HAG CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP REPORT

REPORT ON HUNGER ALLIANCE OF GHANA’S STAFF, BOARD MEMBERS AND REPRESENTATIVES OF SELECTED MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS TRAINING WORKSHOP ON NETWORKING AND PARTNERSHIP BUILDING, COMMUNICATION AND ADVOCACY

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 by the Executive Director

 

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 a common voice to advocate for improved food security and nutrition outcomes in Ghana and through lobbying and knowledge sharing, connects with all relevant stakeholders to build the necessary political will to end poverty.

 

Hunger Alliance of Ghana was founded in 2005 and was 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 to 2019 which is aimed at building a strong Alliance that has the capacity to influence food security and nutrition policies, plans and programmes that can accelerate the process towards the attainment of a hunger- free Ghana. It is against this background that Hunger Alliance of Ghana with funding from the U.S Alliance to End Hunger and in line with US Government’s Feed the Future, organized the first training workshop for its board, staff and some member organizations in communication and advocacy and networking and partnership building. The purpose of the training workshop was to strengthen the capacity of the Alliance by equipping members of the Alliance with the necessary advocacy and partnership skills as well as the basic tools that shall ultimately enhance the overall capacity of the Alliance to continue to champion Ghana’s food security and nutrition issues at the national and community level. It was also aimed at inculcating in members and staff, the spirit of oneness, openness and inclusiveness which are the cardinal pillars or the foundation that is required for the establishment and the running of a successful Alliance.

 

 

 

 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 the relevant communication and advocacy tools that could enhance the Alliance’s activity planning and implementation as well as its visibility.

 

1.2 Workshop Objectives

The main objectives of the training workshop were ;

1.To build the capacity of members, board and staff in communication and advocacy, networking and partnership building in order to advance the Alliance’s course to championing Ghana’s food security and nutrition agenda in a more effective way.

  1. To equip participants to understand advocacy and networking tools that can ultimately 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 selected member organizations. The training was facilitated by Dr Noah Owusu-Takyi, board member of the Alliance and the Founding President of the Professional Farmers College and the Kumasi Institute of Tropical Agriculture now Kumasi University College of Agriculture. For over 30 years of his career, Dr. Owusu-Takyi has offered training to farmers including farmer organizations and has done extensive research on model agriculture value chain systems that works for the small holder farmer. He was assisted at the training workshop by the Executive Director of Hunger Alliance of Ghana, Nana Ayim Poakwah.

 

 

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 by participants followed by suggestions. It was intended to be participatory and interactive and was grounded on solid facilitation process.

 

1.5 Outcomes and the way forward

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

 

  1. Gained further insight into the current food security and nutrition situation in Ghana including the challenges and opportunities that would 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 Hunger Alliance of Ghana

Following a prayer by Alhaji Mohammed Tetteh of the Ghana Muslim Mission to commence the workshop, Nana Ayim Poakwah, Executive Director of Hunger Alliance of Ghana welcomed participants to the training workshop. He apologized for the delay in the commencement of the workshop and registered regret and apology from the Board Chairman, Dr Frank Mcavor who was unable to attend. The Executive Director informed participants that the workshop was an in-house training as part of the National Alliance’s strengthening process under the National Alliance Partnership Programme. He noted that there was the need to build the capacity of Board, staff and members of the Alliance to effectively advocate and build partnership to improve the country’s food security and nutrition situation.

He emphasized the need for the Alliance to broaden its membership base by its projection after 2015. This according to him would be helpful in its advocacy activities as a result of its numerical strength. According to the Executive Director, the Alliance had found a new path driven by partnership and networking by developing new projects with some member organizations such as the Islamic Council on Development and Humanitarian Services (ICODEHS) and the Ghana Muslim Mission. The Alliance was developing a new proposal with ICODEHS aimed at improving the nutritional status of Muslim women and children in the various Muslim communities in Ghana whiles supporting the Ghana Muslim Mission to establish model school farms in Islamic schools. According to him, the Alliance was also partnering with the Hunger Project in the implementation of the Alliance’s hunger-free Ghana project which is in line with the Zero Hunger Initiative of ECOWAS.

The Executive Director was optimistic that the workshop would further open opportunities for members to share ideas and strategize on how to move the Alliance’s programmes forward. He said through the workshop, members would also provide alternative ideas on the current structure, membership and leadership of the Alliance as well as inputs that could guide the Alliance in the development of the Alliance’s advocacy strategy.

 

                                 Nana Ayim Poakwah 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 Avogo made a presentation on networking and partnership building and its importance for food security and nutrition in Ghana. He thanked the Alliance management for the opportunity given him. He said the session would be an interactive one and asked 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

Mr. Avogo explained that there was an old and new paradigm shift regarding networking and partnership building. In the past (Old Paradigm shift/Industrial Age) organizations had features of stability, control, competition and uniformity. 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 want to succeed in areas of food security and nutrition. Networking consisted of a web or relationships formed by people in order to get things done. Networking had many benefits including effective change, quality of decisions, effective leadership, innovation and synergy.

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

             Mr Fidelis Avogo presenting on networking and partnership building

 

4.0 Discussions after presentation

Participants well received the presentations made by Mr Avogo. The overall goal of his presentation on 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 talked about the Alliance’s willingness to increase its membership base as indicated by the Executive Director in his welcome statement. He had a view that the fewer the members the better to manage therefore the Alliance should not focus on adding to its membership base, but have a few resourceful organizations that can make an impact on food security and nutrition in Ghana . His other concern was to find out if the Alliance had a strategic plan for its members who would want to join. This would encourage appropriate synergies and avoid duplication of efforts.
  • The Executive Director assured members that the Alliance was capable of effectively managing as many members as possible. He said aside the Alliance’s membership base currently over 40 organizations; it has set up a parliamentary caucus against hunger and malnutrition in Ghana which has been successfully managed till date. He had confidence in the Alliance secretariat and prayed that the team would work even harder to include and manage more members. The Alliance has a five year strategic plan and he promised to work with member organizations that wanted to align their programmes with the plan to ensure effective harmonization.
  • Zeinab Nettey from the Ghana Muslim Mission realized that there was high incidence of hunger and malnutrition in the northern regions of Ghana compared to the south. She asked if the Alliance would organize some workshops in the north to bridge the gap. The Executive Director mentioned that indeed the training workshop was meant to build the Alliance’s strength in order to advocate effectively for improved food security and nutrition in Ghana as the current arrangement indicated. The Alliance has organized some workshops and seminars, as well as the 1,000 days of the child concert all in northern Ghana and hopes to do more.

 

5.0 Key Emerging Issues after Presentation

Key issues raised after the presentation on networking and partnership building included the following:

  • Isaac Adjei 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 concern was that some organizations try to compete with each other and become very territorial when a partnership arrangement is proposed. He asked Mr. Avogo to add challenges of networking and partnership building to his presentation.
  • Okwabi was worried about competition among Non-State Actors if they were working towards the common goal. She encouraged harmonization in NSAs activities to solve the challenge of competition.
  • The Executive Director reiterated that Non-State Actors should examine their programmes so as to avoid duplication of efforts. He was disappointed that some members of the Alliance do not share the impact they are making in areas of food security and nutrition and allow government to take credit for their effort. 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 report on that in the media.
  • Avogo called the issue of competition a cultural mindset which needed to be changed. A defined approach should be employed to tackle the situation.
  • John Agyekum from Hunger Alliance of Ghana asked what was being done for farmers who considered themselves poor. Dr. Noah Owusu-Takyi from Professional Farming College mentioned that his outfit was introducing ten 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 in farming. This would lift farmers out of poverty.
  • Isaac Ampomah of Concern Health said the Alliance needs to look at climate change adaptation and its effects on agriculture. He suggested that the Alliance should invite the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA climate change desk) to be part of the Alliance. Dr. Owusu-Takyi proposed farming with trees and farming without plowing concept which he was developing as a solution for climate change.

                         Some Participants at the workshop

 

 

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

 

Mrs. Wilhelmina Okwabi made a presentation on communication and advocacy and its importance for food security and nutrition in Ghana. The objective was to increase the number of CSOs who acted as advocates/champions for nutrition and conduct trainings and other activities among the groups they represented. She started with current statistics on hunger and malnutrition in Ghana.

 

Current Trend 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 his or her fifth birthday
  • 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 said 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 issue at all levels in Ghanaian 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 stakeholder who directly and indirectly had influence on food security and nutrition and could be used as agents for communication and advocacy.

 

Those Directly Influencing those Mostly 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 Mostly 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

 

7.0 Emerging Issues

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

 

8.0 Way Forward

  1. The Alliance should organize a forum on sharing responsibilities to curb the integration gap of NGOs especially in Northern Ghana.
  2. The Alliance and its members should research more into the debates about GMOs since knowledge on it is scanty.
  3. 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.
  4. Members should act as advocates and harmonize their interventions through proper planning.
  5. It is important for members to also train themselves for better service delivery and credibility.
  6. Members of the Alliance should document and share their interventions in areas of food security and nutrition where they are making impact.
  7. The need to have a composite plan including communication, advocacy and networking in order to be able to determine where capacity was really needed.

 

9.0 Closing Remarks from the Executive Director of HAG

The Executive Director thanked board, staff and members for attending the training workshop. He mentioned that the training workshop was timely and was happy participants were very active in the discussions after both presentations. The active participation of the staff and board members of the Alliance again confirmed the commitment of the board, staff and members to the cause of the Alliance as they sought to be better advocates for food security and nutrition in Ghana by learning from each other. He said agriculture is a national priority development sector which should be taken very seriously by members of the Alliance and the country at large.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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)