Skip to main content


Poverty is global problem that is shared by every country – developed or underdeveloped. Even though the eighties and the nineties were periods of increasing wealth because of the development of new technologies, the gap between rich and poor has grown wider, and the actual numbers of people living in poverty increased (The PANOS Institute, 2002). The number of people living in poverty is alarming, for instance in 1998, statistics show that 1.2 billion people still lived on less than a dollar a day, and 2.8 billion on less than two (The PANOS Institute, 2002). The poverty situation in developed countries is almost as worse as that of the underdeveloped countries. In the United States alone, the number of Americans living in poverty increased by 1.1 million to 37 million in 2004, up from 35.9 million in 2003 (Reed, 2005). In Australia the rates were significantly lower, but nonetheless still high. There is a consensus that the numbers of Australians living in poverty generally ranges from 2 to 3.5 million (Mission Australia, 2004).


            If the rates are high in developed countries, just imagine the situation in underdeveloped countries. One of the worst examples of poverty was the situation in Ghana. Ghana is a country in Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Cote d'Ivoire and Togo, with a total area of 239,460 sq km and a population rate of 22,409,572 (CIA World Factbook, 2006). Over the past ten years, this country has experienced growing and deepening poverty. Five out of ten regions in Ghana had more than 40% of their population living in poverty in 1999 (International Monetary Fund, 2003). However, Ghana saw improvements upon the introduction and implementation of poverty reduction strategies. Poverty levels have declined by 7% from 42% in 1997 to 35% in 2003. The country also experiences a consistent GDP growth rate annually from 1997 up to the current year (National Development Planning Commission, 2005).  It was reported that Ghana achieved macroeconomic stability in 2004 through the implementation of poverty reduction programs such as: reduction and restructuring of domestic debt, improvement in public expenditure management, improvement in fiscal resource mobilization, the pursuance of price and exchange rate stability, and the creation of a more diversified financial sector (National Development Planning Commission, 2005). 





The aim of the study is to investigate descriptively several poverty strategies of Ghana and explore specific lessons, strategies and opportunities. Ghana has five pillars of poverty reduction strategy, which includes: macroeconomic stability; production and employment; human resource development; special programs for the vulnerable and excluded; and governance (Staffs of the International Development Association and IMF, 2003). This is almost similar with the four pillar poverty reduction strategies of Australia, which are simply: growth; accountability; productivity; and vulnerability (The Australian Government's Overseas Aid Program, 2001). Because of how these strategies alleviate Ghana's economy, there are definite lessons that can be learned and strategies to be unveiled. Furthermore, the success of such strategies can help pinpoint future opportunities for Ghana and other developing countries around the world.


            The following are the objectives of this study:



1.                  To know the Five Pillar poverty reduction strategies that the government of Ghana implemented.

2.                  To determine the challenges that the central and local government of Ghana experienced in the implementation of the strategies.

3.                  To find out what they have learned, specifically how the strategies can be implemented better, their effects, or pros and cons.

4.                  To find out the opportunities that Ghana can take advantage of from the strategies they implemented.

5.                  To contribute to the study of poverty reduction strategies, to help develop an effective poverty reduction framework that all countries around the world can use.





            Poverty can be defined by its many dimensions, involving: lack of money for current needs; lack of education; inadequate housing and clothing; unsafe living conditions; limited access to medical care; and unsatisfactory social life (Shorris, 2000). These are just some the few general examples that people living in poverty in Ghana experience daily. People struggle to survive and to live a quality life, but the responsibility is not theirs alone – it is also the responsibilities of the government leaders. To counter poverty, the leaders implemented poverty reduction policies, which fortunately have positive effects on the overall condition of Ghana. As mentioned earlier, this resulted in a considerable poverty decline over the years. However, poverty reduction policies are not easy to implement as there may be barriers to their effective implementation. Determining the specific challenges that the government of Ghana faced and currently face in the implementation of poverty reduction strategies will be helpful making the implementation of such strategies easier in the future, as proponents will be able to anticipate potential barriers. This is basically a chance to assess the lessons learned by the government, to ensure that past mistakes will not be repeated, and past victories will be followed as an example.


            By determining the past mistakes, difficulties and victories of the implementation will help shape a framework of opportunities for Ghana and for other underdeveloped countries in Africa and the rest of world. This topic will basically tap into broader development issues such as education, health care, labor and employment among others.




          The research strategy that will be used for this study is exploratory. This approach is a preferred mean of finding out "what is happening to seek new insights" or "to ask questions or to assess phenomena in a new light" (Saunders et al, 2003; Robson, 2002). This study will use the principal ways of conducting exploratory research, which include: literature search; talking to experts about the subject; and conducting focus group interview.


            This study will have three key steps. The first step is to conduct descriptive information about the poverty reduction strategies of Ghana, specifically the particular strategies used for the five pillars and the underlying steps within them –what factors are involved and how they are implemented.


The second step is to look deeper. Local officials and department heads will be interviewed about the challenges they experienced among the way. The barriers and difficulties of implementing poverty reduction strategies is hoped to be revealed. This will be done by focus group interviews on local government heads and staffs, as well as literature review.


Finally, the third step is the analysis of the study. The analysis will be based on a brief review of the nature and causes of poverty and how seriously typical poverty reduction programs tackle these underlying causes. It will also be based on the practical requirements for effective poverty reduction projects and the reasons why so many projects fail. Furthermore, it will highlight the social and institutional traps that typically undermine poverty reduction efforts and to recognise the essential ingredients for effective projects. The study will be purely qualitative and will not include statistical tests.




Popular posts from this blog

Sample Research Proposal on Internet Banking Services

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE Internet banking refers to the utilization of the Internet for performing transactions and payments by accessing a bank's secure website.It also pertains to the application of financial services and markets through the use of electronic communication and computation(Humphrey et al. 2004).The developments can be subdivided into two main areas. The first is the impact of Internet banking on financial services. Most economists perceive that the existence of the Internet and other electronic communication processes has significantly changed many aspects of the banking industry. A majority of the services normally provided by banks can already be provided by other financial entities (Jayaratne et al. 2001). The second main area is the major transformation that occurred on most financial markets. Nowadays, these no longer need to be related with a physical place. In effect, trading systems for foreign exchanges are gradually becoming global. All these change…

Sample Research Proposal on Smoking Among School Children

TITLE/Name of the proposal: Factors affecting smoking among school (9th &12th) grade in Oman: Smoking among school children 9thgrade to 12th grade in the sultanate of Oman 1-INTRODUCTION The age of smoking initiation has dropped over the past four decades. Since behaviors and attitudes adopted in late childhood or early adolescence predicts future smoking, it is important to understand the smoking and other risk-taking behaviors and attitudes of children aged 12 and younger. There supports the idea of early identification and targeting of children at high risk of smoking in middle school, possibly as early as grade seven. 2-AIM OF THE STUDY a- There is a need to amicably evaluate such knowledge, attitude as well as behavior of school children in Oman those in 9th and 12th grade and inform them with regards to the consequences of smoking mostly affecting their health conditions; b- There is utmost goal for describing substantial affective factors associated with the presence of smokin…


Introduction With more than 3 billion of the world's population living in cities, and accelerating urban expansion arising from globalization, population growth and migration, today's urban settings are redefining the field of public health. The complex dynamics of cities, with their concentration of the poorest and most vulnerable, pose an urgent challenge to the health community. While retaining fidelity to the core principles of disease prevention and control, major adjustments are needed in systems and approaches to effectively reach those with the greatest health risks within today's urban environment. Controlling and preventing HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other diseases are among the key global health priorities, particularly in poor urban settings. The challenge for infectious disease control in slums and informal settlements is not in identifying which interventions work, but rather ensuring that slum dwellers are captured in health statistics that define disease epi…