posted by: Justice Atiim on July 19, 2019

The Board of Trustees and staff at RAINS are preparing to finalize a strategic document outlining priorities and focus areas that the organization plans to work towards over the next three years. Representatives from key stakeholders like the Ghana Education Service, the Department of Gender, and the Department of Children, among others, attended a stakeholders consultative meeting to review the plan. The meeting was to enable RAINS to collect inputs from the stakeholders of RAINS into the strategic plan and build the necessary linkages relevant to support the implementation of the new plan. RAINS Executive Director Hardi Tijani says that these conversations are an integral part of the process. “It is quite critical for us to place the strategy within the context of the national priorities. The state departments, for instance, drive these priorities, so it was important for us to meet them in conversation.”

RAINS Project Officer for the INCOME Programme, Gloria W. Akugri, says that participation of various ministries and departments was valuable because of the insight they can provide about changes happening within the policy space at various levels, particularly education. “It is important to our planning, especially as to what we should expect within the next three years, in terms of policy direction. We are better able to determine risk factors for our development plans and allow room for change and flexibility because all that we do as an organization must be in sync with national policies.”

Other attendees included representatives from non-state actors and NGOs that operate alongside RAINS in northern Ghana. Tijani says that as a local NGO, RAINS’ strategies should be in-line with larger, shared goals of the region. Keeping the larger picture in-mind better allows the work of all NGOs operating in the north to be cooperative, complementary and capable of bringing about larger impacts.

The day included a presentation of RAINS’ Draft Strategic Plan priorities, which include promoting rights and social inclusion, promoting good governance and accountability, enhancing biodiversity and climate resilience, diversifying employment and livelihood options, and institutional strengthening and partnerships. Tijani says that stakeholders were able to offer important insights on these priorities and drew the attention of RAINS to emerging issues that RAINS projects may be able to place focus on. One such example of this is the rise in cyber-bullying among youth in Ghana, as access to mobile phones and the internet becomes more readily available.

Tijani anticipates that following the integration of feedback from the session to the strategic plan, the document should hopefully be approved by the Board of Trustees of RAINS by late August.