PCD and Partners Convene Government Learning Event in Ghana

Imperial College London's Partnership for Child Development (PCD) and development partners recently supported the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) to hold a two-day learning event outlining the challenges and opportunities of the programme. 120 participants attended, drawn from the Ministries of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), Finance, Food and Agriculture and Women's and Children's Affairs. 

"Everyone has a role in championing the school feeding programme in Ghana. It's an all hands on deck situation for the benefit of the Ghanaian child," said Dr Esther Ofei-Aboagye, chair of the event's open session and Director of the Institute of Local Government Studies. 

The Impact of the Programme

The GSFP initially began with a pilot in 10 beneficiary schools in 2005. Statistics in March 2012 indicated that the average number of pupils enrolled in GSFP schools increased by 18 per cent from 2005 to 2011, it now covers all the 216 districts within all 10 regions of the country.

During the 2013/2014 academic year the total enrolment of beneficiary pupils increased by 320.6 per cent from the 2006/2007 level from 413,498 to 1,739,352 in 4,887 public primary schools. This figure represents 39.43 per cent of the total national public primary school enrolment.

Looking Forward

At the end of the session PCD and partners World Food Programme (WFP), Dutch development organisation, SNV and the GSFP issued a communiqué, which outlined how partners have each supported the programme's development.

The GSFP requested that partners continue their support and also called on the Ministry of Finance to rectify current funding gaps preventing the programme from achieving its full potential. Other outcomes from the event included motivating various GSFP actors to strengthen agricultural links to the programme. 

Partner Roles

During the event PCD presented on how to enhance the nutritional content of school meals, touching on the development of its new online School Meals Planner tool, which allows caterers to plan nutritious and cost-effective school meals and which has been used extensively throughout the country. PCD also outlined how the nutritional quality of school meals can be improved in the context of funding delays to the programme's caterers. 

Since 2011, PCD have support the GSFP through technical assistance, particularly through its development of a GSFP Policy Framework and a Technical Assistance Plan (download). Both of these documents offer a guide for an effective and sustainable programme. 

Other roles of partners supporting the programme include: 

  • SNV - who have been partnering with the GSFP since 2007 is currently implementing the procurement governance of the HGSF project linking 10,000 smallholder farmers to the school feeding market 
  • AGRA - who through its "Market Innovations for Development" project is supporting the agricultural objective of the programme
  • UNICEF - who have also expressed interest in enhancing the GSFP Monitoring and Evaluation Plan, originally developed by PCD and WFP




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