19 March 2018
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Other Projects

Improving Access to Family Planning Services using Hairdressers/Tailors

To effectively tap into the immense innovation potential of students in solution development,

Makerere University School of Public Health - ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) instituted a Youth Spark Innovation Grants (YSiG) Call. This is one of the award-winning project current being implemented in the Tamale Metropolis of Tamale Municipal in the Northern Region of Ghana.

Family planning is the conscious efforts to regulate the number and spacing of birth through temporary, long term and permanent methods including emergency contraception and the treatment of infertility and sexually transmitted infection.

According to Crosette (2005), an unmet need for family planning refers to women capable of reproducing who are not using contraception but wish to postpone their next birth or to stop childbearing all together

The focus of this project is to improve access to family planning services through the use of professional hairdressers, tailors and dressmakers in the Tamale metropolis as service providers to reach out to women who cannot easily access these services freely for fear of public stigma/ridicule. This group of vocational professionals form large part of the informal sector and are constantly available and in touch with women of the reproductive age. Promotion of family planning and ensuring access to preferred contraceptive methods for women and couples is essential to securing the well-being and autonomy of women while supporting the health and development of communities. Thus "shame" associated with accessing family planning services at designated clinics is reduced since entering into a hairdressing saloon or seamstress shop will mean different things.

Contact Person: Kelvin Abem Ane                  

Email: kelvinane[at]yahoo.com


Cashew Fruit Apple Juice

Leveraging creativity of students and the power of competition to drive innovation, Youth Spark Innovation Grants (YSiG) provided a great platform for students across all disciplines to use their creativity, passion and knowledge to create solutions that would contribute to RAN’s Resilience Innovation agenda. In fulfillment of this dream, the Cashew Nut Apple Juice Production project was "born" by a group of students who had lived and grown in Cashew production areas and saw the need to add value to the long-time cash crop of their fathers.

The cashew trees produce a lot fruits and when they are ripped, the nuts are taken off, dried and sold to buyers. The apple fruits are left to rot on the farms. Small holder cashew farmers have little knowledge of the importance of the cashew fruit and its nutritional value in contributing to the health status of the farmers.

This proposal seeks to address the post harvest lost of cashew production and the value addition in respect of the fruits in order to boast up the farmer's income. Thus, processing the cashew fruits into juice adds value and provides some form of income and skill to the youth and prevents them migrating to the urban centers for non-existent jobs. (Livelihoods)

Contact Person: Jerry John Cobbinah        

Email: jerryjohncobbinah[at]gmail.com


Girl Empowerment through Hair Dressing

The Youth Spark Innovations Grants Call instituted by Markerere University School of Public Health was an avenue to support students’ ingenious attempts at proposing promising ideas, approaches, or simple prototypes that would contribute to causing positive community change and strengthen resilience. In attempt to addressing a resilience challenge within a community and apply innovation to strengthen community resilience, the Girl Empowerment Through Hairdressing Project led by a female student won the YSIG grants to implement the idea.

The project in consultation with communities around the University campus, Wa, has observed that Population growth and rapid urbanization in this part of the world is synonymous with the youth. Teenage pregnancy is increasing at an alarming rate in almost every community, district or region and the Primary, Junior High and Senior High schools students are most victims. This is further worsen when statistics have shown that these categories of people have no employable or entrepreneurial skills, making their lives to be shrouded on uncertainties thereby rendering them vulnerable. Institutions such as the Social Welfare department responsible to provide support to these vulnerable groups have failed in their duties and more often than not adequately resourced or no capacity to do so.

As a source of skills acquisition for school drop-outs in a selected community in the Upper West Region of Ghana, this project seeks to address the menace of youth unemployment and reduce the rate of teenage pregnancy by providing some employable skills for the girl-child who had dropped out of school, the destitute and vulnerable in society thereby making them resilient against stress and shocks (Livelihoods)

Contact Person: Juliana Asantewaa    

Email: akosuaasantewaa87[at]gmail.com


Grass Fuel

This is one of awarding winning projects under the YSiG Grants Call that has the potential to provide extra income and reduce the burden on women and children in this part of the world.

The northern part of Ghana has the poorest populations in the country. Agriculture is rain fed with continuously in intermittent rainfall patterns. There is only one rainy season calendar which most often than not results in crop failure and poor yields, livestock losses due to water shortages and drought, dry land degradations and forests diebacks. There is pronounced food insecurity, malnutrition, hunger and diseases amidst very scarce and laborious job opportunities which are unattractive to the youth majority in particular and this has pushed many youth down south the country to engage in menial jobs popularly called Kayaye. Characteristic to this syndrome is streetism, child labour and teenage pregnancy aside the physical and emotional suffering victims undergo.
The effects of climate change therefore has serious implications on livelihoods in northern Ghana and people are desperate to survive. They therefore result to cutting down trees as fuel wood (Charcoal) to earn some living as a coping strategy/ measure, however as a savannah zone, Northern Ghana has massive grass cover which makes it potent to severe bushfires and air pollution. Various grass types are naturally grown in abundance and flourish well annually in this area and beyond. With an appropriate technology to harvest and create grass markets for the production of fuel, lays the country’s opportunity to curb the troubles that bush fires bring including even the destruction of food crops on the farms by fires causing post harvest losses. The innovative aspect of this project lies in the compacting of free and abundant, quick renewable raw material; Grass, baobab and kapok fruit shells as an alternative to woody trees, in producing fuel for domestic purposes. This grass, which hitherto would have been burnt in a destructive manner to the environment through bushfires, is modeled to be used as fuel could create vibrant and sustainable micro-economic stability to larger populations in a pro poor society like northern Ghana and beyond if supported. (Livelihoods)

Contact Person: Gregory Titi Adebbah          

Email: gregorytitiaddebah[at]gmail.com


On-farm Evaluation of Maize Productivity using Indigenous Organic material for soil restoration

This is the fifth YSiG Grants project of the Lab, which focuses on revitalizing the soils for maize production in Northern Ghana.

To sustain increases in crop production and food security, soil, nutrient and water resources need to be properly managed and conserved. The fertility status of soils in sub-Saharan Africa is generally believed to be poor due to poor inherent soil quality and inappropriate soil management practices. The ever-increasing human population together with destructive practices such as slash and burn, and the recent proliferation of surface mining has endangered shifting cultivation as practiced in the past, resulting in temporal losses of soil productivity. Besides, human-associated factors that drive long-term degradation of soil and vegetation are reflected in unsustainable farming practices and keep increasing with increased population growth and pressures. As population continues to grow, there is the need to find alternative ways to maintain productive soils and improve the health of degraded soils that will enhance crop improvement in order to meet the food needs of the increasing population.

This is further worsened as over 70% of the poor live in rural areas, a pattern that is likely to continue for several years. This group of people derives greater part of their livelihood from agriculture as a vital means to poverty reduction. Food crop production in the sub-Saharan Africa is low because smallholder farmers who constitute greater percentage of the working force in agriculture are unable to meet their production target. However, there is an alternative means by which smallholder farmers can boost of crop production without the usage of inorganic fertilizers. Organic materials such as rice husk, corn cobs, groundnut husk and maize stovers are abandoned by the smallholder farmers after harvesting and processing of produce. These indigenous materials can be converted into organic amendment called biochar to facilitate soil fertility management. The product (Biochar) has the potential of improving water holding capacity of the soil, soil nutrient retention capacity, and sustainable carbon store, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions as enablement to the environment. The innovation will help curb the problem of rural-urban drift on the part of the youth and other social vices engaged by the jobless youth. (Agriculture)

Contact Person: Philip Ghanney                            

Email: ganistroy[at]gmail.com


Rural Agro Resource Development for Livelihood Diversification Project (Northern Ghana)

This the Rilab's sixth YSiG project under implementation in the Katui-Saa community in the Upper East Region of Ghana.
The labor force of Katui-Saa are subsistence farmers who are engaged in production of non-export commodities. The output level of these non-export commodities is very low due to erratic change in the rainfall pattern, inadequate viable seeds, lack of irrigation facility, lack of extension services, etc. These factors have led to limited job opportunities and low income levels of the people.
The community is however endowed with abundance natural resources such as economic wild fruits; baobab, dawadawa, and shea, that when tapped could change the fortunes of the community members, especially women and children.

Rural Agro Resource Development for Livelihood Diversification Project therefore seeks to empower rural people especially women who are the most vulnerable in society through social mobilization and participation. This project will promote the economic and social wellbeing of the people through sustainable use of abundance natural agro resources by value addition and also enhancing the nutritional diet of the people.
Through effective implementation of the idea, more job opportunities will be opened for the youth and the elderly in the community as an alternative source of income aside farming during the lean season. It will further reduce the incidence of rural-urban migration in the community and the incidence of deforestation since they will be deriving more benefits from these economic wild trees other than cutting them down for fuel wood (Charcoal) as is currently the practice. (Health/livelihoods).

Contact Person: Bismark Adzah    
Email: bismarkadzah[at]gmail.com; bismark.adzah14[at]uds.edu.gh

RAN Core Partners

   stanford  makerere

csis  GWU


pitch wednesday

Contact Us

West Africa Resilience Innovation lab
School of Medicine and Health Sciences
University for Development Studies
P.O. Box 1883, Tamale, Northern Region

+233 0201391691, 0243507505

info @warilab.org