In 2007/8 the Government of Ghana came up with a National Social Protection Strategy (NSPS) which among other things identified social protection (safety net) program gaps within the sector. The strategy required the Government to institute two (2) key social protection interventions which were then missing on the social protection landscape; namely a Cash Transfer programme and a Public Works programme. In 2008, the Government commenced the implementation of a pilot Cash Transfer programmme; the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), under the then Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare. In October 2010, the Government with the support of a World Bank facility launched the Ghana Social Opportunities Project (GSOP) which sought to further the objectives of the NSPS by strengthening the implementation of the two key social protection interventions, as identified above, by supporting the full roll-out of the on-going Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) and the introduction of a Public Works intervention i.e. the Labour-Intensive Public Works (LIPW) programme. Although the Project became effective in October 2010 actual implementation of LIPW activities commenced in October 2011. In February 2014, thee World Bank carried out a Mid-Term Review (MTR) of the GSOP. The object of the MTR was to (i) conduct in-depth review of progress and implementation processes, (ii) identify lessons, constraints and challenges, and (iii) agree upon improvements to processes and systems for implementation of GSOP going forward. The Bank at MTR assessed GSOP implementation as satisfactory and eligible for Additional Financing (AF) to be used primarily to scale up implementation of Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) and Labour Intensive Public Works (LIPW) and to strengthen their operational systems. The Government of Ghana and the World Bank subsequently negotiated a new Financing Agreement in April 2014 to amend the original project. After a full year’s delay, the Financing Agreement was signed by the Government of Ghana April 07, 2015. This brief is therefore based on the revised structure of the project post Additional Financing.

Objective of GSOP

Improve targeting of Social Protection programs and provide income support to poor households through LEAP grants and LIPW infrastructure in targeted districts

Objective of Labour Intensive Public Works (LIPW)

To provide targeted poor rural households with access to employment and income earning opportunities, in particular during seasonal labour demand shortfalls through rehabilitation and maintenance of public or community assets

Eligible Activities/Sub-project Categories (LIPW)

  • Rehabilitation and maintenance of Rural feeder and Access Roads
  • Rehabilitation of Small Earth Dams and Dug-outs/Irrigation Systems and related works
  • Soil and Water conservation activities e.g. Afforestation /Re-forestion Grassing and other Biodiversity Conservation activities
  • Any other eligible public works or activities with high labour content that will generate productive employment
  • Key Features of GSOP LIPWs

  • Sub-projects located close to the rural poor – minimum transactional cost to the poor
  • Sub-projects must have high employment generation capacity (for unskilled labour)
  • At least 50% of a sub-project’s budget must go directly to the poor in the form of wages
  • Implementation carried out mostly during agricultural off season (dry season
  • Equal opportunities for female participation