Diagnosing poverty in Northern Ghana: institutional versus community views

  • Agnes Atia Apusigah


The paper attempts a diagnosis of poverty at institutional and community levels. This diagnosis entails an examination and comparison of various articulations of poverty in the formal, official and/or so-called high places of government and global institutions as well as at the grassroots such as households, individuals and communities within northern Ghana. The goal is to foster a better appreciation of the varying articulations of poverty while exploring pedagogical sites for initiating grassroots action. The diagnosis was facilitated through a desk review of institutional documents and as well, onsite interactions involving community discussions, focus group discussions and informal interviews in selected districts of northern Ghana. The diagnosis reveals that while institutions dwell on asset-based or economic analysis of poverty, communities include social, spiritual and physical dimensions in their articulations. Both differences and similarities are uncovered in the process suggesting that for effective poverty alleviation, efforts must involve the adoption of holistic approaches, complex analysis and practical programming as well as center human agency.

Ghana Journal of Development Studies Vol. 2(2) 2005: 1-14

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eISSN: 0855-6768