Worthy Programme, Unworthy Implementation: A Case of Ghana’s Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty
Department of Political Science, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana.
Keywords: Implementation, Political clientelism, Poverty reduction, Livelihood empowerment against poverty (LEAP).
Many well thought poverty reduction programmes implemented in Ghana have failed to deliver on their intended goals due to political interference. The main purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which the beneficiaries of Ghana’s Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty have come from the ranks of the poor and the vulnerable. Thus how strictly the programme’s eligibility criteria has been enforced at the implementation level. Concurrent Mixed Methods approach was employed to collect and analyse data from the field. Quantitative data was obtained from 360 beneficiaries of LEAP and 12 officials selected from government institutions and civil society organizations associated with LEAP implementation provided the qualitative data. The study area covers 8 selected Metropolitan/Municipal/District Assemblies from Greater Accra and the Northern region of Ghana. The findings indicated that the mandated eligibility criteria for the selection of the beneficiaries were observed more in breach than in compliance. The study also found that political clientelism has been a key feature of LEAP implementation, and that the provision of LEAP benefits has become contingent on the individuals’ political support for the party of the ruling government. The study therefore recommends an active involvement of the media and civil society organisations in the implementation to enable them to expose most of the abuses carried out by politicians.