Strategy Summary 2016-2020
UP has implemented life-changing initiatives in Ghana since 1999 and has a strong network of partners (including local government, private sector, civil society and communities) in Brong Ahafo, Volta, Eastern and Upper East regions.
Our 2016-2020 strategy covers three key pillars:
Livelihoods and Food Security (LFS)
UP works in partnership to address the key challenges of insecure livelihoods, food insecurity, climate change, and gender inequality faced by many smallholders in Ghana.
Agricultural production in Ghana is characterised by low productivity as a result of low use of inputs such as fertiliser and improved seed, limited application of modern farming techniques, decreasing soil fertility, and overdependence on rainfall. However, there are many opportunities in this area, including: growing access to, and use of, mobile phones; simple climate adaptation and risk mitigation technologies; and entrepreneurial attitudes to small business development.
We work to help tackle these challenges, and nurture opportunities, by:
empowering smallholder farmers to access market opportunities for improved livelihoods;
facilitating demand-driven research to reduce postharvest losses, promote adaptation to the effects of climate change and ecologically sustainable agriculture; and
developing inclusive value chains, collaborating with actors such as financial institutions (banks, insurance institutions), technical service providers, and private sector players, to help make the value chain more efficient and profitable, whilst facilitating long-term public-private partnerships.
UP facilitates access to critical financial services for marginalised rural communities. It is estimated that only 5-6% of the population have access to the commercial banking sector in Ghana. Where they do not have access to these services, communities also tend to lack opportunities to raise financial capital to establish and expand small businesses and to save for 'rainy days', therefore perpetuating a cycle of vulnerability.
UP facilitates a savings approach to microfinance by developing and delivering the following products and services:
Micro-credit: we facilitate member-owned micro-credit programmes responding to the economic environment and capabilities of beneficiaries. The Village Savings Loans Association (VSLA) approach targets the very poor for whom external credit may create a burden on the household.
Micro-savings: we support rural communities to develop a savings culture, and to build their capacity to engage with the formal financial sector.
We also build financial and business literacy and provide business development support, to ensure that smallholders and micro-entrepreneurs can manage viable businesses without the support of aid.
Transforming Structures and Processes (Policy Advocacy)
We believe that people’s ability to secure resilient, fulfilling livelihoods is often constrained by policies, structures and processes that exclude, or don't effectively meet, the needs of the marginalised and vulnerable. For services to be impactful, people need to have a say in how their needs and rights are met. We help to achieve this by:
building the capacity of communities to articulate their developmental needs to the duty bearers and to hold duty bearers accountable;
creating links between grassroots structures and other regional and national level policy advocacy platforms;
empowering people to adequately and effectively drive their own change agenda by taking a stand and having their voices heard; and
ensuring the most marginalised (especially women and youth) have a voice at all levels of decision making and development.