Employment-Intensive Investment in


Activities of the Employment Intensive Investment Programme in Ghana

Current EIIP Involvement

Ghana Social Opportunities Project

As a mitigating measure to address the trend of youth out-migration from the north to the south, the Government of Ghana launched a Labour Intensive Public Work (LIPW) programme in 2010 through the Ghana Social Opportunity Project (GSOP). It earmarked $56 million for the execution of the programme in 60 relatively poor districts in Ghana.

A key component of the GSOP is the Labour Intensive Public Works (LIPW). The objective of the LIPW is to provide targeted rural poor households access to local employment and income earning opportunities during agricultural off-seasons; protect households and communities against external shocks and; rehabilitate and improve productive and social infrastructure. In effect, the LIPW seeks to moderate the cyclical downturn in employment and reduce the infrastructural deficit in the beneficiary communities. This policy is an integral part of the national socio-economic development agenda. The major subprojects of the LIPW include rehabilitation and maintenance of rural feeder and access roads, rehabilitation of small dams and dugouts, climate change management interventions such as re-afforestation or tree planting on communal lands, and land conservation works for catchment protection. Although the LIPW project is national in coverage, the three northern regions form the areas of major interest with 29 out of the 49 beneficiary districts in the three northern regions. While the three northern regions make up about 18 per cent of the total population of Ghana, their national share of the poor is about 40 per cent (over 50 per cent when considering the whole Northern Savannah Zone).

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) was asked to provide assistance to the project through the formulation of a labour intensive works policy and through capacity building of project stakeholders involved in the LIPW Component. A partnership agreement was signed between GoG and ILO in 1st April 2011. ILO’s TA activities commenced in September 2011, 12 months after commencement of the GSOP.

The main aim of the Capacity Building (CB) component of GSOP is to create capacity at the national and local levels and implement the project in forty-nine (49) selected districts, thereby strengthening the Government’s decentralization programme to enable the strategy to be scaled-up nationwide. This was to be achieved through the following objectives: Strengthening Koforidua Training Centre’s (KTC) capacity to cater for the demand for training within the Project (GSOP); and Formulating a National Policy for Labour- Intensive Public Works (LIPW). 

Historical Information

The small contractor training programme of the Department of Feeder Roads has been an ongoing project since 1986. The programme has built up the Department's capacity to plan, manage and control labour-based feeder road improvement by small contractors. A pool of 93 contractors was trained in the effective execution of such work. By the end of 1995, these firms had rehabilitated more than 1,500 km of rural roads.
A World Bank supported ten-year National Feeder Road Rehabilitation and Maintenance Programme in Ghana aimed, inter alia, to maximize the use of available labour-based contractors for feeder road rehabilitation. It also includes elements of community-based maintenance and rural transportation pilot activities. The ILO assisted in the implementation of the training component of the programme through a Training Adviser working with the Department of Feeder Roads to structure the national training programme and to eventually establish an international course in Koforidua.

The University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, the Department of Feeder Roads and the ILO started a programme of collaboration in 1992. Activities under this collaboration included studies of labour-based contractors' performance by civil engineering students, technical quality studies of roads built by labour-based contractors and research work at postgraduate level. The ultimate objective of the collaboration programme was to incorporate labour-based road technology into the engineering courses at the University. The University has also served as the African Universities Network coordinator.