In Ghana, the Joint Principles for Adaptation (JPA) have been used both at local level and at government level to push for pro-poor adaptation: The Accra-based NGO, ABANTU for Development, has introduced the JPA to decision-makers both in government and in the local districts. “We ask officials at all levels to prioritize funding for climate change adaptation – and to include a gender perspective”, says Nafisatu Yussif, Advocacy and Networking officer with ABANTU.
ABANTU, who has been a SV-partner since 2014, advocates for a more transparent and gender sensitive approach in the allocation of funds for climate change adaptation. ABANTU holds that the gap between formulating policies on adaptation and to the actual implementation and funding is still too wide and unclear: it is not a simple issue to ensure equitable and effective adaptation policies.
“Vulnerable communities are affected badly by climate change, and we need more transparency to ensure that the funding reaches those who need it most”, says Nafisatu Yussif. ABANTU advocates for a more inclusive planning in climate change adaptation, and welcome the JPA as a tool to engage with key ministries and the local level through district officials.
Following are examples of how ABANTU is working on a 1) government and 2) district level:
1: Government level - the allocation of climate funds
The Government of Ghana allocates budgetary support to initiatives mainstreaming climate change issues into development plans. However, funds are not released on time. On the contrary, funds are often spent on other activities, downgrading initiatives on climate change and adaptation.
ABANTU and the use of the JPA:
Advocating for a more transparent funding-mechanism, ABANTU presented the JPA to the agency responsible for the implementation of the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, the Ministry of Environment Science and Technology and Innovation (MESTI): the Ministry found the JPA useful and requested copies for own usage. Additionally, ABANTU is hopeful that adaptation initiatives at the district level will be tracked by the CSO ‘Gender Action on Climate Change for Equality and Sustainability’ (GACCES) and other CSOs in the specific communities – an important step towards holding the government accountable to their budgetary support.
2: District level - developing implementation plans on adaptation
On a district level, the political heads responsible for the development of the implementation of the strategy had very limited knowledge on climate change and adaptation. This was the key learning ABANTU found during a capacity-development in the Greater Accra and the Volta regions.
The outcome is that the district planners are unable to factor climate change into infrastructural designs and budgets – hampering effective climate change adaptation and resilience.
ABANTU and the use of the JPA:
The planning officers felt inundated with too many tools and frameworks by various actors for different elements within the Assemblies’ plans. However, they found the JPA more useful as a tool to integrate key elements of responsive programming, and will therefore be more comfortable using the JPA in all their planning processes – but also to hold themselves accountable to the communities and constituents they represent.
ABANTU and GACCES
ABANTU’s main advocacy objective is to influence the Ghana National Climate Change Strategy (NCCAS) to incorporate a code of good practice for national adaptation planning and implementation to ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable to climate change are addressed. ABANTU advocates for women’s rights and inclusion in decision-making processes in relation to climate change. Also, ABANTU is hosting the coalition of organisation and activists who work on gender and climate change: Gender Action on Climate Change for Equality and Sustainability (GACCES). Together, ABANTU and GACCES had the opportunity to add inputs to the implementation strategy of the NCCAS specifically to the focus area related to gender.
With support from SVA, ABANTU and GACCES are jointly implementing the project called: “Campaign on Transparency and Gender Sensitivity in Adaptation Fund Allocation”. The project advocates for the use of the Joint Principles on Adaptation to enhance adaptation planning and implementation in Ghana. See more on ABANTU
ABANTU puts special emphasis on the following JPA principles:
1. Public funds for adaptation are utilised efficiently and managed transparently and with integrity
2. The resilience of groups who are most vulnerable to climate change is promoted