WHO IS SELECTED FOR THE LEAP PROGRAMME?
The extreme poor are the target of the LEAP programme. Not all the extreme poor are eligible for the LEAP programme. Specific social categories within the basket of the extreme poor are eligible to benefit from the LEAP programme. These eligible social categories include:
- Aged sixty five years (65) and above without any form of support
- Severely disabled without productive capacity
- Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC)
- Extremely poor or vulnerable households with pregnant women and mothers with infants.
HOW IS A HOUSEHOLD BENEFITING FROM THE LEAP PROGRAMME SELECTED?
The selection of a household for the LEAP programme goes through a deliberate, elaborate, consultative, objective and well defined processes and procedures. The processes for selecting flow from the national level through regional, district, community and household levels. The processes and procedures involve the review of desk data from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), data collection in the field and data processing. Thereafter, the selection of a household for the programme is done.
The step-by-step processes and procedures for the selection of households include:
- Collection of poverty data (otherwise called poverty map) of Ghana from Ghana Statistical Service (GSS)
- The poverty map gives the overall national incidence of poverty by region, district and community.
- The poverty map provides for the ranking of regions, districts and communities by the proportion of poor people in these geographical regions.
- The poverty map is obtained from the latest Ghana Living Standard Surveys (GLSS).
- The poverty map or ranking determines the region, the district and community to be selected for the programme.
- Selection of a district within a region depends on its location on the national and regional poverty rank.
- Selection of a community in a selected district is based on its rank on the district poverty map.
- Members of a selected community are then sensitised about the LEAP Programme.
- After the sensitization, households go to designated points in a community to participate in the data collection exercise to identify extremely poor and vulnerable households.
- The data collection involves the administration of a proxy-means test (PMT) questionnaire to the household members by trained data collectors (or enumerators).
- In Ghana, it is difficult or impossible to easily know the means of livelihood (the poverty situation) of individuals and households. In an attempt to come closer to knowing the poverty situation of a household for the LEAP programme, a questionnaire is designed for this purpose. This questionnaire is called a PMT questionnaire.
- The data collection exercise is done by a service provider. This is a contracted third-party organisation.
- The administration of the PMT questionnaire is done electronically through the use of tablets (an electronic data collection tool).
- The data collected on the tablet is transmitted to the LEAP Programme Management Information System (MIS) server.
- LEAP Programme MIS is the tool for receiving, processing, storage and transmission of data or information.
- The collected data from the PMT questionnaire is then processed (or computed) on the LEAP programme MIS. The computation of the data is base on a PMT formula and pre-defined thresholds or cut-off point for qualification.
- Based on the qualification threshold, eligible households are then selected for the LEAP Programme.
- The qualified households are then enrolled onto the LEAP programme register.
- Although all household members would be on the LEAP register, it is only the name(s) of nominated household members that are on the LEAP payment voucher or pay-roll.
- The household members who take money on behalf of a household are called caregivers.
DOES THE LEAP PROGRAMME CREATE LAZINESS AND DEPENDENCY?
Cash transfer programmes like the LEAP programme seek to improve household nutrition, access to social services and build the capacities of members of benefiting households. Globally, cash transfer has been criticized by some policy makers and commentators. They argue that cash transfer programmes tend to discourage work or create dependency among individual or households benefiting from such programmes. Despite these criticisms and negative claims, cash transfer programmes have become attractive and appealing, particularly, in developing countries and emergency situations. Cash transfer programmes are gaining attention and support from governments, civil society, donors/development partners because both monitoring and research reports from cash programmes in developing countries have failed or are yet to provide systematic evidence to support claims that cash transfer programmes discourage work or enable dependency. Instead, available evidence indicates that cash transfer programmes are a strategic social protection programmes that may support not only the immediate needs of the extreme poor and vulnerable but their future human capital development needs. In Ghana, impact assessment reports on the LEAP programme support the above findings (for additional information, see: North Carolina University-ISSER 2013; see also CDD-Ghana 2015 Report; and Abhijit Banerjee et al).
Besides, a closer look at the (above) social categories that are eligible for the LEAP programme makes it difficult to accept claims or insinuations that the LEAP programme can or will promote or encourage laziness and dependency of benefiting households on Government of Ghana. For example, how will the LEAP programme promote or encourage laziness in an aged person (65 years+), the severely disabled, the orphaned and vulnerable child, or the extreme poor pregnant woman or lactating mother? The LEAP programme is rather an attempt and demonstration that Ghana is a country of conscience that seeks to build a protected and an inclusive society for all (rich and poor, vulnerable or secured).
In short, the selection of households for the LEAP programme in no doubt goes through well defined consultative and objective processes and procedures.