CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP REPORT

 

TRAINING WORKSHOP ON NETWORKING AND PARTNERSHIP BUILDING, COMMUNICATION AND ADVOCACY ON FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION

GHANA NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF TEACERS HALL, CONFERENCE ROOM 28TH OCTOBER, 2015

 

 

Acronyms

 

AAHM              Alliance against Hunger and Malnutrition

AU                   African Union

DP                    Development Partner

ECOWAS          Economic Community of West African States

FAO                 Food and Agriculture Organization

FBO                 Farmer Based Organization

GOG                Government of Ghana

GPCAHM         Ghana Parliamentary Caucus against Hunger and Malnutrition

GHACCSUN      Ghana Coalition of Civil Society Organizations on Scaling Up Nutrition

GSS                  Ghana Statistical Service

HAG                 Hunger Alliance of Ghana

MOH               Ministry of Health (Ghana)

NAAP               National Alliance Partnership Programme

SUN                 Scale up Nutrition

WAAAHM        West African Alliance against Hunger and Malnutrition

WFP                 World Food Programme (UN)

 

Table of content

 

  • Introduction

 

1.1 Rational of the training

 

1.2 Workshop Objectives

1.3 Participants, Resource Person and Methodology

 

1.4 Capacity building workshop approach

 

1.5 Outcomes and the way forward

 

  • Welcome address by Executive Director of HAG

 

  • Presentation on Networking and Partnership Building and its importance for food security and nutrition

 

  • Discussions after presentation

 

5.0 Key Emerging Issues after Presentation

 

  • Presentation on communication and advocacy and its importance for food security and nutrition

 

  • Emerging Issues

 

8.0 Way Forward

 

9.0 Closing Remarks from the Executive Director of HAG

 

Annex.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Introduction

Hunger Alliance of Ghana is a food security and nutrition advocacy network that brings together civil society organizations to have a unified and common voice to fight against hunger, malnutrition and poverty in Ghana through advocacy, lobbying and knowledge sharing.

 

Hunger Alliance of Ghana was founded in 2005 and incorporated as a legal entity in 2008 under the companies code 1963 (Act 179). Hunger Alliance of Ghana has a seven member board and it is made up of NGOs, CSOs, faith-based organizations, farmer-based organizations, gender based organizations and community-based organizations.

 

The Alliance, comprising of 40 members, is implementing a five year strategic plan 2015/ 2019 on building a strong Alliance that influences policy, programme and practice on issues that impact on food security and nutrition in Ghana. It is against this background that HAG with funding from the National Alliance Partnership Programme of the US Alliance to End Hunger organized a capacity building workshop for its board, staff and some members in communication and advocacy and networking and partnership building. The purpose of the training was to strengthen their capacity in advocacy and partnership techniques that shall ultimately enhance the Alliance to continue to champion Ghana’s food security and nutrition issues at the national and community level.

 

 1.1 Rational of the training

 

Communication and Advocacy, networking and partnership building have become very powerful tools to influence policy directions in any country. The training of the HAG Board, staff and members was meant to equip them with skills and technical support that would be transferred into the Alliance’s activities to enhance effectiveness in communication and advocacy/ networking and partnership building. This is meant to serve the Alliance’s members and other stakeholders efficiently and effectively in and outside its secretariat.

1.2 Workshop Objectives

The main objectives of the training workshop were to,

  1. To build the capacity of members, board and staff in communication and advocacy/networking and partnership building in areas of food security and nutrition.
  2. To equip participants to understand advocacy and networking tools to enhance the national campaign for a hunger free Ghana

 

1.3 Participants, Resource Person and Methodology

The beneficiaries of the training included the five Alliance staff, Board and Members. The training was facilitated by Dr Noah Takyi. He is the Founder and Chair of Professional Farmers College (PROFACO) and Kumasi Institute of Tropical Agriculture (KITA). Dr. Takyi has offered training to farmers including farmer’s organizations for more than 20 years. He is also a Board member of the Alliance and well versed in communication and advocacy as well as building partnerships. He ably guided and facilitated the training workshop for the day’s event.

 

1.4 Capacity building workshop approach

The training involved power point presentations on communication and advocacy as well as networking and partnership building. Discussions and deliberations were made followed by suggestions.

 

1.5 Outcomes and the way forward

At the end of the workshop, members, board and staff;

 

  1. Gained further insight into the current food security and nutrition situation in Ghana including the challenges and opportunities that shall help in the process for change.
  2. Were equipped with further understanding of advocacy and networking tools to enhance the national campaign for a hunger free Ghana.
  3. Understood the long term vision of the Alliance and its strategic plan that required members to work together to sustain its inclusiveness and ownership

 

  • Welcome address by Executive Director of HAG

Following a prayer by Alhaji Tetteh from the Ghana Muslim Mission, Nana Ayim welcomed participants to the capacity building workshop. He apologized for the delay in the commencement of the workshop and registered regrets from the Board Chairman Frank Mcavor who was unable to attend the workshop. Nana Ayim informed participants that the workshop was an in-house training as part of the National Alliance Partnership Programme. He noted that there was the need to build the capacity of Board, staff and members to effectively advocate and build partnerships to improve the country’s food security and nutrition situation.

He emphasized the need for the Alliance to broaden its membership base, by the end of projections by 2015. This will be an effective approach to embark on advocacy due to the increased numbers. The Alliance is succeeding in terms of its partnership building, currently it is partnering with the Ghana Muslim Mission and the Islamic Council for Development and Humanitarian Services on some rural agricultural projects in the Muslim communities. The Alliance is also partnering with the Hunger Project to see how to participate in the Zero Hunger Initiative (ZHI) of ECOWAS. He used these examples for members to emulate as far as networking and partnership building is concerned.

It is not easy to sustain a network, but there is the need to work harder. Participants should find it necessary to see how to network properly and increase its membership base for effective advocacy. He concluded with the hope that, the capacity building workshop will not be another workshop where things discussed will go waste but will be used to make positive impact to move Ghana’s food security and nutrition agenda forward.

 

Nana Ayim giving his Welcome Address

 

3.0 Presentation on Networking and Partnership Building and its importance for food security and nutrition (Mr. Fidelis Avogo, Technical Facilitator, HAG)

 

 

Mr Fidelis made a presentation on networking and partnership building and its importance for food security and nutrition. He started by thanking the Alliance for the opportunity given him. He explained that the presentation will be an interactive one and begged members to pen down questions to be discussed after the presentation. His presentation had the following outline;

  • An introduction and definition of networking and partnership building
  • Key elements in networking
  • What networking does
  • Types of networking
  • Importance of networking
  • Conclusion

Fidelis explained to members that, there is an old and new paradigm shift as far as networking and partnership building is concerned. In the past, (Old Paradigm shift/Industrial Age) organizations had features of stability, control, competition and uniformity. The current information age however encouraged more collaboration, empowerment, people and relationship and diversity. There was the need to nurture and cultivate partnerships if Non-State Actors were to succeed in areas of food security and nutrition. Networking consists of a web or relationships formed by people in order to get things done. Networking has many benefits including effective change, quality of decisions, effective leadership, innovation and synergy.

He concluded by saying that, today’s relationship either as individuals and or organizations are changing drastically due to the surge in information and proliferation of complex market systems. It therefore calls for a new approach to doing some of the old things to maintain and expand our status quo. This is where networking becomes the lubricant that oils and propels us to achieving positive results with the new paradigm shift.

Mr Fidelis Avogo presenting on networking and partnership building

 

4.0 Discussions after presentation

Participants were satisfied with the presentations made by Mr Fidelis Avogo. The overall goal of networking and partnership building was acknowledged as a step in the right direction. However, there were a few concerns raised. Mr Isaac Adjei, from the Hunger Project touched on the Alliance’s willingness to increase its membership base as projected by Nana Ayim in his welcome statement. He was of the view that, the fewer the members the better to manage, and that, the Alliance should not focus on just adding on to its membership base, but have a few resourceful ones to make the impact needed on food security and nutrition issues in Ghana .  His other concern was to find out if the Alliance had a strategic plan for members who would want to join to look at the programmes being run by the Alliance and compare it to theirs to fit in. He concluded that these should be looked at to avoid duplication of efforts, open up to better opportunities, better evidence from community members and lastly stronger donor involvement in the Alliance.

 

Nana Ayim said he envisaged that members would raise such concerns at the workshop. He assured members that the Alliance was capable of managing as many members as possible effectively. He stated that aside its membership base currently around 40, the Alliance set up a parliamentary caucus against hunger and malnutrition in Ghana which has been successfully managed effectively till date. He had confidence in the Alliance secretariat and prayed that they shall work even harder to include and manage more members. The Alliance has a strategic plan in place for 5 years, and he promised to share with members who are interested to guide their programmes and activities in order to guide members in programme planning.

 

Zeinab Nettey from the Ghana Muslim Mission after reading the concept note realized the high incidence of hunger and malnutrition in the northern regions compared to the southern zones. She was curious to know if the Alliance had plans to organize such workshops and the many forums in the north since they needed the awareness more. Nana Ayim in response said that indeed, the capacity building project was to build the Alliance’s strengths to advocate effectively for improved food security and nutrition. The Alliance has organized some workshops and seminars, as well as the 1000 days of the child concert all in the north. The Alliance hoped to do more after the capacity building project and will hope to partner with some of its members who are already on the grounds in the north.

 

5.0 Key Emerging Issues after Presentation

Key issues raised after the presentation on networking and partnership building.

  • Isaac Adjei from the Hunger Project acknowledged the importance of the topic in the work of Non-State Actors like his organization. He said no individual NGO had all the resources both human and financial to make the desired impact. But his worry was that, in trying to network and build partnerships with other organizations, some organizations try to compete with each other and become very territorial. He pointed out to Fidelis to add challenges of networking and partnership building to his presentation so that it can be further discussed for a better solution. Mr Fidelis noted his contribution to add challenges to the topic presented.
  • Madam Wilhelmina Okwabi was worried why there should be competition among Non-State Actors if they were all working towards a common good. She said there should be harmonization to solve this challenge of competition.
  • Nana Ayim reiterated that Non-State Actors should examine their programmes so as to avoid duplication of efforts. He was disappointed that some members of the network don’t share the impact they are making in areas of food security and nutrition and allow government to take credit for them. He shared with members how surprised he was to know that Islamic Council for Development and Humanitarian Services, a member of the Alliance could drill over 500 boreholes in a year and there was no communication on that.
  • Fidelis said the issue of competition is a cultural mindset which needs to be changed by Ghanaians. There should be a defined approach to tackle the situation; there is no need to compete when organizations have different targets
  • Mr John Agyekum asked what was being done for farmers who considered themselves ‘poor’. Dr Takyi said his outfit was introducing 10 farming models to address farming systems in Ghana. Professionalizing farming, one of the models was a concept to make farming a real business thereby creating an interest from the financial institutions to invest.
  • Isaac Ampomah said, as an advocacy issue, the Alliance needs to look at climate change adaptation and its effects on agriculture. He suggested inviting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA climate change desk) to be a part of the Alliance. Dr Takyi proposed the farming with trees and farming without plowing concepts which he was developing. Scientific observations have proven that plowing destroys the soil when the top layer goes down and vice versa. This was well received by members.

SOME INVITEDPARTICIPANTS

 

 

  • Presentation on communication and advocacy and its importance for food security and nutrition (Mrs Wilhelmina Okwabi, Technical Facilitator, HAG/GHACCSUN)

 

Mrs Wilhelmina Okwabi presented on communication and advocacy and its importance for food security and nutrition. The objective was to increase the number of CSOs who act as advocates/champions for nutrition and conduct trainings and other activities among the groups they represent. She started with a reflection on the current challenges resulting from inadequate food intake and past episodes of under nutrition resulting to poor health conditions. She backed it up with statistics on current trends of hunger and malnutrition in Ghana

 

Current Trends of Hunger and malnutrition in Ghana

  • 3 million Ghanaians are food insecure
  • Under nutrition massively contributes to under-five mortality levels
  • 1 in 13 die before their 5thbirthday
  • 50% of child deaths are due to under nutrition
  • Chronic and acute malnutrition remains a widespread problem in Ghana
  • Reduction in prevalence of malnutrition has been slow
  • There is little understanding of the effects of malnutrition on society
  • There are few nutrition champions at any level
  • Poor intersectoral collaboration.

 

She stressed that, the progressive realization of the right to adequate food is a legitimate concern of the Government of Ghana, the international community and Non-State Actors. Communication and advocacy was therefore one of the most powerful tools to solve the issue of hunger and malnutrition in Ghana.

 

To support change, there is the need to

  • Increase investments in food security and nutrition
  • Ensure joint efforts
  • Scale-up effective interventions
  • Food security and nutrition should be a priority at all levels in Ghana society (i.e. individual, household, community, government, etc.)
  • A wide social movement is needed to rally support for food security and nutrition services and reposition nutrition as a public issue
  • Food security and nutrition champions are needed at each level – national, regional and local
  • Action planning for food security and nutrition is needed at the district and community levels
  • Strengthened intersectoral and intrasectoral coordination within the Government of Ghana is needed
  • Intensive communication to support improved diet and supplementation

 

In her presentation, she outlined those who directly and indirectly influence food security and nutrition who can be used as mediums for communication and advocacy.

 

Those Directly Influencing those Most Affected

  • Caregivers to children under 5 (including grandmothers and fathers)
  • Husbands/partners of pregnant and lactating women
  • Relatives of pregnant and lactating women and caregivers of children under 5 including siblings, in-laws and extended family
  • Neighbors and peers
  • Community media
  • Health workers
  • Traditional/Faith-based healers
  • Teachers
  • Community leaders including Chiefs and Queen mothers
  • Religious leaders

 

Those Indirectly Influencing those Most Affected

  • Media including journalists and gatekeepers (i.e. editors and producers in television, radio, print and online)
  • Policymakers
  • Politicians
  • Civil Society including associations of NGOs
  • Officials and Districts (MMDAs) and Regional (RCCs) levels
  • Food value chain including farmers, food processors, distributors and sellers
  • Development partners and large NGOs

 

Channels for Communication and Advocacy

  • Target association meetings (e.g. Farmers and Fishermen, Women Groups)
  • Seminars/stakeholder meetings with CSOs at the regional level
  • One-on-one meetings with targeted leaders and identified advocates within the CSO , at national, regional, district and community level
  • Targeted print materials
  • Workshops and trainings with commitment to action
  • Seminars/stakeholder meetings with CSOs at the national level

 

 

 

She concluded her presentation with a quote from the former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan

“Hunger is a complex crises. To solve it we must address the interconnected challenge of agriculture, healthcare, adverse and unfair market conditions, weak infrastructure and environmental degradation”. Kofi Annan – PANI

 

7.0 Emerging Issues

  • At the household level where most NGO’s provide direct intervention, households should be empowered to change their farming and eating habits through effective communication and advocacy.
  • Madam Wilhelmina said there was too much focus on crops by farmers in Ghana, there was the need to focus on livestock also since they provide good nutrition for human growth.
  • Mr John Agyekum emphasized the need for the Alliance to advocate against Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in Ghana. He felt the topic had been relegated to the background and challenged the Alliance to take up.
  • Madam Wilhelmina Okwabi said the government does not fund research enough to approve or disprove the reality behind GMO’s. If the Alliance should advocate against it, it needed a little bit of evidence to prove that GMO’s are not good for the country’s agriculture. She continued by saying that every year Ghana losses 30% of its foods produced and the Alliance should focus on post-harvest losses instead and advocate effectively for government to address it rather than GMO’s.

 

8.0 Way Forward

  1. The Alliance should organize a forum on sharing responsibilities to curb the integration gap of NGO’s especially in the North
  2. The Alliance and its members should research more into the debates about GMO’s since knowledge on it is scanty. This will enable effective advocacy for or against it.
  3. Ghana Food Sovereignty and the Crop Research Institute should be invited to a forum to educate Alliance members about GMO’s
  4. Member organizations should come out with a strategic plan with clear goals in order to foster better partnerships and to avoid duplication of efforts for maximum impact.
  5. Members should act as advocates and harmonize their interventions through proper planning.
  6. It is important for members to also train themselves for better service delivery and credibility.
  7. Members of the Alliance should document and share their interventions in areas of food security and nutrition which are making an impact.
  8. The need to have a composite plan including communication, advocacy, networking and all other plans in order to implement and monitor effectively to be able to tell where capacity was being increased or not.

 

9.0 Closing Remarks from the Executive Director of HAG

Nana Ayim thanked board, staff and members for attending the capacity building workshop. He called the training timely and enriching and was happy participants were very active in the discussions after both presentations.  It reaffirmed commitments of board, staff and members to be better advocates for food security and nutrition in Ghana through networking and partnership. He said agriculture is a priority area which should be taken very seriously by members of the Alliance and the country at large. He informed members of a forum the Alliance plans to organize to advocate for investments in nutrition interventions ahead of the budget hearing of the government of Ghana. He thanked participants again for attending the workshop concluded with a closing prayer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRAINING WORKSHOP ON NETWORKING AND PARTNERSHIP BUILDING, COMMUNICATION AND ADVOCACY ON FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION

GHANA NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF TEACERS HALL, CONFERENCE ROOM

                                                          TUESDAY 28TH OCTOBER 2015, 9:00am-3:10pm

                                                   Agenda

Time Activity Responsibility
9:00am-9:10 am Opening Prayer Alhaji Tetteh( Regional Chairman, Ghana Muslim Mission)
9:10am-9:20am Introduction of participants  
9:20am-9:30am

 

 

Welcome Address

 

 

Nana Ayim Poakwah(Executive Director, HAG)

 

9:30am- 9:40am Overview of Hunger Alliance of Ghana’s capacity building for board members staff, and members. Facilitator
9.40am – 9.55am Expectations and ground rules of the workshop Facilitator
10:00am-10:30am Coffee Break  
10:30am-11:30 Presentation on networking and partnership building and its importance for food security and nutrition Mr Fidelis Avogo( Technical Facilitator, HAG)

 

11:30am-12:00pm First discussion/  Interaction All Participants
12:00pm-1:00pm Lunch Break  
1:00pm-2:00pm Presentation on communication and advocacy and its importance on food security and nutrition related issues Madam Wilhelmina Okwabi( Technical Facilitator, HAG)

 

 

2:00pm-2:30pm Second discussion/ Interaction All participants
2:30pm-2:40pm Wrap up

 

All Participants
2:40pm-3:00pm Closing remarks Nana Ayim( Executive Director HAG)
3:00pm-3:10pm Closing prayer Mr Abdallah Fari(ICODEHS)