Panel calls for regular review of Ghana’s LEAP program

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Panel calls for regular review of Ghana's LEAP program
5th National Social Protection Dialogue Series

Panelists at the Fifth National Social Protection Dialogue Series in have suggested the regular review of Ghana's () program.

They emphasized that regular reassessments would efficiently remove empowered beneficiaries from the program and facilitate the inclusion of new ones.

The panellists made this recommendation under the theme, “Enhancing the Well-being of Vulnerable Ghanaians through Effective Social Protection Systems”.

The two-day program organized by the Gender Ministry provided a platform for stakeholders to discuss key social protection issues in Ghana, focusing on the pilot reassessment of the program and the role of social protection initiatives in addressing .

LEAP, a cash transfer program initiated by the government in 2008, targets extremely poor and vulnerable households, including orphaned and vulnerable children, persons with severe disabilities without productive capacity, and elderly persons above 65 years.

The program aims to reduce poverty by increasing consumption, promoting access to services, and providing opportunities for the extremely vulnerable.

Mr. Myles Ongoh, the LEAP Program Manager, emphasized the need for scientific removal of beneficiaries who have made progress in life through complementary services.

He noted that beneficiaries were not expected to remain in the program indefinitely and should become self-sufficient within four years of enrollment.

Dr. Stephen Afrane, Senior Lecturer at the , highlighted cases where beneficiaries inherited their participation in the program from deceased family members.

He stressed the importance of stakeholder collaboration to prevent misinformation and politicization of the intervention.

Dr. Afrane also emphasized the need for beneficiaries to be aware that their participation is not lifelong.

Madam Christiana Gbedemah, Social Policy Specialist at the Children's Fund (), called for improved complementary services and connections to empower recipients.

She emphasized the importance of routinely updated data and a case management system to determine eligibility.

Mr. Jeleel Auberon Odoom, Executive Director of Inclusion Ghana, called for the strengthening of systems supporting social protection.

He emphasized that beneficiaries with disabilities must be considered, and the challenges of abled individuals should be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Mr. Colson Akanbasaim, Head of Communications at LEAP Management Secretariat, explained that the reassessment aimed to identify and determine the poverty status and eligibility of households benefiting from the initiative.

The goal was to eliminate inclusion and exclusion mistakes, improve the efficiency of fund allocation, and ensure the most vulnerable households receive support.

LEAP households were intended to be reviewed every four years, but this had not been done since the program's launch in 2008, mainly due to funding challenges.

The Pilot Reassessment of LEAP was implemented in ten districts across , , , Northern, and Regions.

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