Transforming the vaccine delivery system in Ghana: identifying approaches that benefit women

May 13, 2019
photo: Sven Torfinn. January 2013. Kenya,Machakos County. IDRC assignment Kenya 106510 in cooperation with KARI (Kenya Agricultural Research Institute) about scaling up of agricultural innovations in Kenya..Project Training of Indigineous Chicken Service Providers undertake hands on exercise vaccinating indigineous chickens against Newcastle disease Ndalani,Yatta. Education,knowledge,innovations,agricultural technology,new varieties,decease control
Sven_Torfinn / Panos Pictures

In Ghana, 63% of the extremely poor depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, with women representing most of this population. Despite their dependence on agriculture, Ghanaian women own fewer livestock, use less fertilizer, own less mechanical equipment, and have fewer years of education and lower school attendance rates than men.

Backyard poultry and goat production systems are prevalent and play an important role in the livelihoods of women farmers, who are usually in charge of these species. Newcastle disease, peste des petits ruminants, and contagious caprine pleuropneumonia are the primary causes of death for chicken and goats. Although vaccines exist in Ghana, they are often inaccessible for women due to a variety of barriers, including delivery systems that are not centered on women’s needs, preferences, and capabilities; mobility challenges for women livestock owners; and gender norms that affect women’s ownership and management of livestock.

Testing innovative approaches to vaccine delivery

This project will test two innovative approaches for vaccine delivery — one gender accommodative and one gender transformative — by adapting CARE’s Gender Transformative Farmer Field and Business School approach to facilitating women’s sustained involvement in livestock vaccination. Both approaches address the practical barriers to access as well as the gender-based barriers, such as gender norms on decision-making and women’s mobility. The project has the potential to generate knowledge on many fronts, including technical, physical (mobility), and socio-economic factors (access to credit, beliefs, and norms) and how these interplay to affect the adoption of vaccines.

Expected results

The key outcome from this project will be improved livelihoods and gender equality in poor rural households in remote communities through increased household income, food security, and greater influence of women arising from improved access to animal health services for higher livestock productivity. The project will make an important contribution to the global discourse, especially around the holistic and quantifiable measurement of women’s empowerment in the agriculture system. It will increase awareness among vaccine service providers of men’s and women’s distinct roles in the vaccine distribution chains and it will improve their capacities to expand vaccine campaigns. 

Lead institutions

This project is a collaboration between CARE International Ghana and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Kenya.

  • Duration: 36 months
  • Budget: CA$1.58 million