Ghana MADE is a Making Markets Work for the Poor (M4P) programme, intended to stimulate economic growth and reduce poverty in the Northern Savannah, through improved incomes and resilience of poor farmers and small-scale rural entrepreneurs in northern Ghana. The M4P approach is based on the premise that changing the lives of the poor – stimulating growth and expanding access – means changing the market systems around them. M4P provides a framework for understanding and acting to improve markets, guided by four principles: systematic action, sustainable change, large-scale impact, and a facilitative role. The Ghana MADE programme works to make transformative change in six market sectors in northern Ghana; chilli, onions, other vegetables and fruit, rice, groundnuts, and livestock.
Upper Quartile is currently conducting a performance evaluation of the Ghana MADE programme using a theory based approach, using qualitative and quantitative research methods. The objective of the MADE evaluation is to:
• Assess whether M4P delivered within the context of “thin markets”, such as the northern savannah can deliver benefits for poor producers and entrepreneurs.
• Contribute to the evidence base on what works in Northern Ghana.
• Inform the international debate on the value of the M4P approach, and thereby feed into future policy and funding decisions relating to tackling poverty reduction and achieving the MDGs.
• Inform DFID and Government of Ghana of sustainable approaches to developing market systems and which interventions have the greatest impact.
The theory-based evaluation is pioneering a ‘keystone node’ approach to prioritizing research effort at selected points within the programme Theory of Change. It draws on data collected by the Ghana MADE programme as well as conducting primary data collection to fill gaps or supplement existing data. The evaluation is using mixed quantitative and qualitative methods to build up a picture of the programme in action, and to set out, revise, and substantiate or invalidate the programme Theory of Change. Contribution Analysis is being used as an analytical framework to come to robust conclusions about the programme’s contribution to outcomes.