghana Ltd. through Water of Life, UK decided to build 3 KVIP toilets for the community to ease their sanitation problem.
Guinness Ghana Ltd. thus signed a contractual agreement with CEDEP on September 18, 1998 to facilitate the building process, conduct public education on health and sanitation and facilitate the formation and training of the Project Management Committee members for the sustainability of the project.
During CEDEPs baseline survey, opinion leaders of the community led by Kaasihene, Nana Yaw Owusu Ababio rejected the building of the 3 KVIPs due to the bitter experience they are facing from the existing ones. They then opted for a water closet. Our research also revealed that water could be a problem as it does not flow all the time.
It was at this point that the bio-gas latrine concept was introduced to the community by CEDEP as a better alternative due to its numerous advantages.
For example, it does not emit bad odour to attract flies which will eventually cause an outbreak of epidemic; it is cost effective as it does not need to be evacuated as other toilets because the effluent is treated at the site and it produces gas for domestic and other purposes.
After a study tour of some existing bio gas facilities the community opted for the bio-gas concept.
Activities and Achievements
CEDEP facilitated the formation of Project Management Committee (PMC) from among the Unit Committee members to man the project and conducted four workshops for the PMC members to build their capacity for the sustainability of the project. Some of the topics treated include Organisational assessment using SWOT Analysis; basic Book keeping and Record Keeping; leadership skills; Group Dynamics and bio gas utilisation and management.
Construction work which started in October 1998 as soon as 50% of the construction fees was released by Water of Life, UK was completed in?????. After a thorough inspection by Mr. Anthony Mensah, KMA Waste Management Health and Sanitation Engineer, TIE Ltd was commended for a job well done. The two toilets are awaiting commissioning in January 2000.
Impact assessment, frequent monitoring and progress reports have been on going. These reports have been sent to both the donor, Guinness Ghana Ltd. and CEDEP management for them to know how things are going on about the project.
Commissioning date for the Kaasi Project had to be postponed three times due to global inflation and the depreciation of the cedi as no provision was made in the budget for contingencies like fluctuations. Also, the original 12 seater latrine was increased to 16 seater to correct some anomalies without looking at the original budget. This brought about untold hardship on the contractor. CEDEP had to lend him over ˘2.3 million from TIEs 5% retention fees to complete the work. Thirdly, the 2 gas balloons ordered by TIE from Germany since June 1998 for the Kaasi project are yet to be received for installation.
It has however been agreed between CEDEP and TIE Ltd. that this equipment would be installed as soon as they arrive after commissioning the project at no extra cost.
Introduction & Background Information
The need for the formation of Mid Ghana NGO Network arose as a result of CEDEP's desire to foster links among NGO's working in Mid Ghana. It is also in line with one of the objectives under the Family Reproductive Programme, in which CEDEP is committed to establish a forum for NGO's in Ashanti, Eastern and Brong Ahafo Regions. It was envisaged that this forum would enable local NGOs to have a common forum to discuss challenges on the field, share ideas, and co-ordinate activities and influence national policies.
The objectives for the Network which first met in November 1996 are how to create a forum where NGOs and CBOs can discuss their problems and share experiences and ideas; and an environment for new NGOs and CBOs to learn from the experiences of the older ones and resolve conflicts and crises among NGOs and CBOs. The need to have a communication link with GAPVOD, the umbrella body of NGOs in Ghana and influence policy was also discussed.
Activities and Achievements
Three meetings were held on September 15, October 28 and December 8 after a whole years slur due to the restructuring exercise of CEDEP, the facilitating NGO. The first two meetings were attended by 10 and 20 participants respectively.
The first meeting discussed among other things:
Members were also advised to bring at least a page profile of their organisation to be filed at the secretariat so that each NGO will know what others stand for.
The second meeting focused on the Ghana Education Service District Education Planning Team concept, NGO Forum Magazine, verification about the Brong Ahafo NGO Network and awareness creation about the Mid-Ghana NGO Network. About the Ghana Education Service District Education Planning Team concept, the Network was encouraged to be part of the campaign and visit their various education offices for more information so that we, NGOs can put our weight behind it to make it a success.
NGO Forum Magazine, which aims to enlighten people on developmental issues was introduced to participants. The magazine, which used to be called SEARCH and was the mouthpiece of CEDEP was re-titled later as NGO Forum when a few NGOs joined CEDEP in its development. Mr. Tony Dogbe, Executive Director of CEDEP sold the idea of adopting the magazine to the Network.
A delegation was chosen at the meeting to verify about the speculation that NGOs in the Brong Ahafo Region have broken away from the Network to form a new network, BANGO, and finally, a proposal to create awareness of the Network through the various FM stations was adopted at the meeting.
Among other things, at third the meeting, the delegation for the verification about BANGO brought their report. From the report, there was the existence of BANGO but its executive explained that it was not a break-away but a regional network of NGOs and CBOs for closer integration and still part of the Mid-Ghana Network, and advised Ashanti Region to do likewise. Mid Ghana executives took this advice as a challenge and drafted Ashanti Region Network of NGOs constitution, which was presented to the general meeting on December 8, 1999 for discussion and would be ratified and adopted at the next meeting on February 2, 2000
At the meeting, another report on Ghana Education Service Workshop for District Education Planning Team Concept, DEPT was presented. DEPT is a concept of planning with communities to bring about community participation for ownership and cost sharing of educational facilities to bring about quality education in Ghana. It aims among other things, to pursue a decentralisation policy of the government in education by setting up a planning Team in the District to be called District Education Planning Team which will have regular consultation with the local authority to identify problems and find solutions in the educational system and draw up educational action plan outlying clearly the objectives to solve problems
Participation in these meetings have been encouraging and through the meetings, the following have been achieved
Plans for the year 2000
Mid-Ghana NGO Network
GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT UNIT
In its fourth year if operation, the Gender and Development Unit (GDU) focused on consolidating the achievements of the previous years work. The Unit joined forces with other organizations to strengthen the national movement for the creation of a culture of respect for the rights of women. These new alliances significantly increased the reach of the Units campaign for the gradual transformation of social values towards gender equity in the country.
A large proportion of the GDU's work was carried out through the co-ordination of the activities of the CEDEP Womens Forum (CWF) and facilitation of other local and national projects.
The Units programme continued to be co-ordinated by Ms Boadicea Ama Prempeh, who in April, was redesignated as Acting Programme Manager of the newly created Community Initiatives Department of CEDEP. Programme Assistants comprised Ms. Matilda Nyantakyi, Philip Acheampong and Mr Solomon Fordjour who later left to join CEDEP Consultancy Services. Juliana S. Karikari worked as volunteer from 8 February to 13 March; Loretta Tandoh and Akua Darkoa Amponsah did an industrial attachment with the Unit in September while Daniel Appiah-Darkwa joined the Unit as service personnel in October.
Activities and achievements
The CEDEP Womens Forum
There has been a steady growth of CWF membership and attendance to monthly meetings representation from the Districts of Amansie-West, Efigya Sekyere, Ahafo Ano North and South, Sekyere West, Asante Akim North, Offinso, Ejura, and Kumasi Metropolis. Average monthly attendance increased from about .to approximately 72 women and men.
The Unit worked through the core members from the districts as networks to create awareness and dialogue among civil society and critical actors to bridge the gender gap.
Women in Education, Health Legal and Human Rights CAN WE DELETE THIS?
Making the Achievements of women visible
The CWF Book on "Ten Women Achievers from the Ashanti Region" was finally completed within the year. Edited by Prof. Florence Abena Dolphyne, one of the women achievers, the book, by highlighting the achievements of some women to serve as role modes, aims at promoting girl-child education while appealing to the girl child and parents as well. The publication will be used as instrument of change in the country and at the international level.
Gender Sensitisation Programme
Four day gender sensitisation workshops were organised for 35 service providers each including traditional authorities at Mampong Sekyere West District in February, Manso Nkwanta Amansie West in June and Agona Afigya Sekyere in September. The workshops were preceded by mass social mobilisation through district open fora on gender issues. One of the main objectives of the programme was to ensure that the participants recognise and act on the gender issues for which they were being trained. Incorporated in all the three workshops were special training sessions towards the technological empowerment of women and men using a manual which had been field tested jointly by CEDEP and TOOL Consult of the Netherlands.
Leaflets on Identified Concerns of Women.
In collaboration with CEDEP Publication Unit and as part of GDU's campaign on gender awareness, the CWF produced an issue of "Reflections" entitled "Kofi Can Cook Too", a publication which seeks to educate readers on the advantages of sharing domestic chores between the girl child and the boy child. Two thousand copies were printed for distribution to organisations, institutions and individuals, especially during workshops.
Advocacy through the Media
The Unit continued to work closely with the local media especially the Ghana News Agency, the Pioneer and FM Radio stations to carry out advocacy on concerns of women.
Network with Women in Broadcasting, based in Accra resulted in the nation-wide prime time telecast of "Womens Voice" sponsored by the British Council on "Human Rights" and "Empowering Women". These two episodes were based on CWF projects in the Ashanti Region.
Study on Violence against Women and Children
As part of the Units aim to support the empowerment of women, the Unit joined hands with the Gender Studies and Human Rights Documentation Centre and other NGOs in Ghana to plan an advocacy campaign strategy on the outcome of the National Research on Violence Against Women and Children.
The strategies included the preparation towards the launching of the research report at the national level in Accra, southern zone in Koforidua, middle zone in Kumasi and Northern zone in Tamale.
Network with Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF)
The Unit participated in the WILDAF General Assembly held from 26 to 30 July in Accra where an exhibition of the work of CWF members was mounted for public view.
In order to create awareness on the basic rights of the child in society, the Unit collaborated with WILDAF to carry out a national programme on "16 days of Activism" towards the end of the year. The Akan translation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was launched at an Open Forum held at Juansa, Asante Akim North District, on 2 December, to coincide with the 10th Anniversary of the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Mapping up Inequalities in the Health Sector
In collaboration with the CEDEP Consultancy Services, GDU participated in the ministry of Health's National Research on "Mapping up Inequalities in Health Sector" towards the end of the year. The Unit co-co-ordinated the Central Region qualitative research for 14 days; followed by the collation of the regional reports into a national report at a 3-day workshop, held at Achiaakrom Research Centre in December.
Gender and Religion
The Unit explored ways of establishing a hotline with religious institutions on gender issues. Towards this aim, a team of CWF members facilitated a special session on "Gender and Religion" on Sunday 20 June in a local Cathedral in Kumasi during the main church service. Through the discussions, the congregation realised that gender inequality was an issue for the whole society to address and not only seen as "womens issue."
Women in Business
Workshops organized various Business Management Training Workshops for women in business including a tie and dye training for members of the National Association of the Physically Disabled (Womens Sector), Ashanti Region Branch, in March, and palm oil processing for the Association of Tetrem Women in Development (ATWIDE) in September. CWF assistance to the groups included donation of basic tools and other equipment.
Production of a Womens Guidebook to Business
The National Board for Small Scale Industries with its Business Advisory Centre (BAC) as a member of CWF assisted the Forum to complete the Womens Guide Book to Business. The book, which is aimed at the educational and economic empowerment of women, has targeted women in the non-formal sector of the economy.
The book was pre-tested at a threeday Regional Training of Trainers' workshop on womens skills acquisition held from 29 September to 1 October.
GDU facilitated network and business linkages between various womens groups and commercial houses and other NGOs in the country and overseas towards the economic empowerment of women. Core groups included the producers of "Asase Aban" plastic beads from plastic waste. This group gained funding during the year, from S.O.A. (Foundation for International Co-operation, Almere) Holland, for the construction of a workshop for the manufacture of the beads.
Influencing Economic Policy from Gender Perspective
In collaboration with the Youth Initiatives Unit of CEDEP, the Unit co-ordinated the action oriented research and training programme which is aimed at creating an environment that will enable the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) and market traders at the Kumasi Central Market (KCM) to identify themselves as partners in the development of KMA.
CEDEP, through participatory approaches and training and with financial support from the North-South Institute, Canada, has, during the year, been helping the market women to solve their problems through dialogue with the KMA and other service providers in Kumasi. This project was the initiative of Dr. Rudith King, a member of CEDEP Board of Trustees.
The Youth Reproductive Health Programme
Adolescents and adult peer group counsellors workshops were organised in September by CWF with technical support from the Youth Initiatives Unit of CEDEP. Personnel from the National Youth Council, Ghana Education Service Counselling Unit and Ministry of Health assisted the Unit to pre-test the CWF training manual for peer group counsellors on adolescent Reproductive health, during the workshops. Other campaigns form part of this programme.
Training and Conferences
CWF Sponsored a representative from the National Youth Council to participate in the 51st Annual New Year School held at the University Collage of Education, Winneba from 27 December to 5 January 2000. Staff of GDU attended some external workshops and conferences including West African Provincial Mothers Union Council meeting in Banjul, Gambia in from 20 to 30 January and a workshop on "Violence Against Women,Ending the silence, challenging the Tolerance" in London from 2127 in February sponsored by the British Council. In September, the Unit participated in a training workshop on "Strengthening Electronic Communications Capacities for Womens Organisations in Ghana" sponsored by Abantu for Development and United States Information Service in Accra and another workshop on "Women in Region" in October sponsored by Women Theologians of Trinity College, Accra.
Visits from Overseas Partners
Our overseas partners including CAFOD representatives visited us on 22 October, GERA external evaluator on 20 November and Comic Relief on 6 and 7 December.
Funding and Assistance
The Units work has been sustained mostly by funds provided by CAFOD / Comic Relief of U.K. to co-ordinate the CEDEP Womens Forum programme. The Unit and the CEDEP Womens Forum are deeply grateful for the support.
Projections for 2000
We hope to strengthen the capacity of CEDEP and its partners to mainstream gender in their activities and to influence decisions and policymaking. The advocacy will include activities aimed at promoting policies in favour of good governance, democracy, human rights and sustainable development during the forth-coming general elections year. Research on key social problems will be pursued with the view of networking with critical actors to address the issues. Marketing of the "Women Achievers" book will be expanded to include a video documentary for households,
We hope to evaluate the first phase of the CWF four-year programme and seek funding for the second phase towards its autonomy.
CEDEP REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH PROJECT
The report for the year under review covers the incidence of staff turnover within the unit and its effect on programmes of partners and the Unit as well. It also covers the recruitment of a Co-ordinator, an Assistant Co-ordinator and a National Service Person. Sections of the report will look at contents of programmes and capacity building and monitoring activities. There is also a section on lessons learnt, achievements, challenges faced and how they were handled and projections for the next year.
The conclusion of the report will examine how these achievements have contributed to the overall CEDEP strategic objectives.
Review of 1998
The year 1998 was the peak of the Strategic restructuring activities within CEDEP. This took a great deal of time and effort of every staff member including those in the then CORD. The end of 1998 also marked the end of the current phase of FRHP. However the end phase was extended to December 1999. The year also saw the beginning of the metamorphosis of Community Resource Development (CORD) into the CEDEP Reproductive Health Project (CRHP) and the Community Leadership Development Unity (CLDU) as separate Units.
Since FRHP extended the end of the current phase to December 1999 and the Strategic Review Document was in place, CEDEP had to redefine the objectives to reflect the new outlook of the programme especially the strategic thinking. The redefined objectives are:
Programmes for the Year
The year began on a slow note due to staff resignation, especially within the Unit. This resulted in CEDEPs inability to provide appropriate capacity building to its partners. However, by the middle of the year, the engaged Coordinator had assumed office and towards the end of the year, an Assistant Coordinator and a National Service Person had also joined the Unit. Thus the Unit had regained its full staff capacity which reflected in the participation in programmes and provision of Capacity Building to Partners. Specifically, the Coordinator on an orientation visit to the partners noted weaknesses in the formulation of their workplans. The Unit later provided Capacity Building in workplans. This included how to develop goals, objectives, strategies and activities. In addition, the Unit assisted them to develop roles and responsibilities for all categories of project staff and volunteers.
The Unit was also assisted by the newly engaged FRHP Admin/Finance Officer to undertake financial monitoring for partners ???? during the year. Capacity Building in Cash Book analysis was provided to some project staff. A full scale Financial Management training was earmarked for the early part of next year. CRHP team members were also able to participate in planned programme activities of Partners, notably two advocacy programs organized by APPLE at Atebubu, one targeting heads of Institutions and the other targeting 'Wamzams'. In addition, they participated in programs organized by DOTHEBAA and HIV/AIDS Project at Dormaa and Nkawkaw respectively.
Special personalities, notably, Greg Ramm, Programme Director, Save the Children (UK) visited three out of the five partners including CEDEP to observe and understand the programs during the year. Dr. Togola, Save the Children (Mali) also visited the HIV/AIDS Project, with the view of establishing a similar hospital based project in Mali. Finally, Dr. Douglas Webb, Save the Children (Headquarters) visited CEDEP Partners in a bid to develop impact indicators for the FRHP Framework. He held a day's workshop for CRHP partners to identify and prioritize their impact indicators.
The Unit recorded salient achievements including:
Constraints and Challenges
The Unit faced a number of challenges during the year under review. These include:
The Unit as well as other Units who were relocated to South Suntreso had various levels of difficulty in settling down. The case of CRHP was peculiar since the office was moved by other staff and a new staff had to come in to set up the office. There were experiences of misplaced and mixed up files. The assistance of staff in other Units and Departments helped in overcoming this challenge.
The Coordinator had little or no orientation upon assumption of office due to the absence of the Executive Director for a couple of months. However, the Partners were open and ready to offer the necessary information during the orientation undertaken by the Coordinator, while the Executive Director on his return made available valuable documentation that gave an overview of CRHP, CEDEP and how it became involved in FRHP and Save the Children.
The rapid staff turn over resulted in CEDEPs inability to offer support and capacity building to the Partners. The Executive Director had to step in to save the situation with occasional assistance from Save the Children. This helped in keeping the programme from losing all that it had achieved over the years.
The Unit faced challenges from inadequate supply of logistics and support staff. The Unit had to share one desktop and one laptop computer with three other Units. This placed tremendous pressure on the equipment, resulting in frequent breakdowns and creation of tension between Unit staff members. The Unit along side the other three Units had no support staff to speed up the secretarial duties. Management stepped in to replace the old and slow desktop computer with a new and faster one and also placed an Office Assistant/Secretary within the Department to speed up the work of all Units.
The challenges of constantly updating the Partners with skills in report writing, Financial Report writing and Programme development due to staff turn over is still an issue the Unit has to battle with. The Unit is ensuring that Partners improve upon their documentation processes, such that when staff leave the experiences can be read from existing documents.
The Unit learnt some lessons as a result of finding solutions to the challenges it went through. These include:
In sustaining Programme activities by the Partners, there was the need for regular and sustained monitoring by CEDEP. To further strengthen the monitoring process, a week's stay with each Partner was instituted. A member of the CRHP Team stayed with each Partner for a week undertaking, following up on each Project activity and ensuring that the Programme contents follow the laid down requirements. This exercise has yielded great results and will be followed up.
The Unit also learnt not to focus on technical reproductive health issues alone, to the detriment of organizational and management issues. It was learnt that when management issues are strengthened, as well as reproductive health issues, Partners have the skills to sustain the implementation of these technical skills.
The Unit learnt valuable lessons from reviewing the past two years of providing capacity building. These lessons were documented and shared with other Partners within FRHP.
Projections for 2000
The Unit anticipates undertaking new activities next year. The next year is also the beginning of a new phase of the FRHP. The major activities include:
The year under review has been a critical one, since it follows immediately after the strategic review. It is therefore very important to view the achievements of the Unit in line with the strategic objectives set for the five-year period.
It can be said that with only a year's implementation, the Unit is making strides in contributing to achieving objectives one and two, which focuses on building capacities of CBOs/NGOs and to promote a vibrant NGO sector in Ghana. In view of the above, CRHP has managed to utilize the new staff to change the downward course of the FRHP and given it a new focus and identity to build on for the coming year.
CEDEP CONSULTANCY SERVICES
This report is an assessment of the objectives and activities of CEDEP Consultancy Service in 1999. The report is divided into the following sections:
The goal for the year 1999 was to generate a considerable income for CEDEP- about 50% of its income target, including offsetting the short fall of 1998 incomes target.
To attain this goal the Unit formulated the following objectives:
3.0 ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN
The Unit carried on with its activities, the main ones being;
The 1999 objectives include to:
Reference can be made to a detailed assessment of the years activities below. The criteria for the assessment of the activities executed in the first quarter include:
The Unit in collaboration with GTZ-German Technical Co-operation under its programme for Rural Action (PRA) undertook training programmes for Area Council members, staff and Multipliers in three Districts, namely; West Gonja, Kintampo and Hohoe District Assemblies. The activities carried out under the GTZ/PRA programme included
During the last quarter of the year, the Unit held two meetings with its partner to review programme of activities handled by CEDEP, its role in the expansion of the program as well as the way forward. The outcome of the meeting was successful and a new contract was signed for an extension of GTZ training programmes.
The challenges of the programme were that;
In view of the above, the lesson drawn from the GTZ/PRA programme among others is that; it takes some time for even development actors to accept change and to become change agents.
Under the above project, the Unit facilitated training workshops for Civic and Government leaders in each of the six districts in the Northern, Upper East and West Regions of Ghana namely; Tolon Kunbumgu, Yendi, Wa , Nadowli , Bongo and Kassena Nankana. The main objective was to enhance civic-government collaboration at the local level. The ECSELL project started in 1998 with five main training interventions. Three of the training interventions were carried out in 1998 ( see 1998 Annual report). The remaining two were held in 1999. The focus of the 1999 input was to equip the leaders of the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) with skills in proposal writing, financial management, advocacy and to further strengthen the collaboration between the Civil Society Organisations and the District Assembly. The unit with the support of the Wa and Accra offices successfully carried out the IFES/ECSELL assignment.
Though too early to write about achievements, a mid-term review of the project indicated that, there has been strong collaboration between the CSOs and the district assembly functionaries in all the participating districts. Revenue mobilisation in these districts has tremendously increased. Membership drive in IFES/ ECSELL CSOs has increased by about 40%. Most of the CSOs have been successful in their fund raising proposals. There is some amount of transparency and respect for and among the CSOs and the District Assembly. The District Assemblies now respond to the needs of the CSOs and they both recognise each other as development partners.
CEDEP operated in the most difficult area (the northern zone) relative to the two other zones (the middle and the southern zones). The Northern zone is characterised by numerous ethnic groupings with distinct dialectical differences. The challenge for CEDEP was to raise experienced multi-lingual training teams, skilful in languages such as Dagbani, Mampruli, Dagari, Kassen, Nankan and Gruni. The implication was that nine instead of six trainers were used to execute the assignment. Also, the northern zone is noted as the poorest, sparsely populated and scattered settlement patterns. This phenomena affected workshop attendance and participating in some of the districts. Some participants had to walk for about 20 km to get to the workshop venue. It was also difficult to compensate the CSOs, who are mostly farmers for leaving their farms especially during the only rainy season in the area to attend workshop.
Another challenge was how to match the project goals with the expectations of the Civic- Government leaders. The District Assembly and the CSOs anticipated direct physical intervention in the form of provision of infrastructure, logistics and financial support which was at variance with the project goals and objectives which sought to intervene through training. Though, it was not easy to have a common ground at the initial stages, some degree of compromise was reached and they appreciated the concept especially when they started witnessing results.
Lessons drawn from the IFES/ECSELL project were that for effective good governance at the grass root level, the involvement of the Civil Society Organisations in decision making is very important. Also, there is the need to strengthen collaboration with these organisations, recognising and acknowledging their contribution and responding to their needs. It is through this that they will feel part of the development process, contribute and own the decentralisation process at the grassroots level.
5.3 NATIONAL POVERTY REDUCTION PROGRAMME
CEDEP staff on the job successfully achieved an improvement in group cohesion and better understanding of the dynamics at play within groups and also to update baseline information on the poverty reduction programme in pilot communities. Also meetings had been revived in the communities.
Most of the challenges encountered were:
In view of the above, lessons learnt were that; development workers should take into consideration seasons within the communities to enable them schedule the right time to meet members of the various communities. Accessibility to facilities should also be considered because they affect development interventions.
The PADP is a Wildlife Division project preparing management plans for Bia and Ankasa protected areas in the Western Region of Ghana. As part of the PADP planning process, CEDEP Consultancy Services was tasked to design and implement a training course for Community Liaison Officers (CLOs) in accordance with the aims of the PADP.
In 1999, CCS undertook several activities with the CLOs in Takoradi, Anyinase and Ankasa in the Western Region. The activities carried out include the following;
The CLOs are now capable of carrying out off-reserve activities in a participatory and human centred approach. Their approach in managing the forest, is through collaboration rather than confrontation.
The Field Walker programme has taken off with initial 30 volunteers (8 females and 22 males). They are the Wildlife Divisions "ears to the ground". The selected field Walkers have been trained to offer clear and simple messages in answer to their neighbours questions regarding how the PADP/WD hopes to manage the protected areas; wildlife laws and policies; and conservation education. They also provide feedback about their neighbours perception on utilisation of wildlife resources.
The main challenge encountered in the design and the implementation of the CLO/FW programme was CCS inability to train the CLOs as indicated in the work plan. This was partially due to;
2.The training programme very often coincided with some of the major activities of PADP/ Wildlife Division.
3. Production of training manual before the training was quite involving and tedious which required more days as against what was anticipated in the work plan.
A lot of lessons were learnt from the PADP/WD and CCS interaction. This included the opportunity to share experiences with PADP/WD staff and other international consultants in specialised areas such as wildlife resource utilisation, participatory resource management plans, wildlife laws and policies and conservation education.
It also created the opportunity to further strengthen our understanding of the dynamics and complexities of the fringing communities of the protected areas (Ankasa Protected Area).
The Unit continued the in-country language and culture orientation with the Japanese Overseas Co-operation Volunteers (JOCV), who will be working in the local areas of Ghana for at least two years. The programme was successfully organised in February, July and December. Fifty-two (52) volunteers undertook the orientation programme this year.
It has been learnt that, providing enough snacks would be convenient and reduce time wastage.
The unit carried out three major researches works in 1999. They were in the areas of Health Delivery Systems in Ghana, Participatory Environmental Action Research in the Peri- Urban Areas of Kumasi, Gender and Economic Reforms in Africa and Consultation with the poor.
A. CEDEP/ DFID and Ministry of Health research " inequalities in health delivery systems in Ghana"
The Ministry of Health and Department for International Development (CEDEP/DFID) research study was undertaken by the Unit to explore inequalities in health service delevery, outcomes and services in the 10 Regions of the country. A 7-day workshop was held in Accra by CEDEP in collaboration with an international consultant from the Royal Netherlands Tropical Institute (KIT), trained the participants on PLA/PRA skills for research. This was followed by 10 days of data collection in each region simultaneously. Two meetings were held afterwards in Kumasi to debrief analyse and synthesize the findings of the research. ,
This research was successfully organised and with the use PLA/PRA skills, participants were able to interact better with community members. The training components of the research, according to participants have changed their attitude towards community members and thus have made them more appreciative of participatory methodologies such as participatory Rapid Appraisal (PRA).
B. Participatory Environmental Action Research
Another research dubbed " Participatory Environmental Action Research", is currently being undertaken within two districts and a Sub-Metro, namely Atwima and Bosumtwe Atwima Kwanwoma District and Bantama Sub-Metro. An agreement had been signed between CEDEP and the researcher for the results to be made available to CEDEP for possible interventions.
This research seeks to access the impact of Kumasis growth on peripheral communities especially the western part of Kumasi and how the selected communities can be empowered through active participation of how best they can access their own situation in the area of sanitation, watershed and the natural environment in general.
The research also hopes to involve the indigenous people in the analysis of the data gathered unlike the conventional methods of research.
The research aims to provide a forum for learning for folks which is based on action oriented research with the various stakeholders regarding environmentally sound natural resource systems management in the Peri-Urban areas in Kumasi.
This research is an on-going process and its in preparatory stage.
c. Consultation with the poor
In collaboration with World Bank, the Unit conducted, Consultation with the Poor Research, which is a global research, conducted in twenty poor countries worldwide. This research is conducted every ten years by the World Bank to know the standard of economic growth in poor countries.
A week PLA/PRA training was organised for the research. Three teams were built out of the training, namely Northern; Middle And Southern Ghana Teams. Each team was assigned an area to conduct the research. PLA/PRA methodologies were used through out the research period. Researchers simultaneously discussed the outcome of the days work, type the reports and submit them to Kumasi Office the following day. Findings of the research were submitted to the World Bank.
After the research, communities admitted the following findings:
- That, there is the existence of poverty and the poor the most vulnerable in the
- In the research areas women are most affected by poverty. Most of them had to struggle to maintain their families.
One challenge encountered during the research was that, the Northern and Southern team had the problem of covering longer distances in order to reach out to targeted communities.
However the research revealed what makes up poverty in rural and urban areas. Frequent research on poverty and dissemination of the findings will therefore help policy makers to come out with solution to most poverty related problems.
7. OTHER ACTIVITIES
During the year the Unit undertook a number of non-project activities including facilitation of several workshops with:
At the beginning of the year, staff strength was reduced from six to three due to resignations and non-renewal of contract. Two additional staff were therefore seconded to the Unit from other Units. Within the third quarter of the year, the CCS Assistant Administrator resigned and one other staff had to leave and join her husband.
The high staff turn over was a big challenge to the Unit. Most of our working partners complained about this situation because it affected quality of work.
However, the last quarter of the year welcomed national service persons that have strengthened the staff situation of the Unit.
One major lesson about this staff situation of the Unit is to equip the capacities of staff of both the Unit and other Units to serve as a back up in case of crash or expansion of CCS activities.
This section focuses on the assessment of the objectives set for the year, 1999. The assessment was mainly based on the three major objectives set by the unit in 1999. Below is the outcome of the assessment:
10. PROJECTIONS FOR 2000
YOUTH INITIATIVES UNIT
1999 was a challenging and satisfying one as so much happened during the year. The strategic planning and reorganisation within CEDEP gave birth to the Youth Initiatives Unit (YIU) born out of the Development Education Programme (DEP). The YIU shed off some of the activities of DEP. These include the Development Clubs in nine Second Cycle Schools, the Crossfire Club of UST, Campus Links and Central Development Clubs. These activities were handed over to the Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT) Foundation, an NGO which has been nurtured by CEDEP. The library has been moved to the Harper
Office and the reading room is now under the Community Learning Centre (CLC) while
the Audio-Visual Programme has been put on hold .The CLC is now part of CEDEP services and Resource Department (CSRD). The YIU therefore retained Youth in Action (a Network of community based youth organisations in the Kumasi Metropolis) in fulfilment of CEDEPs objective to improve the access of youth to relevant skills and knowledge to enable them make informed decisions in economic and social matters and adopt facilities which improve the quality of their lives.
The Youth in Action (YIA) is made up mainly of educated but unemployed youth between the ages of 18 and 32. The focus of the YIU is therefore to improve the lives of the youth by providing them with income generating skills, education on reproductive health, functional literacy and effects of drugs.
The Unit started the year with 3 members: a Library Assistant, Kingsley Arhin, a volunteer, Gabriel Adusei-Poku and the Programme Coodinator, later designated as Assistant Manager, Aba Oppong. In March, the volunteer was paid off. When the restructuring took effect in April, the Library Assistant was posted to the Programme Support Unit (PSU). Harriet Agyapong Avle of PDU joined the Unit in May and was transferred to CCS in August. In September two students from the Department of Planning, UST, Loretta Tandoh and Akua Darkoa Amponsah did internship at the Unit. In November a national service person, Opoku Agyemang was recruited to support the Assistant Manager. The Unit moved office from Adum to South Suntreso in April.
OFOO WAS NOT MENTIONED
Activities and Achievements:
The Youth in Action: More youth groups have joined the YIA network. There are now 16 regular groups in the network which meet bi- monthly meetings. Two groups outside the Kumasi Metropolis have joined the network, one from Atwima Techiman and the other from Tebeso II. The YIA is now made up of three distinctive groups which are Religious Groups, Community Based Groups and Literacy Groups. The YIA is also divided into two working groups, the Socio-economic group and the Environmental group. More women are now involved in the network. In February, the YIA elected their first executives who would be in authority for a year. To enlighten the members on the use of the Internet, the CLC organised an Internet Orientation for the YIA members on 29th November.
Community Action Groups:
The YIA under Community Action Group was vibrant throughout the year. Some of the groups are alive to the realities in their communities. To reduce the level of unemployment, the Love and Unity Club at Atwima Techiman has undertaken a farming project while the Kwadaso Students Union is undertaking a library project to enhance their reading skills. Other development programmes organised include clean-up exercise, symposia (The Rights of the Child, Child Abuse, Rape and Defilement) and inter-community games. They are also very keen in education on drug abuse since it is rampant among their peers. Who are the THEY?????
The Unit has been collaborating with the CEDEP Womens Forum (CWF) on the project Peer Counsellors on Adolescent Reproductive Health and with CEDEP Consultancy Services (CCS) to organise CEDEP/Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) Orientation two times this year ( July and December). In collaboration with Gender and Economic Reform in Africa (GERA) and Gender and Development Unit (GDU), the Unit is now doing a research in the market titled Influencing Policy The Role of the Urban Market Traders in Ghana. A case study of Kumasi Central Market Traders.
Personnel of the Unit have been trained on PRA/PLA techniques, ways of raising funds locally and Public Education on Reproductive Health.
Workshops Attended by Aba Oppong, Assistant Manager
TO BE CONT.
Within the year, the Assitant Manager attended a number of workshops on behalf of the Unit. These include Civil Society in the Next Millennium, Strengthening citizens action;
Projections for the Year 2000:
The Unit hopes to mobilize more youth into the YIA, train them in income generating activities, embark on literary programmes for social change and create awareness on the HIV/AIDS.