The main objective of the Programme is to reduce poverty by increasing consumption and promoting access to services and opportunities among the extreme poor and vulnerable. However, in order to realise this overall objective, the Programme has the following specific objectives. These specific objectives once achieved will automatically result in the achievement of the main objective.
- To improve basic household consumption and nutrition among children below 5 years of age, the aged (65 years and above without productive capacity) and people with severe disability;
- To increase access to health care services among children below 5 years of age, the aged (65 years and above without productive capacity) and people with severe disability;
- To increase basic school enrolment, attendance and retention of beneficiary children between 5 and 15 years of age;
- To facilitate access to complementary services (such as welfare, livelihoods and improvement of productive capacity) among beneficiary households.
The Programme provides social cash grants to the extremely poor and vulnerable households. The first criteria that is considered by the programme in selecting a household is extreme poverty. Once a household is confirmed to be extremely poor, the household must have at least one member who is either an orphan or a vulnerable child, an elderly person above 65 years without productive capacity, a disabled person with severe disabilities or an extremely poor and vulnerable pregnant woman. Extreme poverty according to the Ghana Living standards survey of the Ghana statistical Service is defined as the inability of a household to meet its daily nutritional requirements even if it devoted all of its income to consumption.
The LEAP Programme has increased its coverage of beneficiary households as well as geographical presence. In this regard, LEAP beneficiaries have increased from 1,654 households in 21 districts in 2008 to 213,044 households by September 2016 with the Programme now present in all the 216 districts of Ghana. The Programme started as a Unit of the Department of Social Welfare with two senior officials of the Department and one data entry clerk in November, 2007. The Programme has since realised an increase in staff from 3 to 33. These staff members are made up of 23 Government of Ghana permanent staff and 10 Technical Assistants (TAs).The TAs have been recruited by the Department for International Development (DFID) and the World Bank to support the Programme. In addition, the Programme receives temporary staff annually from the National Service Secretariat.