CIKOD’s work is aimed at contributing to poverty reduction primarily through civil society capacity support in 3 programme areas. Full details on CIKOD’s work are available in the documents and reports on this website.
HEALTH AND FOOD SOVEREIGNTY
In the Upper West (UWR) and Southern regions, CIKOD is involved in a Pan African Campaign called ‘WE ARE THE SOLUTION Celebrating Family Farming in Africa’. CIKOD with FAHAMU are focusing on working with rural women farmers to ensure that rural women’s associations will have the skills to improve, promote and share their traditional agricultural knowledge ensuring that this rich knowledge is not lost and is indeed promoted as an alternative to the Green Revolution methods.
CIKOD have supported the Revitalisation of Traditional Health Practices in Tanchara in the Upper West Region (UWR) and in Tromeso in the Brong Ahafo Region over the past number of years. In both Tanchara and Tromeso, the communities were supported to document all traditional healers in their area and following on from this a Healers Association has been formed in both areas. Another aspect of this work is that CIKOD support the traditional healers to meet with local health authorities where they discuss the issues related to the interchange of modern and traditional practices. In partnership with WaterAid, CIKOD are presently engaged with the Endogenous Water and Sanitation Programme using the CIKOD approach to identifying issues and reaching sustainable solutions with local communities in the Eastern Region.
TRADITIONAL GOVERNANCE AND NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT
Making the Forest Sector Transparent (GTF) project is collaboration with Global Witness. The project is being run in Ghana, Liberia, Cameroun and the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa and Peru, Ecuador and Guatemala in South America. In Ghana, the project is being implemented in Brong Ahafo, Western Region, Eastern Region, Ashanti Region, and Northern Ghana. The goal of the project is to improve governance of public forest resources, increase sustainable management of forests and to improve benefit sharing and re-distribution of revenues generated from all forms of forest use.
Governance Initiative for Rights and Accountability in Forest Management (GIRAF) project focuses on supporting the participation of fringe forest communities in the management of their forest resources. It is being implemented by CIKOD, CARE International, Civic Response and Friends of the Earth with financial support from the EU. CIKOD's role in the partnership is to facilitate the engagement of traditional authorities in developing traditional mechanisms that make the institution itself transparent and accountable to its people in relation to forest management.
Shea Conservation and Access & Benefit Sharing Initiative involves ETC COMPAS, Natural Justice and CIKOD. The target countries include Ghana, South Africa and Kenya. Over 900,000 women are engaged in the Shea nut sector collecting, processing or marketing. Men do not participate in Shea nut gathering and regard this as the preserve of women and children. The goal of the Initiative is to explore how Bio-cultural Community Protocols (BCPs) can be accepted by African Community-based organisations, NGOs, lawyers and governments as a suitable legal tool to secure community rights and fair/equitable benefit sharing.
In 2009, 70 Sacred Groves and Natural Sites (water points, trees, hills, etc) were identified in Tanchara by the community using the CIKOD resource mapping tool. During validation discussions with the guardians of the sacred groves and the community to assess accuracy of the information gathered, it became clear that there had been a serious deterioration of these sites over time. In 2010, CIKOD organised a number of meetings with the "Tengandem" (guardians of the sacred groves) on the modalities for mapping, documenting and expanding the sacred groves identified in 2009. Through this process, the community learnt that all their lands, including the sacred sites, had been given out on concession by the Government to an Australian mining company without any prior consultation with them. CIKOD are now developing a Bio-Cultural Protocol (BCP) with communities in the UWR to ensure Community –Led Advocacy in Mining Areas. The challenge has been to find environmental lawyers that can help the community to put the protocol within the context of national and international legal frameworks.
INTERFACING TRADITIONAL AND MODERN FORMS OF LOCAL GOVERNANCE
Under this programme area, CIKOD have been able to Revitalize Indigenous Institutions and Community Organisational Systems in UWR by using CIKOD’s Community Organisational Development ( COD) process with the 10 traditional divisions of the community. The Pognaa, a woman traditional leader, participated in a CIKOD leadership programme and she has become much more proacticve in taking a leadership role in organizing and supporting women in her community as a result.
The UWR community are very excited about the prospect of setting up a Centre for Intergenerational Learning on traditional knowledge and as a result of initial discussions with CIKOD, the community proposed building the Dagara Heritage and Eco-Cultural Learning Centre –‘Dagara’ meaning ‘between two hills’ describes the physical position of Tanchara. This will be a centre where elders can pass on their knowledge by teaching customary laws, traditional practices, traditional health and food practices, song, proverbs, ethics, to the youth and where the community can preserve their heritage for future generations.
CIKOD with funding from Konrand-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) have been implementing a Traditional Governance Training Programme since 2007 within Ghana. The training focuses on promoting and interfacing of traditional and formal local government systems as well as addressing natural resource management issues. Although the impact of this training has not yet been evaluated, it can be observed that traditional leaders are becoming more proactive and can be observed playing more active roles at community levels.
Civil society at the rural level in Ghana which is visible in the form of indigenous organizations such as Nnoboa groups, asafo groups, susu groups and clan networks through which poor rural families organize their social, economic and political lives.
National CIKOD associates—NGOs, local government establishments and Universities.
African wide networks such as Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA); COMPAS Africa and the African Bio-Diversity Network (ABDN).
A range of International NGOs with similar vision and objectives to CIKOD (see LINKS)
CIKOD’s accountability is at 4 levels
(i) Core partners who have made financial contribution;
(ii) Advisory Board;
(iii) CIKOD Associates;
(iv) Implementing communities.
CIKOD has developed procedures for financial accounting and administration. CIKOD is accountable to its Advisory Board to whom it reports on programs and budget issues. Accounting to partners and communities is done through annual reviews, participation in development fora during festivals, dissemination of information to partners and communities, making use of alternate forms of documentation to meet the needs of different target groups.