Advances in Applied Sociology

Volume 7, Issue 1 (January 2017)

ISSN Print: 2165-4328   ISSN Online: 2165-4336

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Define “Social Exclusion”, Articulate Realistic Benchmarks and Evaluation Modalities for the Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty Program, Ghana

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DOI: 10.4236/aasoci.2017.71002    1,525 Downloads   2,362 Views   Citations
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ABSTRACT

The Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty, a “flagship” program of Ghana, has been praised as a Sub-Saharan Africa’s “miracle cure” for poverty alleviation because it gives US$4.00 - 6.00 a month to a single beneficiary household. In any other regions of the world, the paltry sum would not be praiseworthy. This paper reviewed the literature on the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty program to identify the reported gains by beneficiaries. Using government’s own publication on LEAP, the author sought to determine evidence of exclusion of the extreme poor, and to find if the alleged gains under LEAP have improved the social inclusion and functionings of the beneficiary households by reducing the alleged social exclusion, chronic poverty and deprivation or by improving social solidarity and equal opportunities for the beneficiaries. Internet search of pertinent literature was conducted, with hand searching of grey literature produced by the Ghana Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and others on the matter. The pertinent papers that addressed the research questions were read and briefed for analyses. The published literature reveals that the program has not significantly improved the capabilities, functionings and being of beneficiaries, though there is a plethora of anecdotal reportage about improvements in their lives. In rural Ghana poverty is not the basis for social exclusion, though disability is. The loose eligibility criteria reward undeserving recipients of LEAP. The government of Ghana and its development partners need to conduct monitoring and evaluation exercise of the program to assess the contributions, if any. They also need to have a working definition of social exclusion, social isolation and solidarity in order to identify the types of exclusions that should inform policy and intervention. There is an urgent need to redesign the program, rearticulate the eligibility criteria and to set clear pathways for capacity building of the beneficiary household leaders towards productive activities.

Cite this paper

Norman, I. (2017) Define “Social Exclusion”, Articulate Realistic Benchmarks and Evaluation Modalities for the Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty Program, Ghana. Advances in Applied Sociology, 7, 16-34. doi: 10.4236/aasoci.2017.71002.

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