|Date||25 Nov 2021|
Oxfam is a rights-based global development organization with more than 70 years of experience in more than 90 countries worldwide. Oxfam’s mission is to end the injustice of poverty and inequality through systemic change and the advancement of political, economic and social rights. Oxfam has been working in Ghana since 1986, managing programs related to food security and livelihoods, universal access to education and healthcare and transparency and accountability in extractive industries (mining, oil and gas).
Oxfam’s experience in Ghana and strong partnerships with government institutions, Ghanaian civil society organizations and NGOs supports the delivery of active and innovative programs and advocacy work seeking to improve the livelihoods of Ghanaians and strengthen citizen accountability. Oxfam in Ghana currently works in 11 out of Ghana’s 16 administrative regions.
Consultancy - Research on Living Income for Ghanaian Cocoa Farmers (INT8056)
RESEARCH TOWARDS A LIVING INCOME FOR GHANAIAN COCOA FARMERS:
INSIGHTS ON POTENTIAL PATHWAYS FROM THE 2021 HARVESTING SEASON
1. PURPOSE AND BACKGROUND
Many of these efforts have corralled around the concept of living income as the benchmark for a decent standard of living. The concept of living income goes a step beyond traditional notions of poverty alleviation that are concerned with basic subsistence and survival. It puts a strong emphasis on the idea of decency and earning enough income to live comfortably.
Despite years of interventions aimed at improving cocoa farmers’ incomes, many farmers do not earn sufficient income to ensure a decent standard of living for themselves and their families. Recent assessments have highlighted the significant living income gaps of Ghanaian cocoa farmers.This includes gender-specific barriers to earning higher incomes, such as limited access to land, lack of control over household finances, adverse gender norms, lack of time due to care duties, and barriers to acquiring technical expertise all hinder their ability to earn higher incomes more than they do for men.
As the issue of living income is gaining increasing prominence in the cocoa sector, governments and companies are embarking on efforts to raise the incomes of cocoa farmers. In 2019 the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana announced the new Living Income Differential (LID) of 400$/MT for cocoa exports. While the LID helped to raise farm gate prices in last harvesting season by 28%, its implementation has been marked by a lack of transparency and hindered by a slump in the global cocoa market due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The private sector also has ramped up its efforts to help raise farmer incomes in Ghana. Their efforts to date have mostly focused on individual pilot projects (sometimes in collaboration with NGO or development partners) supporting a particular group of farmers. Companies engaged in living income interventions in Ghana include retailers (Aldi, Lidl, REWE), chocolate companies (Mars, Nestle, Mondelez) and traders/processors (Olam, Cargill, Barry Callebaut). The dominant pathways appear to be productivity increases and income diversification strategies. There also are other companies, such as Tony Chocolonely or FairAfric who have made living income part of their business and procurement model.
Despite this momentum around living income in the Ghanaian cocoa sector, there is a dearth of insight about how to best close living income gaps and for whom. This project aims to analyze existing living income interventions and strategies by governments and the private sector in the Ghanaian cocoa sector with an emphasis on how to make a living income a reality for farmers especially women farmers. While there is lots of momentum around living income, there is a lack of data and insights into the current and potential impacts of existing strategies and interventions for different farmer groups. Farmer perspectives are also absent from this discussion. This project can help fill these gaps.
2. AUDIENCE AND USE
The primary audience of this research project is the community of stakeholders in the Ghanaian cocoa sector including trading companies, chocolate manufacturers, government agencies, civil society and farmer organizations, and certifiers.
The secondary audience of this research projects is the cocoa sector beyond Ghana and stakeholders in other commodity sectors dealing with the issue of living income.
The engagement with companies will be a priority both during and after completion of this project. The goal is to use the outcomes of this project to facilitate a convening with interested companies and other stakeholders.
3. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1 Income levels and gaps
1.1 Based on existing data, what is the average living income gap of Ghanaian cocoa farmers? How does this gap differ between male and female farmers?
1.2 What are the main determinants of income levels based on the existing research (e.g. land size, land title, productivity, access to market, gender, age of farmer, etc.)?
2 Government interventions – the living income differential (LID)
2.1 How is the LID being implemented at the technical level? How are companies paying for the LID and how are these payments transferred to farmers? What data gaps exist?
2.2 What credible evidence exists that companies have either supported or tried to circumvent the LID? Is there evidence for companies using their bargaining power to not pay the LID or shifting sourcing to other countries?
2.2 How have cocoa farmers benefited from the LID? By how much has the LID increased farmer incomes and have women benefitted as much as men?
2.3 What percentage of funds COCOBOD receives from cocoa companies reaches the farmers? What happens with the rest of the funds? What difference does the LID make in this equation?
3 Private sector interventions – sustainability strategies
3.1 What are the key cocoa and chocolate companies in Ghana doing to support farmers earning a living income? What type of interventions are prioritized by different actors? Do companies design gender-inclusive strategies and interventions? Do they address the impact of their own procurement practices?
3.2 How are companies defining living income? Do they have baselines, concrete strategies and targets in place?
3.3. What data is available to assess the success of living income interventions? What is the quality of existing MEL systems and are they standardized enough to allow for comparison across projects?
3.2 How successful have private sector interventions been in raising incomes, especially for women farmers? What key success factors and barriers have facilitated/hindered their success?
3.3 How have women benefited from private sector interventions on living income compared to men?
4 Pathways towards a living income
4.1 Based on the analysis under 2) and 3), what are the most promising pathways of moving towards a living income for cocoa farmers? What is the impact potential of different pathways? What are their main risks and drawbacks?
4.2 What alternatives exist to raise the incomes of cocoa farmers in Ghana and what needs to happen to get there?
5. FRAMEWORK AND APPROACH
Important elements of the living income concept include its focus on the household level, the consideration of costs of production (net income) and different income streams (on-farm and off-farm), and its context-specificity (i.e. living income can vary from place to place due to different household sizes or varying costs of living).
The evidence base around living income levels and gaps in the Ghanaian cocoa sector has improved in recent years. Several assessments exist and new research are under way. This research project will not conduct its own living income assessment but instead will complement and build on these assessments by analyzing the effectiveness of different strategies to close living income gaps.
To evaluate the success of living income interventions, impact areas need to be clearly defined. The four impact areas this research project will prioritize are:
7. RESEARCH METHODS
8. KEY SOURCES
9. RESEARCH PRODUCTS
10. RESEARCH PRODUCTS
Required Skills or Experience
How To Apply
Kindly Send your technical proposals with budget to [email protected] by Thursday, 9th December 2021 before 5pm (GMT).
Please note, employers receive numerous applications per posting and will only shortlist the most qualified candidates. Also
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