Non–State Actors and Accountable Social Protection in Child Protection and Livelihoods in Wassa, Ghana

Authors: Doh, D., Andoh, P., Afranie, S., & Aryeetey, E. B.
Year: 2016
Type: Working Paper

This study examines the governance, accountability and networking of non-state actors (NSAs). The study profiled 635 NSAs that are delivering social protection services in 217 communities across five districts of the Wassa enclave, Western Region of Ghana. While NSAs contributions to service delivery are well known, very little attention has been paid to NSAs by researchers, which reduces insight into their strengths and weaknesses as development partners. This study was designed as a mixed method research using both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Both primary and secondary data were collected focusing on NSAs that provided livelihood and child protection services. Descriptive statistical analysis was used to describe the structure of NSAs and other governance-related variables, and thematic analysis was conducted on the qualitative data.

A significant proportion of NSAs operating in the Wassa area are highly informal, small, community-based mutual aid groups. Notwithstanding the generally weak reporting structures affecting the overall accountability of NSAs, beneficiaries rate their cash and in-kind service delivery quite high.

Recognising these NSAs’ role in reducing the vulnerability of community members, the need is urgent for the Money Market Deposit Accounts to support NSAs to strengthen their delivery of social protection services to become more sensitive to the needs of beneficiaries. Failure to do this will gradually weaken these NSAs because of the growing needs of beneficiaries. The State should encourage NSAs to register at both national and district levels and provide standardised structures to promote their accountability and therefore improve service delivery for the overall development of individuals, communities and districts.


Key words: social protection, child rights, livelihoods, non-state actors, accountability

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