Advocating recognition and redistribution in poverty alleviation programs in Ghana : an examination of state and NGO programs and policies
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Abstract This thesis argues that poverty alleviation strategies and programs carried out by the government and Non Governmental Organizations in Ghana provide affirmative solutions to poverty. This is because, these intervention strategies have been influenced by conventional discourses on poverty that fail to adequately address non-economic issues of poverty such as powerlessness, marginalization and tmder-representation. The study is carried out in a two-pronged manner; first, it analyses state policies and strategies, particularly the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS), on poverty alleviation and compares these to NGO programs, implemented with funds and support from external donor organizations. Specifically, I focus on how NGOs and the governnlent of Ghana negotiate autonomy and financial dependency with their funding donor-partners and how these affect their policies and programs. Findings from this study reveal that while external influences dominate poverty alleviation policies and strategies, NGOs and the government of Ghana exercise varying degrees of agency in navigating these issues. In particular, NGOs have been able to adapt their programs to the changing needs of donor markets, and are also actively engaged in re-orienting poverty back to the political domain through advocacy campaigns. Overall, rural communities in Ghana depend on charitable NGOs for the provision of essential social services, while the Ghanaian government depends on international donor assistance for its development projects.