Public Policy Advocacy
Caritas Ghana is expanding the frontiers of its work to influence public policy which will leverage opportunities for vulnerable and excluded groups and individuals in line with the Catholic Social Teaching. Caritas Ghana is doing this through strategic dialogue meetings with key state and non-state agencies like the Parliament of Ghana, Government Ministries and decentralized agencies, Office of the President, and National and Local Civil Society Organizations. The philosophy behind Caritas Ghana’s Public Policy Advocacy work is that a well thought through policy that involves citizens and civil society in implementation is one of the surest ways to improving policy delivery, weeding out corruption and addressing the needs of the poor with urgency and efficiency.
Caritas Ghana’s advocacy and livelihood projects are grounded on sound research recommendations. Caritas Ghana uses participatory social research tools to collect data on issues of education, health, governance, elections, etc. Caritas Ghana carries out these research using local community structures like youth groups, women groups, Persons with Disabilities, Traditional authority and the decentralized government agencies. The outcome of Caritas Ghana Social Research work is usually a monitoring report that is used to dialogue with government based on the findings of the research.
The provision of relief services to affected victims of war, flood and other disasters is very central to the work of Caritas Ghana. Presently, the National Catholic Secretariat in partnership with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees is providing relief services to refugees displaced into Ghana as a result of conflicts in neighboring countries. Caritas Ghana also provides relief services to affected victims of natural disasters through the use of the cash voucher system aimed at providing remedial solutions.
Education Services Delivery and Advocacy
Caritas Ghana believes in the holistic development of the human person. This justifies why the Catholic Church in Ghana has invested heavily in education infrastructure across the length and breadth of the Country. The Catholic Church is the leader in the provision of educational services after the Government of Ghana. It has built and run educational institutions from Kindergarten to the university level. Caritas Ghana has also picked up education campaigns as part of an advocacy plan aimed towards improving education delivery in Ghana. We piloted peer-learning on best practices in education which resulted in a publication “A Compendium of some best Practices in Education: Education Managers’ Peer Learning Experience”. (Available on www.caritas-ghana.org).
Health Service Delivery and Advocacy
Caritas Ghana through the National Catholic Health Service is providing supervisory oversight responsibilities for clinics and hospitals that are owned and managed by the Catholic Church. The National Catholic Health Service as one of the leading private health care providers carries out health related research to find lasting solutions to community problems. The Department of Human Development (Caritas Ghana) also carried out a participatory monitoring of Ghana’s Public Health Act (Act 851) in selected District Assemblies in the three Regions of Northern Ghana. The result of the participatory monitoring is a research report titled “Making Ghana’s Public Health Act work for all”. (Available on www.caritas-ghana.org)
Caritas Ghana focuses on stabilizing and promoting existing livelihoods portfolio of the poor through its three pillars:
- ‘Vulnerability reduction’ and ‘livelihoods enhancement’ through deepening/enhancing and expanding existing livelihoods options and tapping new opportunities in farm and non-farm sectors;
- ‘Employment’ – building skills for the job market; and
- ‘Enterprises’ – nurturing self-employed and entrepreneurs (for micro-enterprises).
Caritas Ghana has carried out work around these three pillars at the Diocesan level with direct support to vulnerable groups like the youth, women, farmers, Persons with Disabilities, etc. Caritas Ghana will expand the frontiers of its work in these three thematic areas through partnerships and joint initiatives with like-minded organizations.
Institutional Development and Capacity Strengthening (IDCS)
Caritas Ghana subscribes to and strives to meet the global Caritas Confederation Management Standards (see www.caritas.org). We conduct periodic self-assessment and submit to the mandatory external assessment conducted by Caritas Internationalis on its Member Organizations. The outcome of each assessment is the development of Improvement Plan (IP) that is implemented to enhance our organizational effectiveness. We seek accompaniment from both local and external partners, to promote our Institutional development, learning and Partnership building. The Caritas Confederation Partnership Principles, Humanitarian Standards and Risk Management (www.caritas.org) inform and guide our Partnerships.