Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Key factors for loan repayment of micro entrepreneurs in Ghana
    Agbeko, Daniel - \ 2017
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): S.W.F. Omta, co-promotor(en): V. Blok; G. van der Velde. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463437943 - 97
    corporate social responsibility - bank loans - loans - debt - repayment - entrepreneurship - small businesses - ghana - west africa - developing countries - maatschappelijk verantwoord ondernemen - bankleningen - leningen - schuld - aflossing - ondernemerschap - kleine bedrijven - ghana - west-afrika - ontwikkelingslanden

    This thesis examines the extent to what corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies, entrepreneurial and business skills and programmes for training and monitoring improve microbusiness performance and loan repayment rates:

    ‘To what extent do corporate social responsibility strategies, entrepreneurial and business skills and programmes for training and monitoring improve loan repayment rates of microfinance debtors in developing countries?’

    MFIs that adopt CSR strategies provide for both financial and social empowerment services. Social empowerment services may include primary health care services, occupational skills training for microfinance debtors and debtor monitoring programmes. The 2008 credit crunch led many MFIs to abandon their CSR strategies. We analyse the case of uniCredit Ghana MFI and argue that CSR strategies contribute to public support for the MFI. This helps raise deposits and improves funding opportunities. Social empowerment investment improve microbusiness performance and loan repayment rates. We expect those MFIs that adopt CSR strategies to improve their sustainability, more than do MFIs that specialize in providing financial services only.

    We establish that those microfinance debtors who consider themselves endowed with entrepreneurial and business skills do not repay loans better than those microfinance debtors lacking these skills. Highly educated entrepreneurs do not repay their loans any better relative to those with primary or secondary education only. We establish that business experience is the only constituent of human capital that matters for business performance and loan repayment rates. Experienced microfinance debtors systematically repay their loans better than do those entrepreneurs lacking business experience.

    We observe that microfinance debtors do not agree on what skills they think are important for loan repayment probabilities. This result implies that every single microfinance debtor needs to acquire specific skills. Training programmes cannot be standardized and should be tailored towards the needs of the individual microfinance debtor. We establish that MFI loan officers neither agree on the ranking of specific skills they think are important for microfinance debtors to repay their loans promptly. This result suggests that MFI loan officers should be trained to better understand the relevance of specific entrepreneurial and business skills for microfinance entrepreneurs.

    We empirically establish that training programmes fail to improve loan repayment rates. Programmes for intensive microfinance debtor monitoring significantly improve loan repayment rates. Intensive monitoring is equally effective for highly and poorly educated, experienced and unexperienced, female and male microfinance debtors: MFIs may significantly improve repayment rates should they consistently monitor their microfinance debtors intensively.

    Creating common ground : The role of Indigenous Peoples’ sacred natural sites in conservation practice, management and policy
    Verschuuren, Bas - \ 2017
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): L.E. Visser, co-promotor(en): G.M. Verschoor. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463436496 - 219
    indigenous people - indigenous knowledge - historic sites - history - nature conservation - natural landscape - australia - ghana - guatemala - nature conservation policy - inheemse volkeren - inheemse kennis - historische plaatsen - geschiedenis - natuurbescherming - natuurlandschap - australië - ghana - guatemala - natuurbeleid

    In this thesis, I hold a plea for the recognition and integration of Indigenous people’s realities in conservation practice, management and policy related to their sacred natural sites. Sacred natural sites can be mountains, rivers, forests, trees and rocks that have special spiritual significance to indigenous peoples. To Indigenous peoples these places are not just part of their environment, culture and spirituality but they also form their worldviews and ethnicities.

    Based on my research on sacred natural sites, I look at how Indigenous people’s realities can be integrated into conservation approaches and how they lead to the co-creation of new forms of nature conservation. In doing so I focus on how a common ground is being created by Indigenous peoples and development and conservation actors. I argue that this common ground has the capacity to transform conservation practice, management and policy if different worldviews, including those of Indigenous peoples, are equally considered.

    The structure of this thesis represents my personal learning curve. It starts off with my earlier work developed as a conservationist with a natural sciences background and with many years of working experience in the field of international nature conservation. The Chapters gradually take on a sociological and anthropological angle, applying ethnographic research to conservation issues. As a result, the thesis represents the experience of a social conservation scientist doing applied and socially engaged research.

    The first part of the thesis is built upon conservation literature and draws on a multitude of case studies and previously published work. It presents an overview of the overall importance that indigenous sacred natural sites have to the current field of nature conservation and the main challenges and opportunities that these sites pose to conservationists.

    The second part of the thesis builds on case studies and applied ethnographic field research undertaken on conservation projects in North East Arnhem Land in Australia, Santa Cruz del Quiché in Guatemala and the Upper North-West Region in Ghana. In these locations, I have built up working relationships with local indigenous groups and the organisations that support them; respectively these are Yolŋu (since 2007), Maya (since 2012) and Dagara (since 2011).

    The qualitative research methods used throughout my research are based on ethnography, participatory research, observational research, co-creation of research, semi-structured interviews, focus groups, freelisting but also the field of social policy analysis, discourse analysis and literature research. They are particularly useful in situations where the research process contributes to finding solutions for concrete conservation problems with all parties involved.

    The conceptual framework brings together empirical studies and critical analyses of Indigenous sacred natural sites in different geographical, ecological, cultural and spiritual contexts. As these contexts vary across different places I studied the development of different common grounds between indigenous and non-indigenous actors in the specific locations. Eventually, I brought these studies together in an effort to distil common elements for the construction of a generic common ground.

    In the conceptual framework, worldviews and spirituality meet with conceptual areas such as ontological pluralism, biocultural diversity and rights-based approaches across geographical scales and governance levels. I argue that were they meet a common ground is created. I provide further analysis of the process of creating a common ground on the basis of the conceptual areas mentioned above, and draw conclusions that are relevant to furthering scientific debate in these areas as well to the field of conservation.

    Chapter 2 concludes that sacred natural sites are important to the conservation of nature and biodiversity because they form an informal network managed and governed by local Indigenous people. This network goes largely unrecognized by the international conservation community and local protected area managers and planners. The chapter presents ten challenges that sacred natural sites pose to the field of conservation and restoration of biological and cultural diversity.

    Chapter 3 takes examples of Indigenous worldviews and conservation practices from around the world to demonstrate that these form part of approaches that integrate biocultural values in nature conservation. I argue that in order to be effective and sustainable, nature conservation requires to be based on both science and culture, and combine scientific data on the natural world with experiential knowledge about nature of the social-cultural groups involved. The chapter concludes that, for management to be truly adaptive, it needs to respond to societal and cultural changes which can be achieved by enabling Indigenous people and local communities to guide conservation efforts.

    Chapter 4 addresses how the modern conservation movement can use biocultural conservation approaches to overcome disparities between the management and governance of nature and culture. In this discourse about biocultural conservation approaches, the spiritual and the sacred are essential to the conservation of an interconnected network of biocultural hotspots – sacred natural sites.

    Chapter 5 demonstrates the importance of Indigenous ontologies in cross-cultural coastal conservation management, particularly the development of locally relevant guidelines for fishers in North East Arnhem Land, Australia. I explore the ‘both ways’ approach adopted by the Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation, and that guides collaboration between Yolŋu and non-Yolŋu. Disjunctures and synergies between the two ontologies are identified and I offer reflection on the role of the researcher in the cross-cultural co-production of guidelines for fishers and boaters.

    Chapter 6 analyses how spiritual leaders build common ground for community conservation of sacred natural sites in the face of neoliberalism in Ghana and Guatemala. The research demonstrates that, beyond rights-based approaches, a common ground is essential to developing feasible and acceptable solutions for the protection and conservation of sacred natural sites. I identify ‘ontological equity’ as an important principle for establishing this common ground. I then argue that neoliberal approaches to conservation and resource development are prejudiced because they ignore the principle of ontological equity and suppress lived realities of sacred natural sites and the existence of the wider spiritscape.

    Chapter 7 describes the emerging spaces in international policy and conservation practices as they manifest themselves in a series of conferences, the development of guidelines for protected area managers, and how these have worked to sensitize conservationists to sacred natural sites and their custodians. In connecting different conservation approaches from the local to the international level the chapter shows how a common ground is being created.

    The key findings of this thesis include several universal elements to the creation of a common ground: willingness to learn about other worldviews; application of participatory approaches and applied research; the use of cultural brokers; active processes of stakeholder engagement; agreement on governance arrangements and the adoption of ontological equity.

    I draw four conclusions derived from the main research results:

    1) Biocultural conservation approaches can enable the creation of a common ground, but they may also constrain Indigenous ontologies;

    2) Conservationists should learn from other worldviews and ontologies in order to improve the conservation of Indigenous sacred natural sites;

    3) Non-human agency and spiritual governance are under-recognised in the conservation of spiritscapes and sacred natural sites;

    4) Combining an ethnographic approach with an engaged and participatory research strategy is useful for considering multiple ontologies.

    The recommendations of this thesis could form part of a future research agenda for the development of a common ground between Indigenous people, conservationists, and development actors in relation to the conservation of Indigenous sacred natural sites. The main recommendation is that conservation and development actors should consider multiple ontologies when creating a common ground for the development of biocultural conservation approaches.

    Understanding the productivity of cassava in West Africa
    Ezui, Kodjovi Senam - \ 2017
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Ken Giller, co-promotor(en): Linus Franke; A. Mando. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463430470 - 183
    manihot esculenta - cassava - crop production - rainfed agriculture - drought - crop yield - water use efficiency - radiation use efficiency - fertilizers - togo - ghana - west africa - manihot esculenta - cassave - gewasproductie - regenafhankelijke landbouw - droogte - gewasopbrengst - watergebruiksrendement - stralingsbenuttigingsefficiëntie - kunstmeststoffen - togo - ghana - west-afrika

    Drought stress and sub-optimal soil fertility management are major constraints to crop production in general and to cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) in particular in the rain-fed cropping systems in West Africa. Cassava is an important source of calories for millions of smallholder households in sub-Sahara Africa. The prime aim of this research was to understand cassava productivity in order to contribute to improving yields, food security and farm incomes in rain-fed cassava production systems in West Africa. A long-term goal was to contribute to a decision support tool for site-specific crop and nutrient management recommendations. Firstly, we studied farmers’ perception of cassava production constraints, assessed drivers of diversity among households and analysed the suitability of farmers’ resource endowment groups to the intensification of cassava production. The results indicate that farmers perceived erratic rainfall and poor soil fertility to be prime constraints to cassava production. The agricultural potential of the area and the proximity to regional markets were major drivers for the adoption of crop intensification options including the use of mineral and organic fertilizers. While the use of mineral and organic fertilizers was common in the Maritime zone that had a low agricultural potential, storage roots yields were below the national average of 2.2 Mg dry matter per hectare, and average incomes of 0.62, 0.46 and 0.46 US$ per capita per day for the high, medium and low farmer resource groups (REGs – HRE, MRE and LRE, respectively) were below the poverty line requirement of 1.25 US$. In the high agricultural potential Plateaux zone, HRE and MRE households passed this poverty line by earning 2.58 and 2.59 US$ per capita per day, respectively, unlike the LRE households with 0.89 US$ per capita per day. Secondly, we investigated the effects of mineral fertilizer on nutrient uptake, nutrient physiological use efficiency and storage roots yields of cassava since soil fertility was a major issue across the zones. We used an approach based on the model for the Quantitative Evaluation of the Fertility of Tropical Soils (QUEFTS). This model was successfully adapted for cassava and it appropriately assessed the response of cassava to N, P and K applications, especially in years with good rainfall. Under high drought stress, the model overestimated cassava yields. Thirdly, we investigated the impact of balanced nutrition on nutrient use efficiency, yield and return on investment compared to blanket fertilizer use as commonly practiced in cassava production systems in Southern Togo, and in Southern and Northern Ghana. The balanced nutrition approach of the QUEFTS model aimed to maximize simultaneously nutrient use efficiency of N, P and K in accordance with the plant’s needs. Larger nutrient use efficiencies of 20.5 to 23.9 kg storage root dry matter (DM) per kilo crop nutrient equivalent (1kCNE of a nutrient is the quantity of that nutrient that has the same effect on yield as 1 kg of N under balanced nutrition conditions) were achieved at balanced nutrition at harvest index (HI) of 0.50 compared to 20.0 to 20.5 kg storage root DM per kilo CNE for the blanket rates recommended by national research services for cassava production. Lower benefit:cost ratios of 2.4±0.9 were obtained for the blanket fertilizer rates versus 3.8±1.1 for the balanced fertilizer rates. Our study revealed that potassium (K) was a major yield limiting factor for cassava production, especially on the Ferralsols in Southern Togo. Hence, we fourthly studied the effect of K and its interaction with nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and the timing of harvest on the productivity of cassava in relation to the effects of K on radiation use efficiency (RUE), light interception, water use efficiency (WUE) and water transpiration. The results suggest that K plays a leading role in RUE and WUE, while N is the leading nutrient for light interception and water transpiration. Potassium effects on RUE and WUE depended on the availability of N and harvest time. Values of RUE and WUE declined with harvest at 4, 8 and 11 months after planting. Thus, enhanced K management with sufficient supply of N during the early stage of development of cassava is needed to maximize RUE and WUE, and consequently attain larger storage root yields. Given that erratic rainfall was another major constraint to cassava production according to the results of the farm survey, and due to the inability of QUEFTS modelling to assess drought effects on cassava yield successfully, another modelling approach based on light interception and utilization (LINTUL) was used. We quantified drought impacts on yields and explored strategies to improve yields through evaluation of planting dates in Southern Togo. The evaluation of the model indicated good agreement between simulated and observed leaf area index (Normalised Root Mean Square Error - NRMSE - 17% of the average observed LAI), storage roots yields (NRMSE 5.8% of the average observed yield) and total biomass yield (NRMSE 5.8% of the average observed). Simulated yield losses due to drought ranged from 9-60% of the water-limited yields. The evaluation of planting dates from mid-January to mid-July indicated that the best planting window is around mid-February. Higher amount of cropping season rainfall was also achieved with early planting. These results contradict current practices of starting planting around mid-March to mid-April. However, the results indicate the possibility to increase cassava yields with early planting, which led to less yield losses due to drought. By contrast, late planting around June-July gave larger potential yields, and suggested these periods to be the best planting window for cassava under irrigated conditions in Southern Togo. This shows that appropriate water control and planting periods can contribute to attaining larger yields in Southern Togo. Further improvement of the LINTUL model is required towards using it to assess water-limited yield, which can be used as boundary constraint in QUEFTS to derive site-specific fertilizer requirements for enhanced cassava yield and returns on investments in West Africa.

    Frontline health worker motivation in the provision of maternal and neonatal health care in Ghana
    Aberese-Ako, Matilda - \ 2016
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Han van Dijk; I.A. Agyepong, co-promotor(en): G.J.E. Gerrits. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462578937 - 160
    health care workers - motivation - organizations - management - ghana - attitudes to work - patient care - health policy - ethnography - reproductive health - child health - gezondheidswerkers - motivatie - organisaties - bedrijfsvoering - ghana - houding t.o.v. werk - patiëntenzorg - gezondheidsbeleid - etnografie - reproductieve gezondheid - gezondheid van kinderen

    The health of mothers and neonates is a concern for many countries, because they form the future of every society. In Ghana efforts have been made to address quality health care in order to accelerate progress in maternal and child health and reduce maternal and neonatal mortality through the implementation of a number of polices including a fee exemption for pregnant women for antenatal, delivery and postnatal care and a national health insurance scheme among others. However these interventions have not led to an improvement in the quality of health care and concerns have been raised whether health workers are sufficiently motivated to provide health care that is responsive to the needs of mothers and children. This study set out to study motivation as an individual quality of the worker, however it became obvious in the analytical phase that motivation is an outcome of interactions between the worker and the work environment. So the research resorted to analyse and understand the various ways in which interpersonal interactions and organisational processes contribute to the motivation of health workers and quality of care in a Ghanaian hospital setting. The research tried to answer the following questions: what are the interpersonal processes that influence health worker motivation; what are the organisational and managerial processes that influence health worker motivation; how does the setup of the Ghana health sector and its associated policies influence health worker motivation and how does health worker motivation influence health worker response to client health needs? The research focused on the quality of interpersonal interaction, such as attitudes, motivation, trust and conflict, on a number of organizational characteristics such as power relations, power being defined as the ability to affect organizational outcomes, uncertainty in decision-making and the provision of resources to deliver quality health care and on wider policy-making that affects the ability of health care institutions to take care of the staff (remuneration, human resource management) and the decision-making space of health facility managers.

    In order to investigate health worker motivation in a real life setting ethnographic research was conducted for twenty months in two hospitals; a specialist referral hospital and a district hospital that offer basic maternal and child health services in the greater Accra region in Ghana. Between 2011 and 2013, data was collected in mostly the maternity and new-born units of both hospitals. The researcher interacted with hospital staff including nurses, doctors, anaesthetists, orderlies, laboratory technicians, accounts officers and managers and collected data on daily activities and interactions in the hospital environment. The hospitals, which had different characteristics, were not selected for comparative purposes, but to enable a better understanding of how the organizational context influences worker motivation. Conversations were useful in helping the researcher to understand social phenomena. Interviews were conducted to explore social phenomena in depth. Participant observation was also a very important tool in helping the researcher to observe at first- hand how health care is provided in a natural hospital environment. An important source of information consisted of the reactions of hospital staff on the research and the researcher and the researcher’s emotional reactions to this, as it helped her to experience motivation, which was very useful in understanding and analysing motivational processes in the hospital environment.

    Ethical clearance was obtained from the Ghana Health Service Ethics Review board (approval number GHS-ERC:06/01/12) and the proposal was reviewed by the Wageningen School of Social Sciences board. Written informed consent was obtained from all interview participants. Verbal consent was obtained for conversations and pseudonyms are used for the names of the study hospitals and frontline workers throughout the thesis.

    Interpersonal processes including limited interaction and communication between collaborating frontline workers and perceived disrespect from colleagues and managers contributed to poor relations between frontline workers. A high number of frontline workers engaged in locum (private practice) in private hospitals. Such workers came to work late, or left early and some even skipped their official work to engage in locum practice. Workers also believed that some of their colleagues sneaked in their clients from their locum site to the hospital and charged them illegal fees, which they did not share with colleagues. Such practices and perceptions contributed to distrust relations among workers and to a poor organisational climate, which resulted in demotivation of staff, poor collaboration in the provision of health care, and eventually to conflicts. Conflicts contributed to delays in the provision of care and those who were willing to work felt disempowered, as they were unable to marshal their resources with collaborating professionals to respond to clients’ needs. They also contributed to angry and bitter workers and negative perceptions of other professional groups. Sometimes cases were postponed and on some occasions clients had to be referred to other facilities.

    Organisational and managerial processes equally influenced health worker motivation in various ways. Health workers perceived distributive, procedural and interactional injustice in organisational and managerial processes as they perceived that managers were not responding to their personal and organisational needs, which compromised their ability to offer quality health care. Health workers perceived distributive injustice in the fact that they worked hard and deserved to be given incentives to offset the stoppage of bonuses that the government initially paid to workers when the fee exemption for maternal health was introduced. Workers felt their managers were not meeting the hospitals’ needs for essential medical supplies, equipment and were incapable of putting up appropriate infrastructure to accommodate workers and an overwhelming number of clients. They perceived interactional injustice because of the fact that managers did not communicate with them on decisions that affected them and that managers were out of touch with the needs of workers. They complained that they were not respected by their superiors, who shouted at them when they made mistakes, and suggested that managers and superiors did not treat them with dignity in matters of discipline. Workers further argued that managers did not care whether they had adequate workforce to support them to provide quality health care. Some felt overworked and some felt burn out.

    However, managers felt disempowered at their level as well. The setup of the Ghana health sector and its associated policies remains largely centralised, so managers who are expected to meet the needs of frontline health workers and their hospitals, do not have the power to do so. They could not beef up staff numbers, since recruitment and allocation of staff to health facilities is centralised. In addition, managers received little financial support to run their hospitals. Their main source of funding was from reimbursement of funds from the National Health Insurance Authority, but reimbursement usually delayed for up to six months and they did not receive subvention from the Ghana Health Service or the Ministry of Health (MOH) to run their hospitals, so they were always cash strapped. Also the MOH, which is the body responsible for putting up infrastructure, could not meet the infrastructure needs of the hospitals. Additionally managers had to deal with conflicting policies including procurement policies that made decisions on purchasing essential supplies and drugs bureaucratic and slowed managers’ response to frontline worker and organisational needs. As a result, managers faced uncertainty in securing human and physical resources. To cope with uncertainties managers had to distribute their funds thinly among competing priorities of worker and organisational needs. At times managers had to sacrifice certain needs of workers and their hospitals in order to meet others. Consequently, workers lost trust in managers, which demotivated them in the provision of health care. Also the fee exemption policy made health care accessible to the general populace, but it did not lead to a commensurate increase in salaries, infrastructure development and increase in staff numbers. For that matter managers and frontline workers were overwhelmed with client numbers and had to turn some away. Both hospital managers and frontline workers perceived that policy makers and their superiors were not interested in how they provided care to clients or even their own safety, which demotivated them.

    It is important to note that some workers were observed to be intrinsically motivated and responded to the health needs of clients, despite the fact that they faced similar challenges as those who were demotivated. Such workers explained that their sources of motivation included a belief in a supreme being, the desire to maintain work standards and others perceived that clients had a right to quality health care. Also some indicated that they derived inner satisfaction when they were able to provide quality care to clients.

    Demotivation contributed to absenteeism, workers reporting to work late and some closing early as strategies to avoid collaborating with colleagues that they did not feel comfortable working with, which further worsened the conflict situation. Some workers also picked and chose to work with particular professionals. Workers exercised power negatively in two ways: 1. Some workers exhibited negative attitudes towards their colleagues, which contributed to poor interaction and poor communication. It further created gaps in clinical decision making. 2. Workers transferred their frustrations and disappointments to clients by shouting at clients and insulting them, which compromised with the quality of care that clients received. Another important consequence of demotivation was that workers got angry, some felt frustrated, and some reported experiencing high blood pressure. Consequently it affected the wellbeing of health workers who were supposed to cater for clients. Also demotivation became so deeply seated in some workers that they appeared to be beyond redemption. Some even hated the hospital environment that they worked in and others chose to leave the hospital.

    For health workers to be able to respond to the health needs of clients who visit the hospital there is the need that their personal needs including demand for better terms and conditions of service, incentives and training needs are catered for. Also their organisational needs including demand for essential supplies, equipment, appropriate infrastructure among others need to be addressed. Additionally managers have to be transparent, communicate and interact more frequently with frontline workers to enable them appreciate managers’ efforts in meeting workers’ personal and organisational needs. Also for managers to be able to meet the needs of frontline workers and their organisations managers must be given the power to make decisions on human and other resources. Also managers should be supported with the necessary funds, so that they can meet the multiple needs of their workers and hospitals.

    Health worker motivation in the hospital context is determined by an interaction of interpersonal and organisational processes that are shaped by external and internal influencers, who exercise power in their bid to influence organisational outcomes. Thus this study contributes to theory by propounding that motivation is not an individual quality of the worker, but it is an outcome of interactions between the worker and the work environment. Also power and trust relations within and outside the hospital influence worker motivation and for that matter theories on organisational power and trust relations are central to understanding and analysing worker motivation.

    National level maternal health decisions : towards an understanding of health policy agenda setting and formulation in Ghana
    Koduah, A. - \ 2016
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Han van Dijk; I.A. Agyepong. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462578951 - 180
    family planning - reproductive health - health policy - ghana - government policy - primary health care - gezinsplanning - reproductieve gezondheid - gezondheidsbeleid - ghana - overheidsbeleid - eerstelijnsgezondheidszorg

    Maternal and neonatal deaths and morbidity still pose an enormous challenge for health authorities in Ghana, a lower middle income country. Despite massive investments in maternal and neonatal health and special attention through Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 4 and 5, Ghana still have high mortality rates. At national level, policy decision makers to improve maternal outcomes have over the years developed several public policies to increase financial and geographical access to maternal care; space child birth; provide essential obstetric care; expand midwifery coverage; make equipment available and many more.

    The problem of maternal mortality persist and this raises the question of what essentially goes into public policy making given the failure to achieve targets despite several maternal health policies developed for implementation. This thesis thus aims to advance our understanding of who makes maternal health policies and the agenda setting and formulation decision making processes through which they operate, in Ghana; and out of these understanding present potential lessons for policy actors to engage in making better informed policy decisions to improve maternal health.

    To understand factors and processes that influence national level maternal policy agenda and formulation decisions; we conceptualised that maternal policy decision making is predominately influenced by how policy actors within specific context use their power sources to define issues and frame accompanying course of action. The main research questions are:

    Which policy actors have been involved in maternal health policy agenda setting and formulation and what roles did they play and why?What are the decision making processes related to maternal health policy agenda setting and formulation?How did contextual factors influenced maternal health policy agenda setting and formulation and why?How did policy actors define maternal health issues and why?

    To investigate maternal policy agenda setting and formulation decision making in-depth, a multiple case study design with qualitative methods of data collection was used. The case study approach allowed me to look at maternal health policy decisions not merely as inputs and outputs but to better understand within context the processes and policy actors involved. Field work in the Ghanaian health sector, through observation and participation in the work of the Ministry of Health, steered the selection of the cases. Four cases: maternal (antenatal, delivery, and postnatal) fee exemption policy decisions, health sector programme of work maternal health policy decisions, free family planning as part of NHIS policy decision, and primary care maternal health service capitation policy decisions were investigated.

    The field work was conducted between May 2012 and August 2014. Multiple data collection methods including document review, interviews and observations were used to collect historical and current information and contribute to the validity and reliability of the research findings. Data were analysed drawing on an analytical framework in which concepts of organizational power, context, policy actors and problem definition were central elements.

    Case 1

    Historical and contemporary fee exemption policies for maternal (antenatal, skilled delivery and postnatal) health services were explored. Specifically we ask: How have maternal user fee exemption policies evolved in Ghana since independence? Which actors have been involved in the policy agenda setting and formulation and why? What contextual factors influenced the process over time, how and why? Nine specific policies were identified along the pathway as, the policies evolved from user fee exemptions to national health insurance premium exemption. The policy was first introduced in 1963 and has remained on the government agenda over four and over decades in a fluid process of ebbs and flows rather than in a static fixed form. Contextual factors and various policy actors were the major influencers of the ebbs and flows. Contextual factors that influenced the ebbs and flows were: political such as Nkrumah’s ideology of free access to health care and education, changes in government, and presidential election year; economic crises and development partners’ austerity measures; worsening health and demographic indicators; historical events; social unrest; and international agendas such as the MDGs. These contextual factors served as a source of power for policy actors to sustain maternal fee exemption agenda over time. The case study showed that various categories of policy influencers (policy agenda advisers and advocates) and final decision makers (policy agenda directors and approvers) operated within these interrelated contextual factors, which sometimes worked as constraints and sometimes opened opportunities. These contextual factors shaped the timely manner in which policy content was formulated and level of deviation from the intended agenda at each specific decision period. For instance, contextual factors such as declined health budget allocation and high maternal mortality presented the ministry of health bureaucrats with an option to formulate the policy content in a less timely manner and away from the intended agenda of 1997 free maternal care presidential directive. Whilst, within the context of austerity measure and Ghana poverty reduction strategy, maternal fee exemption policy for four deprived regions was formulated in a timely manner and closely linked to the poverty strategy.

    Case 2

    The case explored how and why maternal health policy and programme agenda items appeared and evolved in the framework of the Ghanaian health sector programme of work agenda between 2002 and 2012. Our specific research questions were: Which maternal health policies were prioritised? How did they evolve on the agenda and why? We examined decision maker’s problem definition and decision making processes, theorizing that a policy or programme’s appearance and fate on the POW agenda is predominantly influenced by how decision makers use their source of power to define problems and frame their policy narratives and accompanying course of actions.

    Ministry of health bureaucrats and donors used their power sources as negotiation tools to frame maternal health issues and design maternal health policies and programmes within the framework of the national health sector programme of work. The power sources identified included legal and structural authority; access to authority by way of political influence; control over and access to resources (mainly financial); access to evidence in the form of health sector performance reviews and demographic health surveys; and knowledge of national plans such as Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy. Bureaucrats and donors used their power sources to define, frame and label issues for attention making some policies such as family planning long term fixtures on the agenda. They used labels such as ‘inadequate obstetric care’, ‘family planning unmet needs’, ‘maternal health a poverty issue’, and ‘poor maternal health a national emergency’ – for actions and to ensure the continuous flow of donor and government funding.

    Case 3

    The case investigated how and why ‘free family planning as part of the NHIS’ policy attained a position on government agenda in 2012 but has not subsequently moved into formulation and implementation in Ghana. Relying on their power sources such as access to bodies of evidence; bureaucrats, donors, reviewers and reproductive health advocates framed inadequate budgetary allocation and disbursement for family planning and exclusion of family planning services from the national health insurance benefits package - as a major challenge to family planning contribution to maternal health care; and free family planning as potential life and cost saving. Drawing on their legal and structural access to institutionalized public policy processes in Ghana, they proposed the following policy options: include family planning service in the national health insurance benefits package and increase government and donor financial support. The interests of the supporting actors were two fold to eliminate out of pocket payments for family planning service and still sustain the financial needs of the family planning programme through the National Health Insurance Scheme. A window of opportunity opened when a Minister of Health receptive to these problem definitions and policy options publically voiced support for ‘free family planning as part of the NHIS; policy and therefore pushed it high and visibly onto the public policy /government agenda. However, the policy failed to move into formulation and implementation. Factors that influenced this failure included the lack of a stronger, broad based health sector actor support and related inability to agree on and develop policy implementation guidelines; and maintain political access and interest in the issue after it was moved up the agenda.

    Case 4

    This case explored how and why less than three months into the implementation of a pilot prior to national scale up; primary care maternal services that were part of the basket of services in a primary care per capita national health insurance scheme provider payment system dropped off the agenda. During the agenda setting and policy formulation stages; predominantly technical policy actors within the bureaucratic arena used their expertise and authority for consensus building to get antenatal, normal delivery and postnatal services included in the primary care per capita payment system. Once policy implementation started, policy makers were faced with unanticipated resistance. Service providers, especially the private self- financing used their professional knowledge and skills, access to political and social power and street level bureaucrat power to contest and resist various aspects of the policy and its implementation arrangements – including the inclusion of primary care maternal health services. Arenas of conflict moved from the bureaucratic to the public as opposing actors presented multiple interpretations of the policy intent and implementation and gained the attention of politicians and the public. The context of intense public arena conflicts and controversy in an election year added to the high level political anxiety generated by the contestation. The President and Minister of Health responded and removed antenatal, normal delivery and postnatal care from the per capita package.

    Conclusions

    The general findings of the thesis are: (1) policy influencers (donors and bureaucrats) and final decision makers (Minister and President) used their power sources and contextual factors to define problems, promote their vested interest and justify actions and inactions; through technical, institutionalised, public and political decision making domains. (2) Policy influencers and final decision makers’ collective actions and inactions through interactions and power relations influenced decisions to their benefit at different levels. They used their control over and access to knowledge, authority and financial, material and human resources to push their interest and influence decisions. Therefore, this thesis concludes that the findings can serve as lessons for policy actors to strategize and make better informed policy decisions. We are in need of a health sector that pays more attention to context, power sources and power relations of final decision makers and influencers and the varied decision making domains in any maternal health policy decision.

    Ghana's high forests : trends, scenarios and pathways for future developments
    Oduro, K.A. - \ 2016
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Frits Mohren; Bas Arts, co-promotor(en): B. Kyereh. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462577824 - 171
    forests - forest ecology - forest management - high forest system - forest resources - forestry - ghana - bossen - bosecologie - bosbedrijfsvoering - hoog opgaand bos - bosbestanden - bosbouw - ghana

    Deforestation and forest degradation in the tropics have been receiving both scientific and political attention in recent decades due to its impacts on the environment and on human livelihoods. In Ghana, the continuous decline of forest resources and the high demand for timber have raised stakeholders concerns about the future timber production prospects in the country. The principal drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in Ghana are agricultural expansion (50%), wood harvesting (35%), population and development pressures (10%), and mining and mineral exploitation (5%). Various measures are being pursued that are targeted at addressing the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation and at increasing the forest resource base. Understanding the key driving forces behind current forest resource development trends will help to gain insights into the possible courses of action to take to improve the developments of the resources, especially where actions that are being taken today will have an impact on the forest resources for many years to come.

    In this thesis, I used interdisciplinary research methods to provide insights into the current status of the forest resource base in Ghana and into its likely and possible future developments. I addressed 5 research questions: (1) What are the trends and changes associated with the growing stock in the timber production areas? (2) What driving forces account for current trends and future developments of timber resources in Ghana? (3) What different scenarios can be identified and how will these affect future developments of timber resources in the high forest zone? (4) What factors motivate farmers to engage in on-farm tree planting and management? (5) To what extent do the current trends of forest resources drive forest transition in Ghana?

    National forest inventory data, timber harvesting data and forest plantation establishment data showed that the growing stock in both on- and off-reserve production areas have been declining since 1990. Ghana’s average forest growing stock of 40m3 per ha is much lower than the 195 m3 per ha for the Western and Central Africa sub-region. Timber harvesting records also indicate that, in recent decades, total timber harvests have mostly been substantially higher than the annual allowable cut, resulting in an increasing gap between national timber demand and supply, which drives illegal logging. Current plantation establishment efforts are not sufficient to bridge the gap between demand and supply of timber, partly due to low establishment rates and lack of appropriate management of newly established plantations. Forest governance system and resource demand are the two key driving forces that affect the current trends and future developments of forest resources in the high forest zone of Ghana. Four scenarios were developed: (1) legal forestry scenario with emphasis on improving the resource base to meet high demand; (2) forest degradation, which implies a business-as-usual scenario; (3) forest transition, with emphasis on expanding the resource base in response to environmental concerns; and (4) timber substitution scenario seeking to provide wood substitutes to conserve the resource base. Across two on-farm tree planting schemes, I found that financial benefits, educational campaigns by project teams, knowledge about current environmental issues, ownership of timber for family use and access to land, grants, farming inputs, seedlings, capacity building, and market for agricultural produce are the factors that motivated farmers to engage in on-farm tree planting and management. Currently, there is no strong force toward a forest transition through any of the five generic pathways (economic development; forest scarcity; globalization; state forest policy; and smallholder, tree-based land use intensification). This is because the existing trends of forest resources developments are either too small-scale or too ineffective. In order to accelerate a forest transition in Ghana, policy and management options should target measures that reduce current degradation of natural forests, increase the area and productivity of commercial forest plantations, promote sustainable forest management, and support and encourage forest conservation and integration of trees into farming systems.

    Under the lens of embeddedness : socio-cultural perspective on home-grown school feeding in Ghana
    Sulemana, N. - \ 2016
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Han Wiskerke, co-promotor(en): Paul Hebinck; D. Millar. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462577800 - 201
    rural areas - schools - school food service - rural development - agricultural development - ghana - west africa - platteland - scholen - maaltijdverzorging op scholen - plattelandsontwikkeling - landbouwontwikkeling - ghana - west-afrika
    The tree under which you sit : district-level management and leadership in maternal and newborn health policy implementation in the Greater Accra Region, Ghana
    Kwamie, A. - \ 2016
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Han van Dijk; I.A. Agyepong. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462576742 - 158
    health policy - birth - pregnancy - policy - management - administration - ghana - west africa - gezondheidsbeleid - geboorte - zwangerschap - beleid - bedrijfsvoering - bestuur - ghana - west-afrika

    Health system governance has to do with decision-making – who makes decisions, when, where, how and why. At the district level – the level of care which operationalises health policies – governance is critical, yet remains little understood. Governance has the ability to influence health system performance, and this is essential in maternal and newborn health, where timely decisions are required to support policy implementation. In this regard, district managers are particularly important. They are the link in the middle of the health system, connecting top-end policy formulation to bottom-end implementation. Their abilities to interpret, translate, support and challenge policy will have an effect on what gets operationalised. However, capacity weaknesses in district management and leadership are often cited as a factor in poor health system performance.

    This thesis seeks to deepen understandings of district-level management, leadership and decision-making for policy and programme management and implementation for maternal and newborn health. Within this, the thesis also seeks to understand the scope for change that an intervention to strengthen management and leadership capacities can bring.

    This thesis contributes to the applied field of health policy and systems research by drawing on policy implementation theory, organisational management theory and complexity theory as its theoretical basis. A realist approach methodology was undertaken to understand the contexts in which district managers are embedded, how this influences their decision-making, and what the effects of a managerial intervention are, given these contexts. The thesis followed an embedded case study flexible design. The first case study was an exploratory qualitative case study to understand how and why district managers make decisions in maternal and newborn health policy implementation. The second case study was an historical case study of district manager decision-space over time. The third case study was an explanatory qualitative case study of the management and leadership intervention. The final validation of our theorising throughout the cases was achieved through the administration of a questionnaire across all district health management teams of the Great Accra Region.

    This thesis demonstrates that district managers find themselves in contexts of strong hierarchical authority and resource uncertainty – in particular, lacking financial transparency. This promotes a management and leadership typology which attunes managers towards serving the health system bureaucracy, resulting in reduced district-level responsiveness to maternal and newborn health challenges. The outcome is that district manager decision-space is narrow surrounding resource allocation decisions, and this in turn affects local planning programming and management.

    The thesis further demonstrates that broader patterns of centralised governmental decision-making have affected the development of the district health system over time. Particularly, the sequencing of decentralisation processes has ensured that national-level decision-making has remained empowered in contrast to district-level decision-making. System fragmentation – through reduced Government of Ghana funds and increasingly verticalised donor funds – has also been a contributor. This accounts for the observed hierarchical authority and resource uncertainty which affects district managers. As a result of these contexts, this thesis also showed that an intervention to strengthen management and leadership capacities was limited in its sustainability.

    This thesis raises the issues of health system organisation as critical to the potential of district management and leadership effectiveness. It provides evidence that weaknesses in district management and leadership arise out of the organisational governance mismatches in autonomy and responsibility. It suggests that in strengthening management and leadership, approaches which seek to address organisational capacities, not only individual capacities, are needed to convey sustainable change. Advancements in this regard have the scope to improve district manager decision-making for maternal and newborn health policy and programme implementation in the future.

    Fairtrade certification in the banana hired labour sector
    Rijn, F.C. van; Judge, L.O. ; Fort, Ricardo ; Koster, Tinka ; Waarts, Y.R. ; Ruben, R. - \ 2016
    Wageningen : LEI Wageningen UR (LEI report 2015-056) - ISBN 9789086157129 - 146
    bananas - plantations - fair trade - certification - international trade - hired labour - working conditions - ghana - dominican republic - colombia - bananen - beplantingen - fair trade - certificering - internationale handel - loonarbeiders - arbeidsomstandigheden - ghana - dominicaanse republiek - colombia
    Evidence is needed about the difference that certification makes to workers on banana plantations. The Fairtrade system is therefore investing in monitoring to understand the difference certification makes to banana workers’ employment, living and working conditions, and empowerment. This study meets this need by gathering data on a range of indicators. This study 1) gathers baseline data on indicators and themes that monitor the progress of implementation of Fairtrade’s revised hired labour standards on certified plantations in key banana origins; 2) based on this data it researches and analyses the difference that Fairtrade makes across key themes in comparison to non-certified contexts; it prioritises workers’ voices and perspectives in achieving the objectives of the study. It particularly focuses on understanding the role of Fairtrade in supporting worker empowerment and empowerment-related goals. Focus countries are Ghana, Colombia and the Dominican Republic.
    Impact of UTZ certification on cocoa producers in Ghana, 2011 to 2014
    Waarts, Y.R. ; Ingram, V.J. ; Linderhof, V.G.M. ; Puister-Jansen, L.F. ; Rijn, F.C. van; Aryeetey, Richmond - \ 2015
    Wageningen : LEI Wageningen UR (Report / LEI Wageningen UR 2015-066) - ISBN 9789086157150 - 47
    cocoa - certification - farmers - small farms - peasant farming - ghana - cacao - certificering - boeren - kleine landbouwbedrijven - landbouw bedrijven in het klein - ghana
    This study evaluates the impact of the UTZ-Solidaridad cocoa programme in Ghana , by comparing the situation of a sample of farmers from six projects in 2014 with their situation in 2011, and by comparing the development over time for certified and uncertified farmers. We also analysed the programme’s inclusiveness and shed light on the effect of UTZ certification on hired labourers’ working conditions.
    Could nutrition sensitive cocoa value chains be introduced in Ghana? Report of a brief study that identifies opportunities and bottlenecks
    Vries, K. de - \ 2015
    Wageningen : Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen UR (Report CDI / Wageningen UR, Centre for Development Innovation 15-105) - 22
    food consumption - households - gender relations - women - cocoa - undernutrition - nutrition - ghana - africa - west africa - voedselconsumptie - huishoudens - man-vrouwrelaties - vrouwen - cacao - ondervoeding - voeding - ghana - afrika - west-afrika
    This study looks at whether introducing nutrition sensitive cocoa value chains in Ghana is feasible and recommends how this could be done. After establishing the cocoa farming and nutrition context in Ghana, the study zooms in on one cocoa producing sub-district to collect detailed data in order to provide recommendations.
    Aspirations and everyday life of single migrant women in Ghana
    Tufuor, T. - \ 2015
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Anke Niehof, co-promotor(en): Hilje van der Horst; Chizu Sato. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462575578 - 187
    migratie - rurale migratie - ruraal-urbane migratie - platteland - stedelijke gebieden - vrouwen - man-vrouwrelaties - samenleving - gezinsstructuur - ghana - west-afrika - migration - rural rural migration - rural urban migration - rural areas - urban areas - women - gender relations - society - family structure - ghana - west africa

    Female labour migrants in West Africa including Ghana have been widely perceived as followers of male relatives. Since the late 1990s, the increasing movement of young women to cities in the region has drawn attention to this phenomenon and this study discovered females as actors in the migration process. Women have been moving from the rural North to the urban South, especially to Accra, to live in the city’s slums. Their migrations are not associational; these journeys are now independently pursued by women with aspirations to realise their ideals of a better life. Female migrations make up a growing share of migrant labour streams within Ghana. Among the migrants who arrive in Accra every day there is an increasing number of single young women as well as divorced women and neglected as wives from the North of Ghana. Economic explanations do not fully account for such moves, because men and women perform different productive and reproductive roles within the northern households. The varying degrees of gender and intra-household inequality and the women’s anticipation of life changes after migration spur the motivations and aspirations behind the journeys.

    This study on single migrant women (SMW) was conducted in two sites. The first site was in four districts in the Northern Region with its capital Tamale. The Dagomba are the pre­dominant ethnic group here. They practise subsistence farming and most of them are Muslims. The second study site was the Old Fadama (OF) market in Accra. By tracking the migrant women from the North to OF, the study connected the spaces of area of origin and area of destination in the migration process. A mixed-methods approach was applied in data collection, combining qualitative methods such as focus group discussion, case study and life history with a survey in the OF market.

    While in the past the restrictions on women’s sexuality and autonomy prevented women from migrating alone, now northern households provide an incentive for young women to migrate. The women cited a gain in autonomy and freedom as the most important motivation for their move. In the household of their fathers or future husbands in the North, their autonomy is constrained. However, through their earnings in Accra, the women prepare themselves for an expensive religious marriage ceremony, invest in housing or education and also buy modern goods. Young migrant women from the rural Dagomba communities primarily engage in accumulating goods for their dowry, whereas older women accumulate capital for investment in their children’s education. The older women who have no plans anymore of returning to the North to marry, especially those who are successful in Accra and have achieved the status of ‘market mummies’, seek enjoyment in the present but also use their wealth to secure construction of rooms of their own in the North. The women save money, assemble housewares and send remittances with their own independent income.

    In Accra, most young women engage in petty trading. In the OF market in Accra these single migrant women from the North generate livelihoods through the adoption of both market and non-market based strategies by extending and prioritising moral obligations to community members beyond their immediate households, instead of just focusing on maximisation of profits. Communities of old and young market women have built a ‘moral community economy’ through, among others, engaging in reciprocal labour, gift giving, and childcare and food sharing. This contributes positively to household food security and social well-being among the market women and migrant settlers in the OF community. SMW’s livelihood generation is sustained through social relations among women, in which also age, ethnicity and regional background play crucial roles. SMW give support to and receive benefits from the community through moral obligations and ethnic commitment. The analysis of these strategies contributes to the understanding of the intersections of household, livelihood strategies, gender and markets in urban settings.

    In Accra, these women not only need to find income earning activities, they also have to reinvent themselves as consumers because of the abundant and varied consumption options in Accra as compared to the North. Through consumption of food, hairdos and leisure activities, they shape their new urban identities. However, through consumption they also try to secure the desired next phase in their life course. Despite earning very modest amounts of money with activities such as hawking or food vending, SMW save for their future and adapt their consumption to enable such savings. They save in money and in kind, buying items to set up their own hearths in the North for the preparation of meals, an iconic married woman’s activity, and to be able to enter a preferred, i.e. religious, marriage. They also spend money on dressing, styling their hairdos and looking good in order to attract suitable marriage candidates. Alternatively, the successful older women in the market place invest in conspicuous consumption to enact their informal position of ‘market mummies’, women who are well established and suitable mentors to more recent arrivals. The women shape their own life courses through consumption. The consumption practices SMW engage in are crucial for understanding the dynamics of single migrant women’s agency.

    After migration, SMW are more likely to exert influence on the timing of their marriage and the choice of the partner. In the place of origin there are transformations of the gendered subjectivities women experience after having produced livelihoods away from home. The investigation of the reintegration experience of SMW who return to their place of origin revealed the everyday experience of returned migrant women within their households in rural northern Ghana. The study found the household to be an ‘arena of everyday life’; the word arena indicates dynamics and even struggle. These are visible in the provision for daily needs, and also in the income generating activities the women try to initiate to exercise their agency in generating livelihood. In this household arena, we recognized the gender dynamics around decision-making on livelihood generation as key to under­standing the reintegration experience of returned migrant women. The analysis drew on feminist geographers’ insights of gender as process situated in a specific place. Critical attention was paid to how gender and household are co-constituted, to shed light on the multiple and contradictory ways in which gender, livelihood, and household are constructed.

    Applying the lens of gender as situated process enabled capturing the significance of everyday micro transformations, resulting in a framework that wove together the domains of gender, household and livelihood. Contingent formations of intra-household dynamics revealed variations in the ways subjection and activation are enacted. The boundaries of women’s triple shifts (household work, farming, income generation) are not fixed but are constantly negotiated. On an everyday basis women have to juggle multiple subjectivities, such as being wives, daughters-in-law, mothers and petty commodity producers and traders. They do the work their husbands and senior women require them to do in order to secure their marriage, which is considered a lifelong security in this specific context, but they try to set limits to this work.

    The general conclusion this study highlights is that the young women in the North successfully negotiate to realize their aspirations to migrate and, upon return, both subject themselves to the domestic and patriarchal order and contest it by using the means and skills they acquired to improve their bargaining position. This causes cracks in the prevailing order, which suggest the malleability of the patriarchal system. The observed processes underpin the relevance of conceptualising migration as an intrinsic factor in broader processes of development and social transformation.

    Certifications, child labour and livelihood strategies: an analysis of cocoa production in Ghana
    Owusu-Amankwah, R. - \ 2015
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Han Wiskerke; Guido Ruivenkamp, co-promotor(en): Joost Jongerden. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462574915 - 348
    cacao - productie - landbouw bedrijven in het klein - gemeenschappen - kinderarbeid - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - certificering - agrarische productiesystemen - ghana - cocoa - production - peasant farming - communities - child labour - livelihood strategies - certification - agricultural production systems - ghana

    Abstract

    There have been various innovative initiatives by global and local actors in response to pressure on cocoa value-chain actors to free cocoa production from child labour (CL) and especially the worst forms of child labour (WFCL) and also to improve the livelihoods of farm families. Analyses of the implementation, implications and the appropriateness of these initiatives in driving change in the cocoa supply chain and improving the labour and income conditions in cocoa farms are limited, however. This study examines initiatives being led by the key actors in the value chain – the governmental initiative of a community-based child labour monitoring (CCLM) system (CCLMS), that led by business actors of third party voluntary cocoa certification (TPVCC), and farmers’ own way of diversifying income – in order to understand current developments in the cocoa value-chain and analyse the dynamics between the local and global actors and the effect of these dynamics for the reorganisation of the cocoa production system in Ghana.

    This thesis employs an interdisciplinary perspective and combines innovation theory with livelihood, social perspectives and other social science tools to empirically investigate the initiatives as they operate at micro-, meso- and macro-levels so as to ascertain their implications for farmers’ livelihoods and children’s social situations. It also reflects scholarly interest in understanding how global-level development interacts with and affects local-level development, and how globalisation shapes and mediates local influences within the cocoa production system.

    Firstly, the CCLMS study (Chapter 3) reveals three kinds of benefits to children: an expanded social network, a reduction in their participation in hazardous work and an improvement in school attendance. The findings show that absenteeism on the part of the pupils in a community with a CCLM intervention is approximately half that of two communities without intervention. In addition, it is observed that although children are involved in hazardous and non-hazardous activities in all the three communities involved in the study, the extent of their involvement in hazardous activities is higher in the communities without intervention.

    Secondly, third party certification (TPC) formulated by the business actors is a key innovation in the cocoa production system of Ghana. The study presented in Chapter 4 shows the potential of TPVCC to mobilise financial, human and social capitals to address gaps and

    dysfunctions and create a win-win situation for all the actors of the value chain. However, sector-wide standards that address sector specific needs taking into consideration the views of chain actors, especially farmers and their socio-cultural context will enhance compliance. This is because global or international standards cannot be imposed but are analysed, contested and adapted by farmers to suit on-the-ground practices. The study also shows the potential of TPVCC to address CL and livelihood issues, but these will yield better results if it is implemented in enhanced socio-economic conditions. Regardless of these positives, the net benefit of certification is unclear due to the difficulty in conducting proper cost-benefit analyses in the absence of proper documentation of farmer-level costs and other factors.

    Thirdly, the findings show that about 70% of farmers are diversifying into other (non-cocoa) farm and non-farm activities using largely indigenous resources, but on a small scale and at subsistence level. This condition means that the goal of farmers to supplement cocoa income and reduce risk is not achieved throughsuch a level of diversification. There is some indication of increasing importance of income and resources from non-farm activities, but income from cocoa continues to determine household income as well as the demand for non- farm goods and investment in the non-farm sector. This study also finds that children are involved in both farm and non-farm activities, which can be classified as hazardous and non- hazardous. Farmers, especially caretakers, producing at subsistence level are likely to use their children to supplement labour needs. Some policy recommendations are made in the areas of economic incentives and multi-stakeholder collaboration to stimulate the sector towards sustainability.

    Climate Smart Agriculture: Synthesis of case studies in Ghana, Kenya and Zimbabwe
    Hengsdijk, H. ; Conijn, J.G. ; Verhagen, A. - \ 2015
    Wageningen : Wageningen UR (Report / Plant Research International 624) - 26
    stadslandbouw - biologische landbouw - duurzame landbouw - metriek stelsel - ghana - kenya - zimbabwe - engelssprekend afrika - agrarische productiesystemen - klimaatadaptatie - voedselveiligheid - urban agriculture - organic farming - sustainable agriculture - metric system - ghana - kenya - zimbabwe - anglophone africa - agricultural production systems - climate adaptation - food safety
    This study contributes to the current debate on climate smart agriculture and development in Africa, specifically in relation to farm size, food security and intensification in rain fed farming areas. Although the different analyses are rough, because of a combination of incomplete knowledge and limited data sets, the results places the prevailing development discussions in the context of CSA: Provides intensification a way out of poverty and contributes intensification to food security under climate change? How affects climate change crop yields and household income? Conflicts intensification with climate mitigation goals? These are some of the questions addressed for diverging case study areas in this study.
    Strategies to support the greenhouse horticulture sector in Ghana
    Elings, A. ; Saavedra, Y. ; Nkansah, G.O. - \ 2015
    Wageningen : Wageningen UR (Report GTB 1353) - 52
    glastuinbouw - ghana - groenteteelt - agrarische bedrijfsvoering - productie - kwaliteit na de oogst - kastechniek - zonne-energie - mechanisatie - geografische rassen - rassen (planten) - geïntegreerde bestrijding - greenhouse horticulture - ghana - vegetable growing - farm management - production - postharvest quality - greenhouse technology - solar energy - mechanization - geographical races - varieties - integrated control
    Protected cultivation in Ghana is relatively small, though public and private interest is rapidly increasing. This report presents a quick scan of the sector, with a focus on business opportunities. From a value chain perspective, inadequate access to inputs, low production levels, poor storage facilities and low product quality are the main limitations. Key factors to improve the situation are: a) a country-wide seed supply system that makes available high quality cultivars, b) the availability of biological control agents, c) a greenhouse design that is suitable for the local, hot climate, d) a healthy growing medium, and e) well-trained management and staff. Business opportunities are: a) greenhouses adapted to the local climate, greenhouse equipment, solar energy, sensors and data loggers, and a local industry fabricating and maintaining goods, b) variety trials and hybrid varieties, and c) integrated pest management and biological control.
    Development of Aquaculture in Ghana: Analysis of the fish value chain and potential business cases
    Rurangwa, E. ; Agyakwah, S.K. ; Boon, H. ; Bolman, B.C. - \ 2015
    Yerseke : IMARES (IMARES report C021/15) - 59
    zoetwateraquacultuur - ghana - waardeketenanalyse - investeringsplannen - aquacultuur en milieu - visproductie - stakeholders - tilapia - oreochromis niloticus - freshwater aquaculture - ghana - value chain analysis - investment planning - aquaculture and environment - fish production - stakeholders - tilapia - oreochromis niloticus
    The main aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of the formation and set-up of one or more Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) for aquaculture in Ghana. The project consisted of two phases. The first phase was a value chain analysis (VCA) of aquaculture in Ghana to identify bottlenecks and business opportunities. The second phase was to develop business cases for investments in aquaculture in Ghana. Since the demand for Tilapia in Ghana is very high, the focus of this study is mainly on Tilapia.
    The Impacts of Reducing Food Loss in Ghana : A scenario study using the global economic simulation model MAGNET
    Rutten, M.M. ; Verma, M. - \ 2014
    Wageningen : Wageningen UR (Report / LEI Wageningen UR 2014-035) - 42
    verliezen - voedselverspilling - voedselproductie - voedselprijzen - ghana - economische impact - voedselzekerheid - losses - food wastage - food production - food prices - ghana - economic impact - food security
    When Ghana reduces food loss by 50% by the year 2025, at all stages of supply chains for the paddy, fruits vegetables and nuts, maize, fish and oilseeds, the impacts for producers vary across sectors; consumers gain from food price reduction, but if they are wage labourers, they might lose income. A more efficient food production system in Ghana will also result in an additional 0.8% increase in its Gross Domestic Product in 2025; a welfare increase equivalent of USD 19 per capita and a slightly higher (29 Kcal per capita) calorie intake. The study was done for the Ministry of Economic Affairs as part of its BO research programme on food waste. The aim of the research was to investigate the medium- to long-term macroeconomic impacts of tackling food losses, with Ghana serving as an informative case.
    Vegetables Business Opportunities in Ghana: 2014
    Saavedra Gonzalez, Y.R. ; Dijkxhoorn, Y. ; Elings, A. ; Glover-Tay, J. ; Koomen, I. ; Maden, E.C.L.J. van der; Nkansah, G. ; Obeng, P. - \ 2014
    Wageningen : GhanaVeg - 52
    vegetables - market competition - markets - entrepreneurship - agricultural trade - farm management - ghana - groenten - marktconcurrentie - markten - ondernemerschap - agrarische handel - agrarische bedrijfsvoering - ghana
    This report addresses the current performance, overall business climate of the vegetable sector and tries to come up with a number of business opportunities. These include business opportunities for high-quality exports, greenhouse technology, and healthy food for the domestic market. It equally advocates for a ‘system change’, both in the enabling environment and the way business is done, both in the export and domestic sectors: shifting from business as usual to new ways of doing business.
    Updating cocoa stories
    Witteveen, L.M. ; Rijn, A. van - \ 2014
    Wageningen : Wageningen UR
    cacao - cacaobonen - ghana - nederland - gewasbescherming - schimmelbestrijding - bestrijdingsmethoden - gewasproductie - verwerkingskwaliteit - kennis van boeren - geschiedenis - cocoa - cocoa beans - ghana - netherlands - plant protection - fungus control - control methods - crop production - processing quality - farmers' knowledge - history
    The history of cocoa production and the current cocoa story. It's a story about commercial interest, pest control, cocoa products and the importance of education of farmers to make the cocoa chain more sustainable
    Fast food in Ghana’s restaurants: prevalence, characteristics, and relevance : an interdisciplinary perspective
    Omari, R. - \ 2014
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Han Wiskerke; Guido Ruivenkamp, co-promotor(en): Joost Jongerden. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462572584 - 169
    fast foods - consumptie - snelbuffetten - gemaksvoedsel - consumentengedrag - karakteristieken - gezondheid - interdisciplinair onderzoek - ghana - fast foods - consumption - fast food restaurants - convenience foods - consumer behaviour - characteristics - health - interdisciplinary research - ghana

    Abstract

    Fast food has been extensively criticised for its link to health and environments problems and for its tendency to undermine traditional food cultures. Notwithstanding these aspects, this study questioned the assumption that fast food by definition has negative impact on health, environment and traditional food cultures for three main reasons. Firstly, fast-food restaurants are spreading quickly in the Accra Metropolitan Area (AMA) of Ghana and have become an important source of urban food. Secondly, fast food in Ghana is undergoing various changes, such as the introduction of healthier food options, use of environmentally friendly packaging and the incorporation of local cultural features. Thirdly, there has been ambiguity in the definition of fast food in existing literature, which is often exclusively built upon practices in Western, modernised countries and hence has determined how fast food is normatively evaluated. Moreover, evidence shows that some of the characteristics of fast food used in these definitions are changing, as well as being perceived differently in various regions or sociocultural settings. Against this background, this thesis sought to clarify what constitutes fast food in Ghanaian restaurants, assess its prevalence and explore its characteristics and relevance for urban food provisioning, health improvement and tourism development. An interdisciplinary and a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches were used to gather data for a restaurant study to assess the availability and characteristics of fast food in the AMA using the cuisine concept as an analytical framework. The same approaches were used to gather data for a consumer study to explain how (i) convenience influences fast-food consumption, (ii) identity influences fast-food consumption and (iii) personal responsibility influences fast-food purchase, consumption and waste disposal decisions. Findings indicated that the core food items present in fast-food restaurants are menu items such as foods generally recognised as fast food (FGRAFF), including fried rice, fried chicken, burgers, pizzas and French fries, as well as common Ghanaian foods such as banku and kelewele. Interestingly, the FGRAFFs have been transformed in several ways mainly by the incorporation of aspects of the Ghanaian food culture. Most people eat fast food because of their desire to save time, mental and physical effort, as well as because of the inherent convenience attributes of fast food. Findings also showed that people consume fast food because of its role in identity formation and expression whereby eating in a fast-food restaurant is a way to be connected with what is new and unique, pleasurable and associated with social interaction and sensory and health values. Strikingly, findings showed that fast-food consumers do not only eat fast food for convenience and identity expression, but that they are also reflective about the health and environmental anxieties that might come along with the social practice of consumption. Therefore, consumers may adopt loyalty or exit strategies as a way of reducing the effects of the health and environmental anxieties on themselves and society as a whole. This study has shown that some consumers would prefer to adopt loyalty strategies, implying that fast food provides some major material, social, cultural and behavioural benefits for these consumers and so they may not choose to curtail their fast-food consumption. Therefore, for nutrition and health intervention programmes to be effective, there is a clear need to adopt more holistic approaches by incorporating material, social, cultural and behavioural aspects of food into formal programmes.

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