copy the linklink copied!4. Approaches in Ghana to increased coherence in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction

This chapter presents national and sub-national approaches to policy development and implementation on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in Ghana. It outlines the policy context and governance arrangements for these two policy agendas, approaches to implementation of the policies, financing, and monitoring and evaluation. The chapter also provides dedicated discussion on the approaches in the agriculture sector and those in urban areas. The role of developing co-operation in supporting domestic efforts to manage climate risks and build resilience is also outlined. Drawing on these insights, the chapter highlights ways forward on how the government and development co-operation can facilitate greater coherence in efforts to build resilience to climate and disaster risks.


copy the linklink copied!Summary and ways forward

With climate change, Ghana is projected to see average annual temperatures increase by between 1.7°C and 3.6°C by 2080, which is likely to cause more intense and frequent climate-related disasters. Efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions have therefore been complemented by a strong focus on both climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk management (DRM1). Governance arrangements in Ghana facilitate coherence between CCA and DRM across ministries and agencies. The decentralised governance system, however, places the responsibility for implementing CCA and DRM on local authorities. The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) provide their support to local authorities in formulating their Medium-term Development Plans well placed to bridge the gap between national planning for CCA and DRM and local implementation. However, in the absence of a joint CCA and DRM policy, attention is skewed towards CCA where domestic awareness of the changing risks (e.g. drought, floods and sea level rise) is growing and national participation in international climate processes is high.

Ways forward to enhance coherence in CCA and DRM in Ghana

Government officials in Ghana interviewed for this study recognised the value of greater coherence in CCA and DRM. To translate this into action on the ground, an important first step will be to strengthen institutional capacities at the sector and sub-national levels to better understand the climate and disaster risks, but also to see planning through to implementation (e.g. identify and prioritise CCA and DRM options, conduct budget estimates to mobilise funding, and learn from implementation, guided by data and information).

Different government institutions have been instrumental in enhancing the quality of climate-related data and information, but there remains scope to further expand coverage and to ensure that the data and information is available to inform CCA and DRM policy processes. A more centralised approach, such as the Climate Change Data Hub developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to collecting and disseminating data and information could enhance accessibility and possibly also use.

Domestic financing mechanisms can guide the mainstreaming of CCA and DRM into budget processes. Yet, budget limitations still constrain implementation of CCA and DRM, rendering it in many cases dependent on support from development co-operation.

There remains room to further enhance coherence between CCA and DRM across all levels of government, and in doing so, to strengthen the coherence between the two policy areas. In taking this agenda forward, actionable ways forward include:

  • Leverage the attention given to CCA at the national level to better understand the broader risk landscape and identify synergies in policy planning and implementation;

  • Encourage greater enforcement of existing legal standards and regulations (e.g. land-use management and urban planning policies) as a basis for CCA and DRM. Particular attention may be given to ministries and agencies with a presence at the local level and responsible for of CCA and DRM measures;

  • Expand the coverage of existing weather data (e.g. data to improve the quality of climate forecasts), enhance the timeliness of information, and inform the monitoring of the effects of disasters (financial and non-financial), building on recent progress made by various government institutions;

  • Adjust the guidance developed by NDPC in support of the integration of climate commitments into local plans to include a complementary focus on DRM to ensure that both CCA and DRR are factored into local development plans.

  • Revisit the National Urban Policy that precedes the 2015 international agreements to include a complementary focus on DRM to the current focus on CCA.

  • Mainstream priority actions identified in the Climate-Smart Agriculture Plan into broader policies for the agriculture sector development in a way that strengthens coherence between DRM and CCA and improves farmers’ resilience to negative impacts of climate change and natural hazards.

  • Broaden the current focus of DRM on response, to also include preparedness and prevention. This is also where the potential synergies with CCA are greatest.

  • Complement the Climate Finance Tracking Tools with similar budget codes for DRM to support policy makers in identifying opportunities for coherent public investments in CCA and DRM.

  • Review mechanisms in place to monitor and evaluate CCA and DRM to ensure that they support efforts to assess whether the approach taken to CCA and DRM is the right one, is efficient, or if adjustments in either the focus or approach are required.

Ways forward for development partners

  • Aligned with the domestic approach to CCA and DRM, ensure that support provided facilitates coherence between the two policy areas.

  • Support sub-national assemblies in developing their capacity to assess and manage the impact of climate change and disaster risks in light of medium-term development plans at the local level.

  • In addition to pilot programmes, consider providing continuous exposure and training that can better capacitate local practitioners to enhance climate resilience on the ground.

copy the linklink copied!Ghana profile

Climate change and risks

Ghana has a tropical climate that includes a rainy and a dry season. Annual average temperature has increased by around 1.0°C since 1960, and monthly rainfall has decreased by 2.4% (De Pinto et al., 2012[1]). Average annual temperature is projected to increase by between 1.7°C and 3.7°C by 2080, with northern inland areas experiencing the largest impact (Murken et al., 2019[2]). Future precipitation trends are highly uncertain, with either no change or a slight decline in mean annual precipitation projected for the country as a whole, with both dry and wet periods becoming more extreme (Murken et al., 2019[2]).

Risks arising from climate variability and change affect all regions and sectors. In fact, over 80% of disasters in Ghana are considered climate-related (MESTI, 2015[3]). With climate change, the frequency and intensity of extreme events such as floods, drought and wildfires is projected to increase, with impacts manifested extensively in the agriculture, water resources, health and fisheries sectors (MESTI, 2015[3]). With increasing frequency and intensity of extreme events, vulnerability to both climate and broader risks increases.

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Box 4.1. Socioeconomic overview of Ghana

Ghana is a unitary democratic republic divided into 10 administrative regional units, with the plan to add an additional six in 2019. The units are organised into three types of assemblies: Metropolitan (six), Municipal (56) and District (154) (MMDAs), each headed by a Chief Executive. Ghana has undergone a comprehensive decentralisation process since the 1980s aimed to deliver the national objectives of democracy, development and effective delivery of municipal services. This has positioned MMDAs as the highest political, legislating, budgeting and planning authority at sub-national levels.

Ghana spans an area of 239,000 km2 crossing four ecological zones: Coastal Savannah, High Forest, Transition, Guinea and Sudan Savannah. It borders Cote d’Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east and Gulf of Guinea to the south with a coastline of 539 kilometres (CIA, 2019[4]). Over half of the population that exceeds 28 million resides in urban areas along the coast. While the rate of urbanisation over time has decreased, the share of Ghana’s urban population continues to grow (CIA, 2019[4]).

Ghana is endowed with rich natural resources, with top exports including gold, petroleum, cocoa and nuts (Simoe, 2019[5]). Agriculture also plays a major role in the Ghanaian economy, accounting for over 20% of GDP and half of the active labour force in 2018 (AfDB, 2019[6]). Since the early 1990s, Ghana has experienced rapid economic growth that peaked in 2011 at a real GDP growth rate of 14%, largely due to high commodity prices and the discovery of offshore oil (AfDB, 2019[6]; CIA, 2019[4]). This decreased to just under 4% in 2015 when low oil prices reduced half of the country’s revenue in the sector (AfDB, 2019[6]). Growth, in real terms, has since picked up to nearly 6% in 2017 and 8.5% in 2018 (AfDB, 2019[6]).

Consultations with local communities that informed the development of the national climate change policy (NCCP) revealed that the perceived and felt impacts (social, economic and physical) of climate risks vary across Ghana’s four ecological zones (MESTI, 2013[7]). The majority of identified high-level risks are linked to either too much, too little or erratic rainfall. The risk of soil erosion is considered extremely high in the Coastal Savannah, while the risk of sea-level rise is considered high. Other extreme or high-level risks include dry spells, flooding and rising temperatures in the Guinea and Sudan Savannah, and crop failures in the Transition zone.

Similarly, Ghana’s National Disaster Management Plan identifies six categories of disaster hazards that inform domestic prevention and response measures. One category is composed of hydrometeorological hazards,2 grouped into five disaster types as summarised in Table 4.1. While the focus and categorisation of the risks and disaster types identified in the context of climate change and disaster management are not directly comparable, Table 4.1 unpacks some of the risks identified in the context of climate.

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Table 4.1. Geographical distribution of hydrometeorological disasters in Ghana

Disaster type

Areas of occurrence

Period of occurrence


Rainfall – runoff floods

Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, Northern & Volta Regions Upper East & Upper West Regions

May – July & September – November

Man-made floods

(Dam-burst spillage)

Greater Accra, Northern, Upper East, Upper West & Volta Regions

January - December

Tidal waves

Central, Greater Accra, Volta & Western Regions

August - October

Rain/wind storm

Central, Eastern, Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Mid/Northern Volta & Western Regions

March – May

June - August


Greater Accra, Northern, Upper East, Upper West & Volta Regions

November – April & May – October (when the rains fail)

Source: (NADMO, 2010[8]).

Objective and outline

This chapter presents national and sub-national approaches to policy development and implementation on CCA and DRM in Ghana. It also explores the extent to which they build resilience to climate-related risks by leveraging coherent and mutually reinforcing approaches. Drawing on these insights, the chapter offers ways forward for how national governments and development partners can facilitate greater coherence in efforts to build resilience to climate-related risks.

The following section reviews the policy context and governance arrangements for CCA and DRM in Ghana, the institutional mechanisms in place, approaches to implementation, financing, and monitoring and evaluation. The approach by the agriculture sector is then highlighted, followed by an examination of approaches in urban areas. Finally, the role of developing co-operation in supporting domestic efforts to manage climate risks and build resilience is outlined.

copy the linklink copied!National approaches to CCA and DRM

Policy context and governance arrangements for CCA and DRM

Ghana became a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1995. Upon ratification, Ghana committed to pursue co-ordinated actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to limit the adverse impacts from climate change on the most vulnerable people, while advancing national economic development. Ghana has also committed to implement the Sendai Framework (2015–2030), following the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005-2015), both developed under the auspices of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).

Policy development for CCA and DRM at the national level is governed by different ministries and agencies. The Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) are the key actors in mainstreaming CCA and, to a lesser extent, DRM into the country’s development agenda. The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) that operates under the Ministry of Interior is responsible for the management of disaster risks and similar emergencies, as well as for rehabilitation after disasters (Government of Ghana, 1996[9]). NADMO functions under a National Secretariat, 10 Regional Secretariats, 243 MMDA Secretariats and more than 900 zonal offices throughout the country3 (NADMO, n.d.[10]).

Governance arrangement

Ghana has put in place institutional arrangements that contribute to policy coherence between CCA and DRM across different ministries, departments and agencies as well as between national and sub-national governments (Figure 4.1.). MESTI and EPA on the one hand are responsible for development and implementation of policies and programmes on climate change. They also co-ordinate with relevant international partners and other ministries as well as sub-national assemblies (MESTI, 2015[11]). NADMO, on the other hand, has the mandate to manage disaster risks by co-ordinating the resources of government institutions and non-governmental agencies, and by developing the capacity of communities to respond effectively to disasters and to improve their livelihoods (NADMO, n.d.[10]). In response to increasing costs of emergency relief operations and contraction of donor funding, NADMO is shifting its emphasis from emergency response to prevention (Korah and Cobbinah, 2019[12]).

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Figure 4.1. Overview of Ghana’s governance arrangement for implementation of CCA and DRM policies
Figure 4.1. Overview of Ghana’s governance arrangement for implementation of CCA and DRM policies

Note: DRM: Disaster Risk Management, EPA: Environment Protection Agency, GMet: Ghana Meteorological Agency, GSSTI: Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute, MESTI: Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, MoF: Ministry of Finance, NADMO: National Disaster Management Organisation, NCCC: National Climate Change Committee, NDPC: National Development Planning Commission

Source: Authors

One example of governance arrangements in support of coherence between CCA and DRM is the co-ordination between EPA and NADMO. This co-ordination, for instance, contributed to the development of the Ghana Plan of Action on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation (NADMO, 2011[13]) and the National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) (Korah and Cobbinah, 2019[12]). NADMO’s Climate Change / Disaster Risk Reduction (CC/DRR) Department takes the lead in reducing vulnerability related to climate change and disasters as well as other economic, social and environmental challenges that are associated with disasters (NADMO, 2019[14]). More specific functions of the DD/DRR Department include:

  • Formulation, implementation and evaluation of CCA and DRR programmes at all levels within NADMO;

  • Collection and sharing of information on CCA and DRR within NADMO and other stakeholders;

  • Liaison with relevant actors to mainstream CCA and DRR into plans, programmes and policies, as well as assistance with the implementation of UN protocols that relate to CCA and DRR;

  • Education and enhancement of capacity for the implementation of CCA and DRR actions at national, regional and district levels.

Under Ghana’s NCCP detailed below, NADMO holds the main responsibility for implementing several programme areas, which are particularly relevant to disaster risk management. These include the climate proofing of key existing infrastructure, the protection of coastal resources and communities, rapid response and disaster management and promotion of early warning systems (MESTI, 2015[3]).

Other ministries, departments and agencies also have dedicated units in charge of climate change:

  • The Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Unit at the Ministry of Finance is mandated to oversee, co-ordinate and manage financing of, and support to, climate change and green economy activities in Ghana. The Unit oversees the process of climate and green budgeting that promotes transparency and accountability in international and domestic public finance. The Unit is also responsible for tracking climate-related finance disbursed by development co-operation providers to ministries, other public agencies and sub-national assemblies to be reported to the UNFCCC. In so doing, the Ministry of Finance has developed multiple guidelines such as the Climate Change Project Prioritization Tool and Guidelines, and the Climate Change Finance Tracking Tools (Ministry of Finance, n.d.[15]). The Ministry also acts as Ghana’s National Designated Authority to the Green Climate Fund.

  • The Environment and Climate Change Unit at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) is responsible for the co-ordination, implementation, dissemination and capacity development for climate action in the agriculture sector. At the national level, MoFA co-ordinates with MESTI, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) and development co-operation providers. It also co-ordinates with the Departments of Agriculture of MMDAs at the local level, as well as with the Regional Co-ordination Councils at the regional level.

NDPC co-ordinates through its statutory function the development planning system at the national as well as the sub-national level. At the national level, NDPC works in close collaboration with ministries, departments and agencies to ensure that climate change is well integrated into all planning and budget processes. NPDC also supports local governments through the budget hearing and policy hearing processes. All MMDAs are required to elaborate climate policy statements and plans in order to receive budget allocation. NDPC shares responsibility with MLDRG and the Ministry of Finance for supporting MMDAs.

The National Climate Change Committee that supervised the development of the National Climate Change Policy Action Programme 2015–2020 and subsequently oversees its implementation is another example of governance structure in support of coherence in CCA and DRM (MESTI, 2015[3]). The Committee, meeting twice a year, consists of representatives of various government and non-governmental institutions including: MESTI, the Ministry of Finance, NDPC, MoFA, other sector ministries as well as civil society organisations and bilateral and multilateral development co-operation partners.

Policy context

Mandated by key policy frameworks, Ghana has taken a mainstreamed approach to CCA and DRM (MESTI, 2015[3]) (NADMO, 2011[13]). This aims to ensure that CCA and DRM policies are embedded in the broader goals of the country’s sustainable development. Both CCA and DRM are featured in Ghana’s Co-ordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies (2017-2024) and the President’s mid-term development vision. The Programme highlights several policy areas that directly or indirectly link to CCA and DRM without explicitly calling for greater coherence between the two. Examples include water management, drainage and flood control, land administration and management, and human settlements and housing (Government of Ghana, 2017[16]).

NCCP is the main policy document for climate change in Ghana (MESTI, 2015[3]). It was produced by MESTI under the guidance of the National Climate Change Committee. It aims to provide a pathway towards 2020 for addressing challenges caused by climate change, highlighting increasing temperature, rainfall variability and sea-level rise as key drivers for the country’s vulnerability. NCCP consists of three phases: an analysis of status quo, the development of a master plan with specific actions and the development of operational plans by sector ministries and MMDAs for mainstreaming (MESTI, 2015[3]).

The 10 policy areas of the NCCP (summarised in Table 4.2) were selected given the possible synergies with other policy domains, a positive indication for the potential for coherence with DRM. Certain measures are also directly linked to disaster risk reduction and management. For instance, the focus on climate-resilient infrastructure aims to ensure that design standards, relevant building codes and spatial planning include parameters related to climate change and variability, and reflect future scenarios. Similarly, NADMO is identified as the lead in developing hazard monitoring and early warning systems with a sound scientific and technological basis in order to increase resilience of vulnerable communities to climate-related risks (MESTI, 2015[3]).

The National Climate Change Policy Master Pan 2015-2020 provides specific information on the actions and associated costs for each of the 10 policy areas of the NCCP (e.g. objectives, individual actions, lead ministries and agencies). While it is commendable that the Master Plan includes detailed cost estimates for the individual action areas, some stakeholders interviewed for this study expressed their concerns that this costing in some cases was done under considerable time pressure with limited human capacity.

The EPA in partnership with NDPC developed in 2018 the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Framework. The Framework outlines the country’s expected approach to the NAP process, articulates the country’s vision of climate change adaptation with the objective of ensuring that the process is aligned with existing policies, strategies and programmes (EPA, 2018[17]). The framework proposes a sectoral approach to adaptation planning in Ghana. Building on the NAP Framework, the government is developing a sectoral adaptation plan for infrastructure (water, transport and energy) identified as a priority in the Framework. A complementary plan focused on private sector engagement is also underway, with both expected to be finalised in early 2020. In parallel, EPA has organised a series of awareness-raising workshops with different stakeholders, including parliamentarians, sub-national governance stakeholders and the media.

On disaster risk management, Ghana adopted the National Disaster Management Plan in 2010, which refers to climate change as an integral part of the disaster management model for Ghana (NADMO, 2010[8]). The Plan was developed to support NADMO to achieve its mandate of ensuring that disasters in whatever form are properly managed. The plan consists of seven key components, some of which are relevant to climate change adaptation (see Table 4.2).

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Table 4.2. Policy frameworks on climate change adaptation and disaster risk management in Ghana




National legislation

Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies


Enacted by



To provide the President’s comprehensive vision for the mid-term economic and social development of Ghana, including the following policy areas related to CCA and DRM:

Key elements

climate variability and change

disaster management

water for development

drainage and flood control

water and sanitation

land administration and management

human settlements and housing

Points of convergence

Several actions in the programme are linked directly or indirectly to CCA and DRM, but the programme does not explicitly call for enhanced policy coherence.

National frameworks

National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) and Master Pan (2015-2020)

National Disaster Management Plan (published in 2010)

Lead institution

MESTI (with support from EPA)



To set out the initiatives and programmes identified in NCCP

To guide NADMO in achieving its mandate of ensuring that disasters in whatever form are properly managed

Key elements

10 priority areas:

climate-resilient agriculture and food security

climate-resilient infrastructure

resilience of vulnerable communities

management and resilience of terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems

human health

reduction of climate risks on water and sanitation

gender issues in climate change

climate change and migration

Seven key components:

disaster hazard mapping

education, training and research

emergency responses and relief management

rehabilitation, resettlement and reconstruction

monitoring and evaluation


disaster risk management system

Points of convergence

NCCP contains programme areas explicitly linked to disaster risk management while the National Disaster Management Plan sees climate change as an integral part of the disaster management model for Ghana.

National action plans

National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (adopted in 2012)

National Drought Management Plan (as of November 2019, this was still a draft but it is included for illustrative purposes since there is no DRM action plan)


To enhance Ghana’s current and future development to climate change impacts by strengthening its adaptive capacity and building resilience of the society and ecosystems.

To set out ex-ante and ex-post drought management activities

Key elements

vulnerability assessment

objectives and strategies

priority policy responses such as: early warning systems, alternative livelihoods, research and awareness raising, environmental sanitation, agriculture, healthcare, energy system

response measures to droughts

capacity building


education and awareness raising

institutionalising better drought management approaches over time

Points of convergence

Unclear until the National Drought Management Plan is finalised and published.

Source: Author’s own

While coherence in the governance arrangement and policy frameworks for CCA and DRM has improved, the implementation of necessary policy actions remains a challenge, especially for local stakeholders in MMDAs. As the subsequent sections illustrate, coherence on the ground still faces gaps in data, information, awareness, funding, and institutional and personal capacities among MMDAs as well as in some sector ministries and agencies.

Data and information

Representatives from both policy and scientific communities consulted for this study emphasised the focus on and demand for evidence-based CCA and DRM policies (EPA, 2018[17]) (MESTI, 2019[18]). The Ghana Meteorological Services Agency (GMet) plays a critical role in providing climate and meteorological data and information in Ghana. GMet has its own Climate Research Unit that is responsible for conducting analytical work on, for instance, climate variability and change, seasonal forecasting, climate services, climate information, drought and floods alerts (GMet, n.d.[19]).

Using meteorological data from GMet, the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute (GSSTI) also provides policy makers with climate and risk-related information. This includes the institute’s involvement in climate scenario development and vulnerability assessment for the country’s National Communications (NCs). Ghana’s third NC (NC3) published in 2015, simulates and downscales data on rainfall and temperature obtained from 22 synoptic stations deployed across the country, which results in nine scenarios for each of the stations (Government of Ghana, 2015[20]).

Ghana’s Water Resources Commission, NADMO, GMet, EPA among others, collaborated with the World Bank to put in place a flood forecasting system for the White Volta River with technical and financial support from the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). This system is based on extensive river gauge and meteorological data, along with historical data to identify flood-prone areas. The hazard assessment covered the genesis of the flooding of the White Volta, the mapping of flood hazards and the effectiveness of structural and non-structural measures to reduce flood impacts. This assessment led to a flood forecasting system launched in 2012 with a three-day lead time (World Bank, 2013[21]).

While the quality and coverage of data and information have steadily improved in Ghana, there remains significant room for improvement in further supporting evidence-based decision-making. For instance, lack of near real-time information and insufficient quality of climate forecasts still prevents the development of effective early warning systems (DHI, 2018[22]) (see Box 4.2 for an example of an early warning pilot). Historical information on losses and damages caused by natural hazards and different types of weather data is not readily available, and in many cases, the information is scattered among different sources (GIZ and MCII, 2019[23]). Fees required to obtain climate-related information from GMet may also discourage some ministries, public agencies and private entities from using this information. Complementary hardware and infrastructure for producing climate-related information, such as satellite receiving stations, computers and online platforms for dissemination of climate information, has also not yet been sufficiently deployed or maintained when in place.

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Box 4.2. Example of development co-operation in support of early warning in Ghana

GMet provides NADMO daily weather forecasts to inform early warning signals. NADMO, in collaboration with UNDP and with funding support from the Government of Norway, implemented in 2013 the Community Resilience through Early Warning (CREW) project. The project aims to provide an integrated early warning system (EWS) to communities for climate risks that is both scientific and people-centred. Through the implementation of hazard mapping, early warning and vulnerability assessment and reduction, the project will contribute towards:

  • A reduction of economic and human losses and damages from priority disasters;

  • Establishment of effective early warning and communication for priority hazards to reduce disaster risk.

The initiative was piloted in five rural and five urban areas. Outcomes include:

  • Hazard mapping: e.g. multi-hazard EWS and EWS Master Plan for Ghana, floods and droughts, hazards, vulnerability and risk maps at current (2010) and future scenarios (2050) for the entire country;

  • The installation of technical equipment: e.g. early warning communication equipment at NADMO headquarters and in 20 subnational offices, and of seven automated weather stations;

  • Software: e.g. an expert system that calculates forecasts and presents relevant data, a dashboard that visualises specific warnings and flood hazard information;

  • Capacity development: e.g. 30 young professionals from NADMO, Water Resource Commission and Hydrological Service Department trained in conducting risk assessment, updating risks maps and effective EWS operations;

  • Broader development benefits: e.g. a 25-meter footbridge in Accra, and a 20-acre irrigation facility in Lawra District of the Upper West region.

An assessment of the initiative, however, finds that the implementation of the software has faced challenges due to the lack of technical capacity of the staff operating it, and that the initiative as a whole has suffered from a weak institutional framework and the need for improved inter-sector policy implementation.

Source: (Cobbinah et al., 2019[24]) (UNDP, 2012[25]) (UNDP, n.d.[26]).

To ensure that data informs policy and decision-making processes, it must be accessible to a diverse set of stakeholders. Training sessions provided through a collaboration between GMet, GSSTI and MoFA that aimed to sensitise farmers on data use provides an encouraging example. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as mobile phones, radios and internet-based applications can also help users access climate-related information and translate it into the planning and implementation of CCA and DRM measures in Ghana (International Telecommunication Union, 2012[27]). Examples include the initiative Farmradio International that helps disseminate information, including climate-related information, to smallholder farmers in Ghana. A second initiative BLUETOWN provides internet connectivity to rural parts of Ghana via solar powered Wi-Fi hotspots. ICTs can also support the monitoring and evaluation of CCA and DRM actions (International Telecommunication Union, 2012[27]). Other notable examples include provision of weather related information by the Esko and a localised weather forecast mobile delivery service provided by Isak.

Satellite images are also a useful source of information for climate and disaster risk management in Ghana. There is, however, a perceived need for a more streamlined approach to collect and use this data more efficiently (UNDP, 2016[28]). For instance, multiple agencies separately purchase from commercial providers satellite images for the same area. GSSTI is developing a platform to obtain, store and disseminate such satellite images that government agencies can access free of cost, reducing both the barriers and the costs of using satellite data for CCA and DRM.

Other platforms also provide Ghanaian stakeholders with relevant data and information. For instance, GSSTI participates in the RainWatch-Africa initiative. This initiative provides free information on rainfall and temperature in nearly 20 areas in Ghana (and even more in other participating African countries). The data is available online with a readily usable graphics interface (RainWatch, n.d.[29]). This platform has the potential to be a useful tool for officials at the national government and in MMDAs, while the importance of additional financial support to broaden the geographic and temporal coverage is recognised.

Finally, the Climate Change Data Hub, established by EPA, aims to provide a portal to disseminate information on Ghana's actions to tackle climate change and the benefits thereof (e.g. a climate-related project pipeline, actions under the NDC, GHG inventories). It also contains information on relevant policy documents, such as the country’s NAP Framework (EPA, n.d.[30]). While the Hub as of June 2019 had mainly focused on the dissemination of data related to greenhouse gas emissions and climate finance, it aims in the future to also collect and disseminate information on issues related to CCA and DRM. The Hub has the potential to evolve into a consolidated platform that stores and provides primary and secondary climate and meteorological information, making it more accessible to policy makers as well as the broader public.

Implementing measures

The decentralised governance system in Ghana means that MMDAs play a crucial role in implementing CCA and DRM policies. This section examines the systems in place to support MMDAs in doing so, while discussion below provides concrete examples in the context of the agriculture sector and urban areas.

NDPC and MLGRD support MMDAs in formulating their Medium-term Development Plans (MTDPs). This includes a review of the extent to which climate change, including CCA, is considered. While MLGRD plays a key role in translating national level policies to local level planning, NDPC provides MMDAs with guidance and technical support to ensure that plans: i) conform to the national development framework and key thematic areas, ii) support the participation and representation of concerned actors and iii) create uniformity in the planning process across all districts in Ghana. With Ghana’s adoption of the Paris Agreement, this also includes guidance developed in close collaboration with a range of stakeholders such as MESTI, and with support from UNDP, on the integration of Ghana’s NDC into sectoral and local development plans (Government of Ghana, 2017[31]).

The guidelines provide a checklist that specifies that climate change mitigation and adaptation must be addressed in an integrated manner through MMDAs policy planning and implementation (Government of Ghana, 2017[31]). On adaptation, it identifies priority actions across six sectors: i) agriculture and food security, ii) sustainable forest resource management, iii) resilient infrastructure and built environment, iv) climate change health, v) water resources and vi) gender and the vulnerable. Across these sectors the overarching objective is to “increase climate resilience and decrease vulnerability for enhanced sustainable developed” (see Annex 4.B) (Government of Ghana, 2017, p. 14[31]).

Informed by guidance provided by NDPC, MTDPs outline the programmes, projects, activities and budgets for each MMDA. This puts NDPC in an important strategic position since MMDA’s budgets do not get released until their MTDPs have been verified by NDPC to be in compliance with domestic objectives, including on climate change, and signed off. While some indicators include an implicit consideration of DRM, interviews with NDPC officials for this study indicated that greater consideration of DRM commitments could be included in the NDC checklist.

As noted above, NADMO has established the CC/DRR Department to advance, among others, activities that address climate change and disaster risk reduction under the NCCP. While this is a positive direction towards policy coherence in CCA and DRM, NADMO still faces challenges in implementation. A draft implementation plan of Ghana’s NDC points out that NADMO should fully incorporate climate change activities into its structure by setting up climate change desks in all its regional and district offices, or by building staff capacity in these offices. Further, it suggests that the CC/DRR Department should establish a technical committee to support and guide its activities related to CCA and DRM. (MESTI, 2019[18]). Other ministries and departments have established similar climate units and desks, including the Energy Commission, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Forestry Commission and the Ministry of Finance.

Local capacity is key for ensuring that policies get translated into implementation. Important progress has been made in enhancing capacity at the national level to collect and use climate data and for this to inform national planning and reporting processes. The NCCP, however, notes the need for further capacity-building at the district level, where policy implementation takes place (MESTI, 2015[3]). This includes greater awareness of the NCCP, what it requires of the MMDAs and the associated resource needs (Asante et al., 2015[32]).

Financing mechanisms

While a range of financial mechanisms have been put in place for CCA and DRM in Ghana, funding remains a major barrier to implementation. This section first discusses public budgeting processes that have incorporated CCA and DRM considerations. Next, it outlines the budget allocation mechanism to sub-national assemblies. Finally, it discusses the current status and challenges in the introduction of disaster risk transfer mechanisms in Ghana.

Budgetary instruments and tracking

The Ministry of Finance oversees Ghana’s budgeting system called Programme Based Budgeting, a system considered effective in encouraging sector ministries and MMDAs to mainstream CCA into their budget planning processes. Ghanaian ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) as well as the MMDAs prepare their Budget Estimates annually. The Budget Estimates contain programmes and projects for which MDAs and MMDAs seek funding. These must be aligned with the national policy direction of the government. (Ministry of Finance, n.d.[33]).

The Programme Based Budgeting can facilitate coherence in CCA and DRM through its budget planning processes, especially for cross-cutting issues. Both CCA and DRM have dedicated budget codes, which MDAs and MMDAs are requested to report for related activities in their Budget Estimates. As illustrated in Table 4.3, the Climate Change Finance Tracking Tools, developed by the Ministry of Finance to support the preparation of the Budget Estimates, outline climate-relevant budget codes and the policy objectives associated to them. The tools also provide criteria on the degrees of relevance to climate objectives (high, medium or low) and their target (mitigation, adaptation or multifocal) (Ministry of Finance, 2016[34]).

While the Climate Finance Tracking Tools currently highlight only climate-related budget codes, they could also bring in DRM-related codes to identify areas where public funding can be allocated to enhance synergies between CCA and DRM. Based on the guidance in the Tools, Table 4.3. highlights the potential for enhancing linkages between CCA and DRM. Some policy objectives would directly link the two issues (e.g. reversing forest and land degradation) while others would do so more indirectly (e.g. natural resource management). For now, the integration of CCA and DRM on its own remains limited.

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Table 4.3. Climate-relevant budget codes and policy objectives

Budget Codes

Policy objectives

Degree of relevance to climate objectives1

Target1 1: Adaptation only, 2: Adaptation and Mitigation

Potential links with climate-related disaster risk management


Promote seeds and planting material development



Directly linked through enhancing resilience of agriculture sector to climate risks


Promote sustainable environment, land and water management



Directly linked through better land-use and water management measures


Ensure sustainable management of natural resources



Indirectly linked through better natural resource


Reduce loss of biodiversity



Indirectly linked through enhanced resilience of ecosystems that could help improve livelihoods of people living nearby


Reverse forest and land degradation



Directly linked through prevention of e.g. mudslides


Ensure sustainable use if wetlands and water resources



Directly linked through prevention of e.g. flooding


Enhance capacity to adapt to climate change impacts



Directly linked through enhanced capacity of citizens to manage negative impacts of climate change


Enhance capacity to mitigate and reduce natural disasters and reduce risk and vulnerability



The objective targets both DRM and CCA in itself.


Create efficient and effective transport system that meets user needs



Indirectly linked through enhanced resilience of transport systems to climate change and natural disasters


Promote proactive planning to prevent and mitigate disasters



The objective targets both DRM and CCA in itself.


Improve management of water resources



Directly linked through e.g. the management of damages from droughts


Ensure continued provision of life skills training and management for personal hygiene, fire safety, environment, sanitation and climate change



Directly linked through enhanced capacity of citizens to manage the negative impacts of climate change and natural disasters

Note: These indicators are specified in the Climate Change Finance Tracking Tools (Ministry of Finance, 2016[34])

Source: Authors’ elaboration based on (Ministry of Finance, 2016[34])

Dedicated funding mechanisms for local governments

The District Assemblies’ Common Fund (DACF) offers a mechanism for distributing financial resources from the central government to the sub-national level. A minimum of 5% of the national revenue is to be shared among all District Assemblies in Ghana with a formula approved by the Parliament. Of the budget allocated from DACF, all districts are mandated to set aside a certain amount for emergency response, while the percentage varies across districts, based on the available internal funds for a particular year and on the district assembly’s priority areas. (NADMO, 2012[35]). MLGRD, the Ministry of Finance as well as other MDAs are involved in the management of the DACF. Local assemblies consider the DACF to be a key source of finance for CCA and DRM, complementing scarce MMDAs funding to conduct capacity building, awareness raising and sensitisation (Korah and Cobbinah, 2019[12]). DACF has introduced an incentive mechanism for incorporating, among other policy domains, CCA and DRM into the budgeting at sub-national level as outlined below.

The District Assemblies Performance Assessment Tool (DPAT) from 2018 is used to evaluate the efficiency and accountability of the services provided by MMDAs so that those with satisfactory performance can be financially rewarded in accessing DACF (MLGRD, 2016[36]). The Performance Measures, which include a measure on “Environment and Climate Change”, determine each assembly’s share of the Performance Grant of the DACF, supported by donors, at present Switzerland and Germany. The Environment and Climate Change measure includes multiple indicators, for instance, whether more than 5% of the programmes and projects of the MMDA’s annual action plan focus specifically on climate change and disaster risk reduction measures (MLGRD, 2016[36]).

Despite efforts to mainstream CCA and DRM into budget allocation, financing remains an important barrier for implementation. The budget constraints are due to multiple factors including competing development priorities and a low level of awareness of climate and disaster risks by sector ministries and agencies as well as by the MMDAs (see section on the context of the agriculture sector below). Funding for CCA and DRM measures therefore tends to be largely driven by development co-operation providers and is often project-based. However, Ghana’s status as a middle-income country means that support from development providers will be limited, and as discussed below, the nature of this co-operation is set to change.

Limited budget allocation to disaster risk prevention and preparedness further impacts opportunities for creating coherence between CCA and DRM. The stakeholder consultation for this study revealed that budget allocations to disaster risk prevention and preparedness are more limited than those for response measures. Studies also point out that NADMO should shift from a primary focus on response to prevention through modernising its operations and collaborating with other stakeholders (Kranjac-Berisavljevic, Teye and Gandaa, 2019[37]).

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Box 4.3. UN Local Climate Adaptive Living (LoCAL) in Ghana

The Local Climate Adaptive Living (LoCAL) Facility of the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) contributes through the sub-national level to country achievement of the Paris Agreement and climate-related Sustainable Development Goals. It promotes climate change–resilient communities and local economies by establishing a standard, internationally recognised country-based mechanism to channel climate finance to local government authorities in developing countries. LoCAL increases climate change awareness and capacities at the local level, integrates climate change adaptation into local government planning and budgeting in a participatory and gender-sensitive manner and increases the financing available to local governments for climate change adaptation.

The UNCDF has since 2015 worked in Ghana to support MMDAs and communities in strengthening their climate resilience by increasing access to adaptation financing through performance-based climate resilience grants (PBCRG). Following the pilot phase, LoCAL is being scaled up to 13 MMDAs with support from the European Union as part of an integrated programme that is further strengthening climate resilience by including a complementary focus on socioeconomic developmental needs by, for example, establishing targets on local job creation, particularly in the green economy. A portion of the PBCRG are to be implemented by local government authorities through cash-for-work schemes, targeting in particular youth and women, and through procurement to local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Further, access to finance and skills development support to cash for work beneficiaries and the larger communities are integral components of the programme.

Source: (UNCDF, n.d.[38])

Disaster risk transfer instruments

Risk transfer instruments, such as sovereign disaster risk insurance and agricultural insurance products, address residual risks associated with climate change and disasters. The Ministry of Finance used to hold a contingency fund for disaster response. This fund, however, has since 2018 been incorporated into relevant ministries’ programme budgets, such as the Ministry of Interior under which NADMO is placed.

Ghana joined the African Risk Capacity (ARC) programme as a signatory in 2016, but the formalisation of Ghana’s participation in ARC is still under consideration by parliament. A decision has been delayed partly due to limited awareness among lawmakers on the role of sovereign climate and disaster risk finance and insurance, and hence limited willingness of paying the premium. Moreover, the ARC contingency plan has certain temporal and geographical limitations. The plan relates only to actions implemented within the first 120 days following the pay-out, and would thus not cover longer-term response and recovery. Further, only Ghana’s three northern regions would be covered (MCII & GIZ, 2019[39]).

Ghana has also introduced agriculture insurance products, especially for small and subsistent farmers vulnerable to drought risks. Introduction of crop insurance has been embedded in both the NCCP and the Climate Smart Agriculture Plan. The Ghana Insurers Association, in co-operation with MoFA, the Ministry of Finance and the National Insurance Commission and their development partners, launched the Ghana Agricultural Insurance Pool (GAIP) in 2011, which offers drought index insurance, multi-peril crop insurance, poultry insurance and area yield insurance (see (Ghana Agricultural Insurance Pool, n.d.[40]) for further information on the products). GAIP has continuously developed new insurance products to provide safety nets for farmers and to encourage them to invest more in their agriculture practices for higher yields and income. The up-take of these insurance products has nevertheless been limited, in part due to low financial literacy of the target group. Given the focus on subsistence farmers, the government may also need to subsidise some part of the insurance premium (Oppong Mensah et al., 2018[41]).

Monitoring, evaluation and learning

NDPC oversees the national monitoring and evaluation system in Ghana. Regulatory measures in place mandate every government implementing agency to monitor and evaluate their respective policies, programmes and projects, guided by national indicators, baselines and targets identified in the National Medium Term Policy Framework and in the Sector and District Planning Guidelines. Reporting across all sectors and levels of government informs the National Annual Progress Report. Despite this strategic cross-cutting role of NDPC, there is no convergence between the monitoring and evaluation of CCA and DRM.

As noted above, NDCP has issued guidelines to MMDAs for the preparation of their MTDPs, which includes a checklist for mainstreaming NDCs (see Annex 4b). This in turn ensures that climate issues are monitored and evaluated through standard NDCP processes in place. To date, a similar checklist has not been developed for DRM, although the NDC checklist does include related elements. A more explicit focus on DRM would provide a mechanism through which a focus on monitoring and evaluation of disaster risk management to a greater extent also could be ensured.

For CCA, the NDC, NCCP, NCCAS as well as the NAP Framework all include sections on monitoring and evaluation. Rather than proposing additional reporting frameworks, they each refer to the reporting frameworks already in place in support of the Annual Progress Reports. Further, the need for enhanced capacity to monitor changes in the climate as well as the impacts of these is emphasised. Ghana’s obligations under the UNFCCC to monitor, verify and report (MRV) international support received and the effectiveness of measures being implemented is also emphasised in the NCCP.

Finally, the NCCAS specifies that a monitoring and evaluation unit will be established within the National Climate Change Committee to oversee the monitoring and evaluation of the strategy (Government of Ghana, 2012[42]). This will be informed by existing systems in place. Further, it will put in place mechanisms to monitor the timely completion of the tasks outlined in the strategy for which resources will be allocated to ensure their effective use (against strategy baselines and core targets)4. Evaluations at mid-term and after the end of the strategy will assess its impact and determine the success or failure in its formulation and implementation. The NCCP refers to data gaps on disaster impacts monitored by NADMO, but beyond that, there is no explicit reference to potential synergies with the National Disaster Management Plan.

The National Disaster Management Plan also specifies that NDPC will oversee the monitoring progress at the national level and the Regional Disaster Management Committee at the Regional and District levels. The plan specifies that there will be periodic monitoring and evaluation to ensure consistency with national initiatives and government priorities. Key indicators identified primarily focus on activities or processes and include:

  • Measure the expected outcomes of the Plan.

  • Set benchmarks.

  • Measure the effectiveness of policies, strategies and programmes and inform policy development.

  • Identify Agencies and Departments accountable and responsible for each performance indicator.

  • Identify opportunities for improvement that lead to enhancement of the Disaster Management System.

In parallel, the Ministry of Finance publishes the consolidated Annual Budget Performance Report, an assessment of the implementation of the budget within a fiscal year (Government of Ghana, 2019[43]). The aim of these budget reports is to ensure transparency and accountability in the management of public resources. They provide valuable insights into the status of implementation of climate adaptation and risk management initiatives, but as such, do not necessarily provide opportunities for enhancing the coherence between the fields.

copy the linklink copied!Focus on the agriculture sector


The productivity of the agriculture sector is vulnerable to climate change and weather events (e.g. floods and droughts). Climate change is also expected to lead to substantial shifts in suitable crop types across the country (Murken et al., 2019[2]). Greater coherence in CCA and DRM could therefore make a significant contribution to Ghana’s agriculture productivity, as well as food security and human well-being. The northern region, for instance, is particularly vulnerable to droughts, which often leads to temporary and localised increases in food prices. In response to such droughts, a common response by the government has been to provide farming inputs for the next season through MoFA, and basic items such as blankets, mattresses and bottled water through NADMO.

The Ghanaian agriculture sector accounted for around 20% of GDP and half of the active labour force in 2018 (AfDB, 2019[6]). It is also the main source for livelihood of the country’s poorest population (World Bank, 2017[44]). The sector is dominated by smallholder subsistence farming with about 90% of farm holdings less than 2 hectares, contributing to 80% of total agricultural output. The agriculture sector has a large multiplier effect on employment, with the possibility of creating more than 750 jobs for every additional USD one million of output (World Bank, 2010[45]). Yams and sweet potatoes are mainly grown for subsistence farming, while cocoa, rubber and sugarcane are primarily grown for the export market. Facing a range of challenges, such as the fluctuating prices of agricultural products in the global market and the country's poorly developed transport infrastructure, the current president has launched an initiative called “One District One Factory” to attract private sector investment into rural agro-industry that would create greater value-added (Afriyie Akoto, 2018[46]).

Policy development and implementation

MoFA has been active in aligning CCA and DRM policies into sectoral policies for agriculture. In co-operation with EPA and with support of the Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security Programme, MoFA has developed the National Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Security Action Plan 2016-2020 (Climate-Smart Agriculture Plan). The overall goal of the Plan is to facilitate and operationalise the agriculture-related elements of the NCCP for effective integration of climate change into the policies and programmes of the food and agriculture sector (MOFA, 2015[47]). The programme areas, for example, focus on institutional capacity for research and development, climate-resilient cropping systems, livestock production, fisheries and aquaculture, water efficient irrigation, risk transfer, post-harvest management and marketing systems (MOFA, 2015[47]).

The Climate-Smart Agriculture Plan has a potential to enhance synergies between DRM and CCA in Ghana by enhancing farmers’ resilience to negative impacts of climate change. For instance, the Plan outlines several programme areas relevant to promoting coherence in CCA and DRM, such as: developing crop varieties and livestock breeds which are tolerant to flooding and droughts, diversifying land-use by and enhancing capacity of farmers to better cope with droughts and floods and designing fishery programmes that better integrate climatic and hydrological parameters. The Plan also highlights the importance of institutionalising weather-related risk transfer schemes, as well as the role of private sector actors through the entire agricultural value chain, namely micro, small, medium and large farmers and enterprises, as well as financial institutions. (MOFA, 2015[47]).

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Box 4.4. Climate-smart agriculture and agroforestry in Ghana

Climate-smart agriculture is also anchored in Ghana’s national strategy for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation 2016-2035 (Ghana REDD+ Strategy), despite the primary focus of the REDD+ Strategy on climate change mitigation (Forestry Commission, 2016[48]). The Forestry Commission of Ghana led the development of the Ghana REDD+ Strategy. The strategy highlights how climate-smart agriculture can contribute to improved land-use and socioeconomic development in the high forest zones and cocoa growing areas. (Forestry Commission, 2016[48]) Linked to the strategy, the Forestry Commission and the World Bank recently launched a new REDD+ project under the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. The project aims to support farmers and communities to increase cocoa production without expansion of cocoa farms into forest lands, and to secure more predictable income streams for communities. (World Bank, 2019[49]).

The Forestry Committee has also conducted agroforestry initiatives to promote plantation of trees and cocoa in the same areas. The Committee provides the seedlings to farmers in rural communities and then buys the regenerated seedlings to plant in vulnerable areas to implement, for instance, flood protection measures. The farmers are responsible for clearing the land, planting and successful regeneration of the seedlings, weeding and pruning of the trees. An evaluation finds that this initiative has increased the capacity of farmers to reduce their vulnerability to climate change by, for example, promoting equitable land sharing and free access to fertile lands within forest reserves for crop cultivation and subsequent commercial marketing (Kalame et al., 2011[50])

Actions by the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (IDA) presents another example of attempts to promote coherence between CCA and DRM. A review of initiatives by IDA reveals that while most initiative do not explicitly focus on CCA and DRM, many do in fact take climate change impacts into account, and in some cases also manage disaster risks. One of IDA’s main responsibilities is to “formulate, develop and implement irrigation and drainage plans for all year round agriculture production in Ghana”. This primarily entails identification of possible irrigation projects, and management and maintenance of irrigation schemes. While not explicitly reflected in IDA’s mandate, the expansion of small-scale irrigation development is identified as a priority in the NCCAP that includes a focus area on Climate-resilient Agriculture and Food Security Systems (MESTI, 2015[3]). While there is no equivalent reference to the specific role of irrigation in the National Disaster Management Plan, drought is recognised as a hydro-meteorological hazard (NADMO, 2010[8]). Box 4.5 summarises examples of IDA’s activities that indirectly take CCA and DRM into account.

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Box 4.5. Implementation of CCA and DRM by the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority

The One-village One-dam (1V1D) project

As President Akufo-Addo’s flagship programme, 1V1D commits to the construction of 570 community dams with the objective of making access to water available to small holder farmers all year round, particularly in the Northern, Upper-West and Upper-East Regions (Ministry Of Special Development Initiatives, 2018[51]). 1V1D project aims to improve food security and rural livelihoods, in turn reducing migration to the southern coastal areas. After some analytical work, the planning and construction of dams under the initiative now takes into account the projected impacts of climate change, leading to measures such as the construction of additional spillways, reinforcing the height or the length of the dams.

The Kpong Irrigation Scheme (KIS)

KIS is a 3 000-ha irrigation scheme and the largest public irrigation infrastructure in Ghana, supporting the cultivation of double cropped rice – i.e. rice cultivated during each of the two seasons - with the aim of enhancing food security and the competitiveness of Ghana’s agricultural sector (MOFA, 2019[52]). While climate change adaptation is not a priority of the project, it is noted that the proposed renovation and modernisation of the KIS will enhance the resilience of farmers and the local economy by providing a more resilient alternative to rain-fed agriculture given the year-round supply of water for farming (MOFA, 2019[52]). A challenge for stakeholders and engineers in planning the modernisation of the KIS is how to decide on the appropriate level of upgrade to the irrigation infrastructure given increasing intensities of rainfall which have already occurred or are projected for the future.

Dredging of river confluences

The dredging of certain river confluences in the northern region can also contribute to mitigating climate risks. The primary purpose of this project is to remove sediments within the river channel and train areas with slumped slopes. IDA considers that sedimentation and siltation of certain tributaries or small river channels impede free flows of water into main rivers (i.e. White and Black Volta rivers), hence exacerbate flood risks.


Despite progress made in policy development under the Climate-Smart Agriculture Plan, implementation remains partial. Insufficient funding was the biggest challenge identified by many stakeholders interviewed for this study. Limited public budget has been allocated for the implementation of the majority of the programme areas under the Action Plan, and there is little foresight on future budget allocation. Ghana’s public expenditure on agriculture has in general been declining over the past two decades, while public investment in the extractive industries and the domestic service sector has increased (World Bank, 2017[44]) (Aykut et al., 2017[53]). Public spending on agriculture as a percentage of the total spending was 5.3% in 2001, and decreased to 1.2% in 2014 (Aykut et al., 2017[53]). More than 60% of the budget the ministry is allocated is spent on operational costs, covering mainly the ministry’s day-to-day operations. Sectoral public investment projects tend to be modest, and development finance covers about 70% of funding for fixed capital formation in the agriculture sector (World Bank, 2017[44]). Public spending on agriculture may increase in the future. The government introduced in 2017 a five-year initiative “Planting for Food and Jobs” that aims to encourage all Ghanaians to take farming as a full time or part time activity through, for instance, subsidies for fertilisers and seeds as well as support in market access (MOFA, n.d.[54]).

Many actions under the programme areas of the Climate-Smart Agriculture Plan are conditional on development finance being available, rather than on domestic budget allocations. While the responsible ministries, mainly MoFA, appreciate the support of development co-operation partners, it was noted during the stakeholder consultations for this study that this support is not always aligned with the priorities, geographical coverage or timeframes of the Climate-Smart Agriculture Action Plan. Competing priorities between different policy domains within MoFA also inhibit budget allocation for the implementation of Climate-Smart Agriculture Plan. For instance, studies suggest that a significant part of public expenditure on agriculture is allocated to subsidies for agricultural input, especially for cocoa. The sustainability of these subsidy programmes is questioned, due to their rising costs and ineffective targeting mechanisms (World Bank, 2017[44]). A means-tested and well-targeted subsidy programme may be effective in addressing specific market failures in the agriculture sector. Instead, the current subsidy programmes constrain financial resources that could be used to support climate smart agriculture practices and potentially other measures aimed at strengthening the sector’s competitiveness (World Bank, 2017[44]) (Aykut et al., 2017[53]).

Apart from the funding gap, lack of awareness among local farmers of the climate risks and limited access to granular weather and climate-related information is also a significant challenge to the implementation of the Plan. Efforts by MESTI, EPA, GMet or GSSTI to provide better weather and climate data and information is an important enabler for farmers to adopt climate smart agriculture practices. Promoting the uptake of drought-resilient and fast-maturing crop varieties would help farmers to better adapt their production methods to an increasingly unpredictable climate (World Bank, 2017[44]) (World Bank, 2010[45]).

copy the linklink copied!Focus on urban resilience


Between 1984 and 2013, growth in urban areas outpaced that in non-urban areas, increasing from 31% to 51%; a number projected to increase to 65% by 2030 (World Bank, 2015[55]). Complemented with a period of political stability and rapid economic growth, urban centres became attractive for migrants. In turn, the reallocation of labour from subsistence farming to economic activities with higher economic returns was conducive for economic growth and contributed to reduction in poverty levels and improvements in human capital. High rates of urbanisation have also contributed to the expansion of informal housing, and inadequate supply of basic services has made city centres susceptible to natural and man-made disasters (e.g. floods, sea-level rise, fire, disease outbreaks and building collapse) (World Bank, 2017[56]). For the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA), risks are compounded by those related to its coastal location. Around 80% of GAMA’s 225 kilometres shoreline is at risk of erosion from sea level rise and a number of houses have already been consumed by coastal erosion (World Bank, 2017[56]).

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Box 4.5. The 2015 flood in Accra

In June 2015, Accra experienced the worst flood in recent history, affecting over 52,000 people, triggering an explosion at a gas station, resulting in 150 casualties and causing damages to housing and infrastructure (transport, water and sanitation) totalling USD 55 million, with rebuilding costs estimated at USD 105 million (World Bank, 2017[56]). While the flood followed a period of heavy rainfall, its impact was exacerbated by the nature of the city’s development, including inadequate enforcement of land use regulations and lack of maintenance of the drainage networks.

Policy development and implementation

Urban planning in Ghana has traditionally focused on economic development and on improved provision of basic social services. Much less focus has been on environmental issues, including climate change (Cobbinah et al., 2019[24]). The important role of urban areas in managing climate risks is nonetheless recognised in key policy documents. Examples include:

  • NDC: City-wide Resilient Infrastructure Planning is highlighted as one of seven adaptation policy actions, focusing on building standards for strategic infrastructure in housing, transport, coastal, waste management, telecommunication and energy (MESTI, 2015[11]).

  • NCCAS: Only one adaptation-related programme (Improved Drainage in Urban Areas) explicitly highlights the role of urban areas, but urban areas are a prominent focus in a few programmes and the role of urban planning in managing climate change impacts in cities is recognised (e.g. Build Capacity to Design Climate Resilient Infrastructure; Climate-resilient Sectoral and Local Development Planning; Flood Prevention Activities) (MESTI, 2015[3]).

MLGRD supports district assemblies in translating national policies to the local level. While the 2012 National Urban Policy was introduced before the adoption of the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework, it does include objectives focused on the environment and on climate change adaptation and mitigation (MLGRD, 2012[57]). No objective explicitly focuses on DRM, but it is indirectly reflected in some of the objectives, e.g. focused on urban safety and security, and on strengthening MMDA’s capacity for drainage planning, development and management, and flood disaster prevention, preparedness and management (MLGRD, 2012[57]). A select set of objectives (there are 12 in total) and corresponding initiatives are summarised in Table 4.4.

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Table 4.4. Policy objectives and initiatives of Ghana’s National Urban Policy Framework

Policy Objective

Examples of Initiative for implementation

1. Facilitate balanced re-distribution of the urban population

  • Ensure that existing and newly created centres adhere to best environmental and land management practices

4. Improve the environmental quality of urban life

  • Protect open spaces, green belts, forest reserves, water bodies, wetlands, water catchment areas and other ecologically sensitive areas from physical development and urban encroachment

  • Develop and implement a systematic programme of flood control measures in urban communities

  • Establish adequate measures against natural hazards in urban areas

  • Prepare and implement coastal management plans to effect coastal re-vegetation and erosion of denuded and neglected coastal towns

5. Ensure effective planning and management of urban growth and sprawl, especially of the primate cities and other large urban centres

  • Ensure adoption and implementation/enforcement of relevant recommendations from the Land Use Planning and Management Project (LUPMP) regarding legislation, development guidelines, planning standards, spatial development frameworks, structure plans, local plans and land use control

8. Promote urban safety and security

  • Incorporate specific security and disaster prevention and management mechanisms in urban planning and management

  • Strengthen emergency rapid response to disaster and emergency situations

9. Strengthen urban governance

  • Improve and enforce legislation and standards on urban development including the validation and adoption of those developed and recommended by the LUPMP

10. Promote climate change adaptation and mitigation mechanisms

  • Impose and enforce more effective coastal zone and wetlands management regulations

  • Strengthen the capacities of agencies that are charged with promoting environmental standards

  • Generate public awareness on climate change and litigation strategies through mass media educational campaigns

11. Strengthen applied research in urban and regional development

  • Develop an extended urban and regional information system to reinforce the land use planning and information system that is being developed by the LUPMP

Source: (MLGRD, 2012[57]), adjusted from (Cobbinah et al., 2019[24])

A 2019 review of the implementation of the National Urban Policy in Kumasi concludes that it has not contributed to any significant and meaningful planning outcomes on climate change. This is attributed to unclear policy objectives, absence of institutional mechanisms, including for financial resource mobilisation and inadequate human and technical capacity to facilitate effective implementation of the policy (Cobbinah et al., 2019[24]). Non-compliance with planning laws by developers, as well as local residents, also exacerbates the city’s exposure to climate change, while at the same time weakening resilience to climate risks. Similarly, financial resource constraints and weak institutional capacity has resulted in a limited focus on climate change-related matters in local policy development and implementation (Cobbinah et al., 2019[24]).

The Accra Resilience Strategy provides an example of an MMDA approach to resilience planning. Published in 2019 with support of the 100 Resilient Cities initiative – a global network that supports cities to become more resilient to a diverse set of physical, social and economic challenges – the strategy presents a roadmap for “a smart, sustainable, and resilient city that anticipates and plans for shocks, rather than reacts to them.” (AMA, 2019[58]). It is guided by a set of shocks (fires, floods, disease outbreaks, building collapse and earthquakes), and stresses (ageing infrastructure, poor waste management and sanitation, inefficient transportation system, high cost of living and proliferation of informal settlements). While the focus on flood risk is primarily considered an outcome of choked drains from improper waste management and inconsistent application of land use policies, the role of climate change in compounding shocks and stresses is recognised. The strategy is structured around three pillars, two of which include consideration of climate change and/or flood risk (AMA, 2019[58]) (see Table 4.5.).

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Table 4.5. Focus of climate change adaptation and disaster risk management in the Accra Resilience Strategy




Pillar 1: An Integrated Approach to Infrastructure Planning and Service Provision

A City that takes an integrated approach to infrastructure planning and service provision to account for changing climate patterns, economic trends and population growth.

1.2: Design and adapt infrastructure to maximise co-benefits and simultaneously address Accra’s flooding, waste, sanitation and climate challenges

4. Strengthen drain design and performance through an assessment of existing and proposed road and drainage infrastructure, incorporating meaningful community engagement

Pillar 2: Optimise New and Existing Resources with Accountability and Transparency

A City that optimises the use of new and existing resources to proactively serve citizens with greater accountability and transparency.

2.1 Improve the use of data for sound long-term integrated planning and reflective decision-making

13. Collaborate with the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR) on the development of the Accra Climate Strategy and Integrated Urban Environmental Sanitation Strategy and Master Plan

Pillar 3: embrace informality’s contribution to resilience building

A City that embraces informality in its urban systems to harness its contribution to resilience building.

No explicit focus

No explicit focus

Source: Authors own based on (AMA, 2019[58])

The strategy provides an important step in the right direction. However, limiting the focus of climate change to floods is a missed opportunity to respond to some of the underlying climate and disaster risk challenges. A 2017 study, undertaken by the MMDAs of the GAMA and relevant ministries, with support from the World Bank, provides a diagnostic of the root causes of the broader shocks and stresses not limited to climate change. It put forward four recommendations endorsed by MESTI and MLGRD (World Bank, 2017, pp. xxi-xxiii[56]):

  • Improve Metropolitan Planning and Co-ordination. Emphasis should be given to key factors for urban resilience such as land management, information systems, and provision of infrastructure.

  • Integrate Urban Flood and Coastal Zone Management. Quick wins include finalising the GAMA-wide Drainage and Flood Control Master Plan and updating existing plans for incorporation into current spatial development strategies and land use plans. In the medium- to long-term, drainage and flood control infrastructure and management systems should be improved.

  • Enhance Resilience in Vulnerable Communities. Identify vulnerable settlements so investments can be focused on the most exposed places. This information can feed into a comprehensive urban upgrading and redevelopment strategy, which needs to be integrated with local economic development initiatives and any existing development plans.

  • Improve Disaster Preparedness and Response to multi-hazards. Conduct comprehensive and detailed risk assessments in order to fulfil MMDAs’ mandate to plan, mainstream and implement evidence-based disaster and climate risk management actions.

In general, GAMA’s DRM focus has largely been on response measures. Less focus has been on addressing the underlying risks and enhancing local resilience to those risks. This makes the region susceptible to a wide range of risks, including those related to climate change. Lack of data is an underlying barrier, limiting the ability to clearly identify the risks and to determine priority areas for action, and subsequent implementation (World Bank, 2017[56]).


Dedicated funding mechanisms that include incentives for incorporating CCA and DRM into budget processes are in theory available to local governments. In practice, with decentralisation, the responsibility of funding local development priorities falls on MMDAs themselves, a responsibility that is not always matched by the capacities needed to generate revenues (Musah-Surugu, Ahenkan and Bawole, 2019[59]). Instead, many MMDAs, including urban centres such as Accra, have experienced budget deficits (AMA, 2019[58]). This is creating dependencies on financial support for CCA and DRM, both through central government transfers and from development partners (Musah-Surugu, Ahenkan and Bawole, 2019[59]).

Policy frameworks such as the NCCP and NDMP do not include legal requirements for integrating climate change in local government budgets, preventing the enforcements of such budget allocations as well as subsequent punitive sanctions for non-compliance (Musah-Surugu et al., 2018[60]). This leaves the explicit focus, as well as the integration of climate and disaster risk management, at the discretion of local governments. Despite this, a review of six MMDAs, including the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, found that the majority of adaptation-related expenditures also consider climate-related disaster management (Musah-Surugu et al., 2018[60]).

MMDAs have started to generate funds for which they can respond to climate and disaster risk. While the potential scope of these sources in some cases are considerable, local circumstances, e.g. outdated tax structures and poor administration, mean that they are largely untapped and in some cases not explored at all (Musah-Surugu, Ahenkan and Bawole, 2019[59]). Interviews conducted for this study also highlight that irregular releases of quarterly government transfers to local departments (e.g. to NADMO and the Ministry of Agriculture) make it challenging for MMDAs to implement identified CCA and DRM priorities. This especially applies to urgent interventions, such as early warning measures and the development and implementation of flood and evacuation plans (Musah-Surugu, Ahenkan and Bawole, 2019[59]).

Some MMDAs have benefitted from support from development co-operation providers, but this support is always time-bound, and traditionally has favoured support to specific issues or sectors. At the same time, multilateral sources of funding often are not accessible to MMDAs. This is in part due to the nature of these funds which primarily target national governments. Further, the capacity of MMDAs to apply and successfully access international funds is in many cases limited (Musah-Surugu, Ahenkan and Bawole, 2019[59]).

copy the linklink copied!The role of development co-operation

In March 2017, President Akufo-Addo shared his ambition of building a Ghana beyond aid that no longer is dependent on foreign support, but instead draws on own domestic resources for its development. This appeal by the President was primarily targeted at Ghanaian citizens and businesses to take the lead in building the country’s future. In February 2019, it was complemented by guidelines devised by the Ghana Beyond Aid Charter Committee that also included an overall vision of building a i) wealthy, ii) inclusive, iii) sustainable, iv) empowered and v) resilient Ghana. It emphasised the importance of transforming and growing out of dependence on aid, without rejecting it. It specified that development co-operation should be aligned to Ghana’s strategy for economic transformation, and that the government itself should provide basic services such as education, health, sanitation and water resources (Government of Ghana, 2019, p. 11[61]).

The report by the Committee highlights that development co-operation as a share of Ghana’s budgetary expenditures was on average 5.7% over the period 2016-18. However, beyond this aggregate number, and when focusing solely on expenditures on goods and services and on capital, support from development co-operation averaged 38.3% over the period. Further, when focusing on the expenditure of some ministries and services, the numbers are much higher. For MoFA, development co-operation as a percentage of expenditures financed by the government averaged at almost 103%; for the Ministry of Water and Sanitation, this figure was over 310% and for the Ministry of Local Government 104% (Government of Ghana, 2019[61]). This demonstrates that while the Government pays the salaries of government employees, the implementation of initiatives continues to rely on support from development partners. This is consistent with views expressed by people interviewed for this study.

In response to Ghana Beyond Aid, providers of development co-operation have started to adjust the focus of their support. For example, the strategic objective of joint programming by the European Development Partners in Ghana5 for the period 2017-2020, and with an indicative financial envelope of EUR 1.25 billion, is to accompany Ghana’s transformation process as outlined in Ghana Beyond Aid. In practice, this will result in a gradual shift away from traditional support provided in the form of grants and concessional loans, towards increased focus on political and policy dialogue, inclusive economic development and trade co-operation in support of Ghana’s objectives (EEAS, 2017, p. 6[62]). Further, climate change is highlighted as a cross-cutting strategic priority (together with migration and mobility, gender, youth, human rights based approach). Specifically, support for the implementation of the Paris Agreement is highlighted, with the need for European Partners to develop future joint actions in line with the priority areas set out in Ghana’s NCCP and NDC. Box 4.6 provides three examples of support provided by European bilateral donors.

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Box 4.6. Examples of development and climate finance in support of CCA and DRM in Ghana

Integrated climate risk management for adaptation to climate change: Supported by Germany and in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Ministry of Finance and NADMO, this five-year project aims to implement an integrated climate risk management strategy to protect smallholders and commercial agribusinesses against financial risks associated with extreme events. In doing so, it combines elements of disaster relief and risk reduction with the benefits of insurance solutions. The project consists of three components focused on the agriculture sector (MCII & GIZ, 2019[39]):

  1. 1. Sovereign drought risk insurance: Supporting the Government of Ghana in the accession process to the African Risk Capacity.

  2. 2. Building capacities for risk prevention and risk reduction: Undertaking climate-smart agriculture pilots in two districts in the Northern and Volta regions, and building capacity of NADMO and MoFA staff at national and sub-national levels on Climate Disaster Risk Management.

  3. 3. Supporting the development of the agricultural insurance market: Including a market study, that includes a gap analysis and lessons learned.

Climate Risk Analysis for Identifying and Weighing Adaptation Strategies in Ghana’s Agricultural Sector: Supported by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in collaboration with EPA of Ghana conducted a comprehensive climate risk analysis for the agriculture sector. The analysis employed different impact models, such as an eco-hydrological model and a semi-statistical and process-based crop yield model The study focuses on the evolving trends for temperature and precipitation, future water availability and the country´s suitability to grow crops, and assesses different priority adaptation options for the agriculture sector (Murken et al., 2019[2]).

Adapt’Action: Supported by France, the objective of this project is to equip countries with the capacities required to access climate finance, and to facilitate the emergence of adaptation to climate change investments. Further, it also aims to better account for gender-related climate vulnerabilities and support nature-based solutions. The project is composed of three components (AFD, 2018[63]):

  1. 4. Support climate governance for a successful implementation of the NDCs: i) strengthen the institutional processes for the implementation and monitoring of the NDC; ii) build technical capacities and raise the awareness of partners to ensure greater ownership of the NDC;

  2. 5. Support the mainstreaming of adaptation issues into sectoral public policies: i) develop one or two sectoral policies for the implementation of the NDC; ii) improve knowledge about the expected impacts of climate change in key sectors; iii) develop action and investment plans to implement the adaptation objectives;

  3. 6. Support the preparation of structural projects and programmes in the field of adaptation: i) finance vulnerability and feasibility studies; ii) support efforts to seek financing and financial partners.

    Developing Disaster Risk Management Approaches for Climate Risk (Urban Resilience Infrastructure for Ghana): Supported by on behalf of BMZ and Allianz Climate Solutions GmbH (ACS) in collaboration with Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Ga East Municipal Assembly, Ga West Municipal Assembly and Ghana Meteorological Agency. The project is a 3-year project that is jointly implemented by GIZ and ACS to prepare the grounds for implementing risk transfer solutions within an integrated flood risk management approach targeting public assets belonging to municipalities. The project is structured under the following:

    1. 1. Gather data, measure and understand flood risk. In achieving this, exposure analysis is conducted to identify the public assets that are at risk. An Economics for Climate Adaptation (ECA) assessment has also been conducted to analyse the cost-benefit of various adaptation measures possible for the municipalities. Insurance, which can only be designed based on the data gathered is one of these measures.

    2. 2. Identify and implement flood risk reduction measures within a holistic Disaster Risk Management on a local level. The project in collaboration with the municipalities identified replicable flood risk reduction measures such as using mobile applications in efficient waste collection to enable water to pass through the drains freely. In addition, the project is capacitating the municipalities to standardise and update their contingency plans. The project is also in the process of developing a mobile application that would serve as awareness and information tool that citizens can use for managing their flood risk.

    3. 3. Design risk transfer solutions based on the existing data and preferences of the municipality. The Allianz Climate Solution, an implementing partner, is designing three insurance products based on the data collected on the exposure analysis.

All these initiatives would contribute towards integrated approaches the municipalities can use to manage their flood risk.

Green Climate Fund support to the agriculture sector in Ghana: Ghana had by early 2020 received funding for two projects in the agriculture sector from the Green Climate Fund (GCF):

  1. 1. Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF): ARAF aims to improve climate resilience to ensure long-term sustainable increases in agriculture productivity and incomes for farmers. It also provides aggregator functions and a digital platform, as well as innovative financial services especially to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs)

  2. 2. Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) – Financing Climate Resilient Agriculture Practices in Ghana: This credit line programme is to empower women groups in the country’s most vulnerable agricultural zone by improving their participation in low-emission, climate- resilient agricultural practice through enhanced access to finance, targeting exclusively women-led MSMEs.

There is a broader presence of development co-operation in Ghana, which includes other bilateral and multilateral providers, including multilateral development banks and funds. These have all played an important role in financing and implementing CCA and DRM initiatives. They also provide important technical assistance to pilot new initiatives and support the government and non-state actors in enhancing the awareness of the climate and disaster risks, and in formulating and implementing response measures. Officials interviewed for this study confirmed this observation. While many highlighted the need for development co-operation to align with national priorities on CCA and DRM, some also expressed frustration over the emphasis of some providers of development co-operation on their own priorities rather than those of the government. In advancing coherence in CCA and DRM, three types of support from development co-operation were highlighted:

  • Capacity building: A lack of capacity remains a key challenge for planning and implementation, particularly at local assembly level, given Ghana’s decentralised governance system. There is a range of areas where opportunities for greater coherence in CCA and DRM in sectors and at the local level exist. These include the capacity of local officials to assess the impact of climate change and disaster risks on medium-term development plans, complemented by know-how on how to address the risks. One-off capacity building efforts have not proved effective. Instead, continuous exposure and training can better capacitate practitioners to enhance climate resilience on the ground.

  • Data and information: The importance of robust and accessible data and information on natural hazards and climate risks for policy development and implementation is recognised. Progress in recent years has in large part been possible with the support from development co-operation. To maintain this progress, continued support is needed to broaden the coverage and further enhance the geographic coverage and granularity of data so that it can inform risk assessments and policy responses.

  • Finance: Financial support for the implementation of CCA and DRM initiatives will continue to play an important role as Ghana transitions out of aid. It is, for example, noteworthy that the agriculture sector, a key sector given its contribution to annual GDP and employment, relies on support from development partners for the implementation of many of its measures under the Climate Smart Agriculture Action Plan 2016-2020. Similarly, support from development co-operation will play an important role in financing investments in all sectors, including for resilient infrastructure.

Finally, financing DRM and CCA is a long-term process. The piloting of different measures and financial instruments for CCA and DRM, in some cases with support from development partners, is key in developing solid policy measures and strategies to respond to climate and disaster risks. For such pilots to succeed, however, they must include clear exit, replication or scale-up plans. Officials interviewed for the study also mentioned that there were multiple pilots of similar initiatives by different development co-operation agencies in parallel, which could have benefited from a greater level of co-ordination between the agencies and involvement of the government in their planning phases.

copy the linklink copied!Annex 4.A. Stakeholders interviewed
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Environmental Protection Agency

Forestry Commission

Ghana Atomic Energy Commission

Ghana Irrigation Development Authority

Ministry of Agriculture

Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation

Ministry of Finance

Ministry of Gender and Social Protection

Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development

National Development Planning Commission

National Disaster Management Organisation

University of Ghana

Private sector (National Insurance Commission)

Civil society (Women, Media and Change and a private consultant)

Development partners (Canada, European Commission, France, Germany, Japan, United States, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), International Organisation for Migration (IOM), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP))

copy the linklink copied!Annex 4.B. NDPC checklist for mainstreaming NDCs into the Medium-term Development Plans of MMDAs
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Annex Table 4.B.1. NDPC checklist for mainstreaming NDCs into the Medium-term Development Plans of MMDAs


Policy Action(s)

Programme of Action

Key Issues for Mainstreaming in MTDPs


Supporting National documents

Agriculture and food security

Agriculture resilience buildings in climate vulnerable landscapes

Modified community-based conservation agriculture adopted in 43 administrative districts

Promoting climate smart agriculture (CSA) practices such as agro-forestry, mixed cropping, mulching as well as other agriculture conservation practices

Promoting organic farming

Provision of drought resistant and improved seeds

Efficient use of agro-chemical that manages the residual effect on soil and land

Prevention of soil erosion

Promotion of irrigation

Number of farmers rained in CSA practices

Adoption rate of climate smart agriculture

Use of improved seeds

Level of chemical use in agriculture

Percentage of land protected against soil erosion

Food security of the district

Total area of land under irrigation

Ghana’s Medium-term Agriculture Sector Investment Plan II

Ghana Commercial Agriculture Programme

Land Management Policy

Ghana Shared Growth and development Agenda

Resilient infrastructure in built environment

City-wide resilient infrastructure planning

Building standards for strategic infrastructure in housing, transport, coastal, waste management, telecommunication and energy adopted in 10 urban administrative regions

Promote climate friendly infrastructure (e.g. higher compactness of road, use of louvre blades instead of sliding window)

Enforcement of building codes waste management

Compactness of roads

Durability of roads

Durability of concrete pavements

Building codes developed

Local Government Act 462

National Building Regulation

National Climate Change Master Plan

Integrating Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction into National Development Policies and Planning in Ghana (guide)

Resilient infrastructure in built environment

Early warning and disaster prevention

Expand and modernise the current 22 synoptic stations based on needs assessment, and increase the number to 50 stations for efficient weather information management

Disaster management plans

Promote effective disaster management

Provision of weather smart information

Prevent building on unapproved areas, e.g. water ways to avoid man-made disasters

Number of disasters prevented

Number of communities trained in disaster prevention and management (especially bush fires and flooding)

Number of Disaster Volunteer Groups trained equipped

Ghana Integrating Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction into National Development Policies and Planning in Ghana

Meteorological Agency Act 682

Resilient infrastructure in built environment

Improving disaster resilience of vulnerable communities and infrastructure

Formation of disaster volunteer groups

Protecting a settlement against coastal erosion or flooding

Prevention of tidal surge and wind storms

Sea defence walls

Early warning systems

Number of trees planted along the sea coast

Response time to disasters

Availability of early warning systems

Climate change and health

Managing climate-induced health risk

Strengthen climate-related disease surveillance in vulnerable communities in 3 Districts

Adopt climate change informed health information systems including traditional knowledge on health risk management

  • Health infrastructure design and construction should be resilient

  • Improve nutrition

  • Preventive health instead of focus on curative

  • Prevention of environmental pollution

  • Environmental cleanliness, sanitation and hygiene

  • Health infrastructure built to withstand climate hazards

  • Proportion of the population educated on preventive health

  • Proportion of the population sensitised on environmental hygiene

  • Ghana Health Policy

  • Health Sector Gender Policy

  • Medium-Term national development policy framework


  • National Climate Change Master Plan

  • Child Health Policy

  • Environmental Health Policy

Water resources

Integrated water resources management

Strengthen equitable distribution and access to water for 20% of the population living in climate change risk communities

Sustainable management of water resources e.g. rivers, lakes, groundwater

  • Improved access to safe drinking water

  • Protection of water bodies

  • Protection of water ecosystems

  • Catchment area protection

  • Reduction in pollution of water bodies

  • Efficient utilisation of water resources

  • Recycling waste water

  • Number of people with access to improved drinking water

  • Proportion of water bodies protected

  • Proportion of catchment areas protected

  • Level of pollution of water bodies

  • National Water Policy

  • Water Resources Commission Act, 1996 (Act 522)

  • Water Use Regulation, 2001

  • Sustainable Development Goals 2015-2030

  • Riparian Buffer Zone Policy

Water resources

  • Promote water harvesting technologies e.g. rain harvesting in houses and Government Institutions

  • Stakeholder participation in water resources management

  • Percentage of the community members harvesting rain water

  • Proportion of bodies of water with good ambient water quality

  • Level of stakeholder participation in water resources management

Gender and vulnerable

Resilience for gender and the vulnerable

Implementation of community led adaptation and livelihood diversification for vulnerable groups

  • Vulnerability and coping mechanisms of different social groups

  • Livelihood diversification of vulnerable groups

  • Ender sensitive approach to development

  • Gender equity

  • Women empowerment

  • Proportion of women benefitting from social interventions

  • Gender sensitive approach to development adopted at the district

  • Gender integrated in resources management

  • National Climate Change Policy and Master Plan

  • National Gender Policy


Double energy efficiency improvement to 20% in industrial facilities

Scale up renewable energy penetration by 10% by 2030; Promote clean rural household lightning; programme on market-based cleaner cooking solutions; double energy efficiency improvement to 20% in power plans

Promotion of rooftop solar panelling to fit the Rooftop Solar Programme aimed at the installation of 200,000 solar PV systems on rooftops in the country to provide 200MW peak load relief on the grid by 2030

  • Promotion of rooftop solar programme

  • Promote the use of clean energy resources e.g. use of LPG, ethanol, biogas, solar, lanterns, clean cook stoves, efficient charcoal production technologies, etc.

  • Adoption rate of rooftop solar energy

  • Number of people with access to solar energy

  • Percentage of the population using efficient stoves

  • Number of people engaged in renewable energy jobs (e.g. solar lantern, clean cook stoves production

  • Nation Energy Policy

  • Renewable Energy Act

  • Renewable Energy Master Plan

  • National Climate Change Master Plan

  • Sustainable Energy Plan


Promote clean rural households lightning

Kerosene Lantern Replacement Project

Build local capacity in the assembly to maintenance of solar lanterns in Ghana

  • Build local capacity for assembling to maintenance of solar lanterns in the districts

  • Expansion of Petroleum products Supply Infrastructure

  • Number of people with access to solar lantern

  • Number of technicians with capacity to assemble and maintain solar lanterns

  • Sustainable Energy Action Plan

  • National Energy Policy

National Policy of LPG Promotion

  • Increasing access to LPG at the district level

  • Percentage of the population with access to LPG

  • Sustainable Energy Action Plan

  • National Energy Policy

  • National Bioenergy Strategy

  • National Natural Gas Master Plan


Programme on alternative urban solid waste management

Improve effectiveness of urban solid collection (achieve 70-90%)

Improve waste recycling

  • Improving urban solid waste collection

  • Waste recycling

  • Landfills constructions with methane recovery

  • Institutional biogas in schools

  • Provision of composting facilities in the districts

  • Percentage of solid waste collected

  • Percentage of waste recycled

  • Landfills constructed in the district

  • Number of schools that benefited from biogas

  • Number of composting facilities in the district

  • National Sanitation Policy

  • National Sanitation Strategy

  • Environmental Assessment Regulation (LI. 1652)

  • Environmental Protection Act (Act 490)

  • National Bioenergy Strategy


Sustainable mass transport

Expansion of inter- and intra-city transportation modes (bus transit system) in 4 cities

  • Facilitate efficient and safe use of Non-Motorised Transport facilities such as bicycle lanes

  • Development of pedestrian walkways in congested central business districts

  • Coverage of bicycle lanes developed

  • The safety of pedestrian walkway developed

  • National Transport Policy

  • Transport and Climate Change Policy

  • National Climate Change Master Plan

Source: (Government of Ghana, 2017[31])


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← 1. Disaster risk management (DRM) is used in this chapter rather than disaster risk reduction (DRR) used in Part I since DRM is better aligned with the terminology used in relevant policy documents in Ghana as demonstrated by the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP).

← 2. The other hazards include: 1) pest and insect infestation, 2) disease epidemics, 3) fires (domestic fires, industrial/commercial fires, bushfires, fires caused by lightening), 4) geological (earthquakes, landslides, soil erosion, expansive soils, coastal erosion, ground subsidence) and 5) man-made hazards.

← 3. These numbers are expected to change following the creation of six additional regions in 2019.

← 4. Components of the monitoring systems include: i) Physical progress of implementation of the Strategy within time and cost schedules; ii) Quantitative and qualitative progress of implementation of programmes and projects where targets are set; iii) Maintenance of capital assets created to be monitored selectively so that the expenditure earmarked for the purpose in the national and district budgets is in fact utilized for the purpose; iv) Plan expenditure

← 5. Here referring to the EU, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom

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