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Co-constructing an accountability community for the Home Grown School Feeding Programme in Ghana

Title: Co-constructing an accountability community for the Home Grown School Feeding Programme in Ghana

Authors: Sue Sadler and Ian Thomson

Function of lead author: Research Associate

Institution of lead author: University of Strathclyde, Scotland


In the context of a procurement governance initiative for home grown school feeding projects in Ghana, Kenya and Mali, this paper uses the lenses of coproduction and social accountability to examine how social audits have strengthened local partnerships by forming an accountability community comprising both citizens and government officials.  

The Home Grown School Feeding Programme provides one hot meal a day for eligible school children in a number of African countries, including over 1.7m children in Ghana in 2013-14. The Procurement Governance for Home-Grown School Feeding (PG-HGSF) project was launched by SNV USA in Kenya, Ghana and Mali in 2011. The project’s goal was to remove barriers to smallholder farmer inclusion as suppliers to government-led school feeding programmes. The PG-HGSF project piloted innovations in procurement, supply chain, and social accountability, leading to 227 social audits being completed between 2013 and 2015.

The orientation toward social accountability demanded greater information sharing, awareness of rights and responsibilities, and local capacity building for both local citizens and government officials. The social audits did not engage with the full range of national and international agencies involved in the school feeding programmes, nonetheless, they constructed opportunities for well-informed dialogue and increased ability at  local and district levels to identify problems associated with delivery of HGSFP, developing a co-productive, rather than sanction-based, approach to social audit that supported more effective delivery of school meals and more collaborative relationships between local people and district officials.  

This paper draws on a sample of reports on the social audits, in a range of HGSF districts, supplemented by project reports and discussions with SNV country representatives and project executives to identify some of the tensions and opportunities for M&E to strengthen partnerships afforded by both co-production (Bovaird & Loeffler, 2013) and social accountability (World Bank, 2012).