On Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd of May Fleur (intern via ACIPP at CHRAJ) and I went to a conference in Accra, Legon University. Fleur found an article about the Human Security programme in Ghana. The programme was located in the Northern parts of Ghana.
For four years, 2009 – 2013, six United Nations Agencies – UNICEF, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), WFP (World Food Programme), FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation), UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organisation), UNU- INRA (United Nations University – Institute for Natural Resources in Africa) and the Government of Ghana, Civil Society, Community members and other stakeholders have been working together.
They implemented the Human Security concept in four different regions in the North, Wa Municipality and Bawku Municipality in the Upper East Region and Tamale Metropolis and Yendi Municipality in the Northern Region – in total 19 different communities were involved in the Programme.
The main goal of the UN joint Human Security Programme (HSP) was to enhance Human Security through Developing Local Capacity for Holistic Community Based Conflict Prevention in Northern Ghana. HSP upholds a five –prong intervention with interrelated components in local governance, conflict prevention mechanism, income generation, food security, and the human security concept.
The main objective of the UN agencies and the key stakeholders were defined as followed:
1) Capacity development of local institutions and civil society for good decentralized governance and conflict prevention;
2) Enhancement of mechanisms for conflict prevention and peace consolidation in Northern Ghana;
3) Support to increase production, productivity and income generating capacity through micro, small and medium enterprises;
4) Improvement of agricultural productivity and nutritional status for enhanced food security;
5) Promoting the mainstreaming and advocating of the Human Security Concept in the Ghanaian development context.
The theory of change was mainly focused on bringing communities together to work on common, tangible goals and objectives, transform inter-communal relationships and reducing conflict causes and triggers.
During the conference we found out that their theory worked out. The communities within the Municipalities and Metropolis are now willing to work together. They understand that it is better and easier to work together with someone from the neighbouring community. An example used during the conference was a carpenter who needs to work together with others to get suppliers. If you make chairs and you have the wood but you need metal and/or a smith and the neighbouring community has metal and a smith, you should work together! Another important goal they achieved was getting the trust back in the police. The northern regions are known of their conflicts between communities and with the police.
We learned some new things about Human Security and the different components of the programme: The freedom of dignity (Human Rights), the freedom from fear (Peace) and the freedom from want (Development).
Although we had some other/different thoughts about how the conference would be, we enjoyed the conference; it was a very nice opportunity for us to see how the UN works in Africa -how the UN set goals and if/how they achieve them.