Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisah Djaba has disclosed that the LEAP program covers 112,367 households in the three Northern Regions. According to the minister, out of the 112,367 households, Upper West had 38,133, Upper East 31,061 and with the rest 43,173 recorded in the Northern Region.
The program currently covers 254 districts nationwide with 213,044 beneficiary households. Government through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has improved the flagship social intervention. Ms. Otiko Djaba said the new direction for the LEAP program is in accordance with government’s vision of building Ghana beyond aid. “The LEAP program is designed with the understanding that poverty and vulnerability are multi-dimensional and therefore requires inter-sectoral stakeholder collaboration in order to make meaningful and sustainable impacts on its beneficiaries.” She noted that the objective of the program is to reduce extreme poverty and promote human capital development among LEAP beneficiaries through increased collaboration and linkages with other social services.
However, the Gender Minister, craved the indulgence of the various MMDCEs in the three Northern regions to encourage and support the Ghana Health Service Directorate in their respective assemblies to collaborate with the ministry through the LEAP programme to attend to the health needs of LEAP beneficiaries. She made this known during a one-day sensitization workshop for MMDCEs and MMDCDs from the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions held in Tamale.
The Northern Regional Minister, Salifu Sa-eed said, the LEAP program, since its inception, has chalked many successes in the three Northern regions by way of increased enrollment in schools, attendance and retention among children of LEAP households, improvement in health care service delivery for LEAP households which has increased NHIS coverage from 28% in 2010 to 52% in 2016. He added that, in spite of all the achievements chalked by the program, it has its own challenges.
Mr. Salifu Sa-eed indicated that, there are lots of misconceptions surrounding the program with some people speculating that the program is making people lazy and that less than half of the extremely poor population is covered under the program. He, therefore, urged all MMDCEs and MMDCDs to consolidate their success and help improve and propel the LEAP program to a higher pedestal. “It is important for all MMDCEs to work closely with stakeholders to address the challenges of the program.”
SOURCE: DAILY GUIDE PAGE 15, GHANAWEB.COM
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has held a day’s sensitization workshop for stakeholders to equip them on the operations and processes of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) Programme to enhance its implementation.
The workshop was also to enhance collaboration and transparency in the implementation of the LEAP Programme, which is designed to reduce poverty in the country. It was attended by Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and their Coordinating Directors (MMDCDs) from the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.
Madam Otiko Afisah Djaba, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, who opened the workshop in Tamale, said the LEAP Programme had undergone significant improvement and required further improvement adding “LEAP cannot continue to be only a hand-out but a hand-up to beneficiary households.”
The LEAP Programme began in 2008 and it targets orphans and vulnerable children, persons with severe disability without productive capacity, the elderly 65 years and above without source of support and extremely poor pregnant women with infants under one year. The Programme currently covers all districts in the country with 213,044 beneficiary households, which translates to about 937,904 individuals, where a one-member household, two-member household, three-member household and four or more-member household received GHc64, GHc76, GHc88 and GHc106 cash transfers bi-monthly in that order.
Madam Afisah Djaba said the government was restructuring the LEAP Programme adding “The new direction will seek to make the programme better and its impact sustainable on beneficiary households.” Mr. Salifu Saeed, Northern Regional Minister urged all MMDCEs and MMDCDs to consolidate efforts and take the LEAP Programme to greater heights. Mr. Mohammed Hashmin, Dean of MMDCEs in the Northern Region pledged the support of the MMDCEs and MMDCDs in the regions to the implementation of the LEAP Programme to ensure success.
SOURCE: GNA, MODERNGHANA.COM
The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection Madam Otiko Afisah Djaba, has revealed that government’s free SHS is a significant tool to eradicate poverty in Ghana thereby contributing to improved livelihoods among Ghanaians.
She said this today April 4, 2018, during a one-day sensitization workshop for MMDCEs in the three regions of the north held in the Northern Regional capital, Tamale. The event was organized by the Secretariat of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) program. The Minister explained that, education is crucial in the fight towards poverty eradication thus the free senior high school is keen in achieving this objective. Madam Otiko mentioned that, poverty is not for Ghanaians but rather a disease to Ghanaians which needs to be eliminated and for that matter the introduction of the LEAP program. She said, the program currently has over 213,044 beneficiary households across the 254 districts in the country which translates into about 937,904 individual beneficiaries.
The Gender Minister underscored the need to support the LEAP program saying, the new direction of the LEAP program is in accordance to the vision of President Nana Addo and his government to build a Ghana beyond aid. In a related development, the Northern Regional Minister Hon Salifu Saeed has implored all MMDCEs to consolidate their successes and take the LEAP program to a greater height by working closely with stakeholders of the program to address the challenges faced by the program. Hon. Salifu Saeed recounted the importance of the sensitization workshop stating that it would enable MMDCEs to acquire the relevant knowledge and skills on the LEAD program. “As MMDCEs you need to possess knowledge and skills on LEAP program and have clarity of their roles and responsibilities in order to be able to discharge your duties towards a successful implementation of the LEAP program in your respective areas” He urged.
The Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) Programme since its inception in 2008 has been positively improving the conditions and life paths of its beneficiary household members, extreme poor and vulnerable persons in Ghana.
This month marks the 52nd Cycle LEAP Grant Payment of the Programme. The 52nd Cycle payment is scheduled for (Monday) 22nd to (Friday) 26th January 2018. This payment is for the months of November and December, 2017. At the pay points or banking halls in all the 216 Metropolitan/Municipal/District Assemblies (MMDAs), recipients undergo biometric verification to cash-out the grant.
One eligible member household receives GHC64.00, two eligible member household receives GHC76.00, while three eligible member household receives GHC88.00 and four and more eligible member household receives GHC106.00.
Beneficiaries are reminded not to give any portions of their cash grants to persons outside the household. They are also encouraged to report persons who try to extort monies from them by using the appropriate LEAP Programme Case Management Mechanisms.
We wish to thank our stakeholders/partners (DFID, World Bank, UNICEF, Civil Societies, and the Media) and the general public for their continued support towards the implementation and sustainability of the LEAP Programme.
Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) is a social protection intervention of the Government of Ghana with the aim of reducing extreme poverty by increasing consumption and nutrition, as well as promoting access to social services and opportunities among the extreme poor and vulnerable in the Ghana. As part of efforts to promote social accountability, human rights and active citizenship among beneficiary households, the LEAP Programme has developed a Beneficiary Charter of Rights and Responsibilities. The Charter outlines the rights and responsibilities of beneficiary household members and service providers. This is in recognition of the fact that often the rights of the extremely poor and vulnerable are prone to violation in the course asserting their rights and during service delivery. In view of the actual or potential abuse or violations of rights of especially LEAP households, the LEAP beneficiary rights and responsibilities Charter has been developed to guarantee and safeguard their rights. As LEAP households will be empowered to assert their rights; the Charter also reminds them of their responsibilities. To sensitize beneficiary households and other stakeholders on the Charter, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have been contracted to this assignment.
The engagement of CSOs for the sensitization is intended to enhance the independence and credibility of the sensitization processes. It is for this reason that the LEAP Management Secretariat organized a Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop for District Social Welfare Officers (DSWOs) and the CSOs across the country. The ToT workshops were organized simultaneously in four centres across the country on the 28th December 2018 – Tamale, Obuasi, Larteh and Mankessim. These centres were based on the zoning of the regions into: Northern (Upper East, Upper West & Northern Regions); Middle (Brong Ahafo & Ashanti Regions) South-West (Greater Accra, Western & Central) and South-East (Eastern, Volta & Central Regions). Additionally, the workshop provided participants especially the CSOs a thorough overview of the LEAP Programme including its targeting and enrolment procedures and Payment mechanisms.
The LEAP Programme since its inception in 2008 has been positively changing the life paths of many marginalized persons in Ghana.
This month marks The 50th Cycle LEAP payment, scheduled for 25th – 29th September 2017. During this period, beneficiary households will receive their cash grants in the 216 MMDAs (Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies)
One eligible member household will receive GHC64.00, two eligible member household will receive GHC76.00, while three eligible member household will receive GHC88.00 and four and more eligible member household will receive GHC106.00. These payments cover the months of July and August, 2017.
Beneficiaries are once again reminded not to give any portions of their cash grants to persons outside the household. they are also encouraged to report persons that try to extort monies from them using the LEAP Programme Case Management Mechanisms and systems or call the LEAP Management Secretariat on 0303969700
We wish to thank our stakeholders (Civil Societies, The Media, DFID World Bank, Unicef) and the general public for the continued support towards the implementation and sustainability of the LEAP Programme.
The LEAP Management Secretariat (LMS) trained selected DSWOs and CCPHs on a Revised Case Management Manual from 27-29th August 2017. Case Management deals with the grievances, claims, complaints and other issues of programme beneficiary household member information update from LEAP beneficiary households, and from other stakeholders of the LEAP programme. The essence of Case Management is to protect the rights and interest of beneficiary households and quality assurance of the programme.
The objectives of the training workshop were:
- To clarify roles & responsibilities of stakeholders on case management.
- Build consensus and solicit support of stakeholders for the programme’s effective implementation.
- Have a shared understanding of Case Management processes and build capacity of key stakeholders for case resolution.
- Build capacity of DSWOs to complete case and updates forms appropriately.
In attendance at the Training Workshop was HON. OTIKO AFISAH DJABA, MINISTER OF GENDER, CHILDREN AND SOCIAL PROTECTION. The honourable Minister encouraged participants to work harder to improve the lives of the extreme poor and vulnerable in Ghana. She also announce the refocusing of the programme into a “new LEAP”. The honourable Minister called the new LEAP programme, “CASH PLUS”. Cash plus is about productive inclusion of LEAP households to build their capacities for comfortable exit from the programme after two years of benefiting.
In 2008, Ghana launched its flagship Social Protection Programme, the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP). LEAP is a cash transfer programme for the poorest families in Ghana to reduce poverty and enhance long term human development. In this 49th cycle LEAP payment scheduled for 31st July– 4th August, 2017, a total number of 213,044 beneficiary households in all the 216 districts of the country will be paid their LEAP cash grants.
What is the goal of the LEAP Programme.
The goal of the LEAP Programme is to reduce poverty by increasing consumption and promoting access to services and opportunities among the extremely poor and vulnerable.
All members of LEAP households are afforded with some complimentary services aimed at further reducing their financial burden and elevating them from a status of marginalisation. The LEAP Management Secretariat (LMS) believes that the cash grant alone cannot address extreme poverty rather there is the need to adopt a holistic approach, which involves coordination with other Governmental and non-Governmental pro poor organizations. To facilitate the complimentary health care services afforded to members of LEAP households, the LEAP Management Secretariat (LMS) in partnership with National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has embarked on a nationwide free NHIS registration exercise. To date over 90,000 LEAP household members have been registered free-of- charge onto the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).The free NHIS registration factored into the LEAP Programme ensures that members of the LEAP households receive better healthcare and another chance to live healthier and more fulfilled lives
Impact of the LEAP Programme on beneficiaries
The LEAP Programme is making impact on the lives of its target group. An independent research conducted by Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), a leading civil society organization, between 2014 and 2015, indicates that LEAP contributed to 12% increase in school enrollment of children of school going age. Other findings from the research include: children in LEAP households are more motivated to attend school; Improved access to health care through NHIS for LEAP beneficiaries, 65% of LEAP households reported an increase in food security for their children, 62% of beneficiaries are able to purchase fertilizers and 63% of LEAP households have invested their accumulated grants savings into economic activities in their communities.
The findings from the CDD research also corroborated the 2012 findings from the impact assessment conducted by ISSER and North Carolina University of USA in 2012.
The LEAP Programme was also rated an ‘A+’ by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) in their 2016 annual review. DfID is one of the Development Partners that is supporting the Programme in terms of grants and Non-Grants Assistance. By this rating, the programme is deemed to be performing very well toward the achievement of its overall objective
Key actions that the LEAP Programme is carrying out during this month especially with regards to the payments?
- The LEAP Programme will pay 213,044 beneficiary households in all the 216 districts in the country from 31st July – 4th August, 2017 Representatives of the ministry and other Key institutions will be monitoring the payment process. The monitoring exercise is conducted as a means of assessing the impact and progress of the LEAP payment, as well as the services of the Payments Service Providers; this is done to identify challenges and problems which are addressed in subsequent payments.
- MoGCSP through the LEAP programme also aims at improving beneficiary knowledge on Preventive Health Practices, placing emphasis on healthy eating habits. Studies have shown a correlation between good eating habits, a healthy body and a longer life span. In line with this, the MoGCSP has issued a directive to include Nutritionists/health workers to the beneficiary sensitization process before payments is conducted
- Again in preparation for the upcoming payment cycle, DSWOs across the nation were taken through a series of training on how to set up a pay points in their various district.DSWOs were encouraged to make sure they had all pay point satisfying the following criteria;neat/decent environment, structure with roof,table for PFIs to conduct cash out, sitting arrangement for beneficiaries and anything required to make the place convenient. Among other issues that were discussed during the training included how to mobilize beneficiaries, mode of payments, payment service providers and the roles of MMDAs in the payment Process.
The Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) Programme of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) will commence its 45th cycle payment from 21st to 25th November, 2016. A total of 212,919 beneficiary households in all the 216 districts of the country will be paid their LEAP grants. During the payments, one eligible member household will receive GHC64.00, two eligible member household will receive GHC76.00, while three eligible member household will receive GHC88.00 and four and more eligible member household will receive GHC106.00. These payments cover the months of September and October 2016.
The 45th cycle payment also includes 192 households from ‘Alleged Witches Camps’ in Gushiegu (Northern Region), the Tamale Children’s Home (Northern Region), the Bekwai Central Destitute Infirmary (Ashanti Region) and the Mampong Babies Home (Ashanti Region). The rest are the Ankaful Leprosarium in the Central Region, Osu Children’s Home in Greater Accra and St Joseph Orphanage at Jirapa in Upper West Region. Beneficiaries of these “institutions’ are special social category who benefit from the LEAP Programme by automatic inclusion. The inclusion of the specialised category as LEAP beneficiaries is in line with the Programme’s objective to reduce the plight of the vulnerable and marginalized in the society.
All the beneficiaries of the LEAP Programme will be paid electronically on the e-zwich platform provided by Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) through Participating Financial Institutions (PFI’s). The e-zwich payment platform requires biometric fingerprint verification of beneficiaries for payment to be effected. Thus, LEAP Programme operates on the principle that “without biometric verification there will be no grant cash-out or payment” to beneficiaries households.
To facilitate the access to health care services, LEAP Programme beneficiaries are participating in a nationwide National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) registration exercise. The registration exercise is currently ongoing. To date a total of 91,118 LEAP household members have been registered free-of- charge onto NHIS. The registration exercise is expected to end by 21st December 2016.
In building a resilient social protection system of the MoGCSP there is the need to equally support people who find themselves in situations of shock induced by floods, rain and wind storms among others. This form of support is captioned “Emergency LEAP” by the MoGCSP. Emergency LEAP is therefore a temporary cash grant which is provided to people who have been affected by social, environmental and natural disasters. The cash grant serves as support to assist them to cope with the impact of the disasters and thereby stabilize them. Persons/households who are Emergency LEAP beneficiaries receive the cash grant for a brief period usually three (3) months.
Four (4) districts namely Bawku West, Bongo, Builsa South and Talensi of the Upper East Region were affected by rainstorms and floods. The MoGCSP through the LEAP programme supported a total of 2984 affected persons from these four districts under Emergency LEAP.
The first payment which covered the months of September and October 2016 was paid to these affected persons, with each beneficiary receiving Two Hundred Ghana Cedis (GHC 200.00) for two months.
The final and second payment to these Emergency LEAP beneficiaries is scheduled for 28th November – 1st December 2016.
The LEAP Programme wishes to use this opportunity to thank all of its stakeholders – Metropolitan/Municipal/District Assemblies (MMDAs), UNICEF, Department for International Development (DfID), and the World Bank for their continuous support to the LEAP. Management and staff of the LEAP Programme and the MoGCSP are also inspired and challenged to do better by a grade ‘A+’ rating on performance by United Kingdom’s DfID in its 2016 annual review of the LEAP Programme. As a Secretariat under the MoGCSP, we wish to salute the Honourable Minister Nana Oye Lithur and her gallant staff of the MoGCSP for their hard work and the distinguished leadership provided to the LEAP Programme.
LEAP PROGRAMME SECRETARIAT,
MINISTRY OF GENDER CHILDREN
AND SOCIAL PROTECTION, ACCRA.