USAID Enriches MoFA Staff Capacities in Agricultural Projects and Policy Research

Trainee participant from MoFA presenting a policy brief

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) organized a 3-week capacity building workshop for staff from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) in project planning, policy cycle and policy planning, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and policy analysis. The workshop was held at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER)-University of Ghana from April 18-May 24 2017.

The training workshop was organized for 17 staff from MoFA’s Policy Planning and Budget Directorate (PPBD), Agri-Business Unit, Project Coordination Unit and the Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate. Through its planning, budget and policy units, the PPBD’s mandate is to lead the technical processes for the development of policies, plans, programs and budgets of the Ministry, with a vision to coordinate and harmonize agricultural policy environment to help ensure increased agricultural growth and incomes. The broad mandate of the policy unit is to undertake rigorous agricultural policy analysis in order to promote evidence-based decision making. However, due to lack of adequate resources and low staff capacity, the unit is unable to do this effectively.

USAID, through its Agriculture Policy Support Project (APSP), is providing technical assistance to MoFA to strengthen the Policy Unit and other key units. It is working to improve the capacity of these units to conduct policy research and analyses; provide evidence for decision making; and develop periodic policy briefs on impacts of initiatives, programs, and projects in the sector for policy formulation. These skills will enable it to design appropriate policy interventions that promote agricultural growth and development in Ghana. This latest training is part of a comprehensive approach adopted by APSP to strengthen both the institutional and human capacities of the policy unit through staff training and provision of IT equipment and related software packages.

Experience Capitalization by MoFA Staff
Participating MoFA staff having gone through the intensive 3-week training expressed their willingness to avail themselves for future training opportunities since it provided them in-depth knowledge and skills relevant to their work. Participants articulated the fact that they can now fully develop highly targeted and significant policy briefs on impacts of Government initiatives, projects and programs for the agricultural sector for improved policy formulation.

All trainee participants exhibited their knowledge acquired through the drafting of germane policy briefs covering Postharvest Losses, Smallholder Farmers, Value Chain Approaches, and Infrastructure.

Participants advocated for follow-up training on use of analytical tools and statistical applications to carry out rigorous policy analyses to provide the Government of Ghana with technical analysis on impacts of macro-economic policies on the agricultural sector, analyse effects of agricultural policies, and facilitate the development of medium term, sectoral and sub-sectoral objectives.

Closing Remarks
In the closing remarks read by USAID/Ghana Economist Mr. Aloysius Adjetey, he conveyed the fact that USAID is extremely proud to support the policy project and is confident the training provided MOFA staff will be utilised in undertaking effective policy analysis—which is a critical ingredient in agriculture transformation in Ghana. He accentuated the fact that Ghana is a focus country of Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative, which aims to reduce poverty, boost the incomes of smallholder farmers, enhance agricultural productivity and increase private sector investment. APSP is one of many programs in Ghana under the Feed the Future Initiative.

About APSP

The Agriculture Policy Support Project (APSP) is a five-year Feed the Future project, with the goal to improve the food security-enabling environment for private sector investment. The aim is to increase the capacity of the Government of Ghana, the private sector and civil society organizations to implement evidence-based policies, conduct research and advocacy and perform rigorous monitoring and evaluation of agriculture programs implemented under the Medium Term Agriculture Sector Investment Plan (METASIP).

About Feed the Future

Feed the Future is the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative. With a focus on smallholder farmers, particularly women, Feed the Future supports partner countries in developing their agriculture sectors to spur economic growth and trade that increase incomes and reduce hunger, poverty, and undernutrition. For more information, visit www.feedthefuture.gov.

 

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