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Improving youth livelihoods in the Ghana cocoa belt: an impact evaluation of the MASO programme

Working papers

Written by Melanie Pinet

Hero image description: MASO youth participants from Tweapease, New Edubiase, Ghana Image credit:© MASO/Solidaridad Image license:© MASO/Solidaridad

This study uses a youth livelihood lens to assess the impacts of the MASO multifaceted five-year cocoa programmes, implemented in Ghana by a consortium of six partners led by Solidaridad West Africa and in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation. This programme targeted not-in-school youth aged 17–25 years-old living under the $2 per day poverty line in the following cocoa-growing regions of the country: Afadzato South, Hohoe, Adanse South, Assin Foso, Bia West, Ho West, Kasapin and Sewfwi-Wiawso. Overall, the MASO programme targeted 10,700 youths across the country and had already trained 8,395 at the time of the writing.

The research aims at assessing the impact of the MASO integrated programme on cohort two youth outcomes 12 months after the training ended. The primary objective was to assess whether or not the MASO programme had contributed to improving economic outcomes for youth participants, through which implementation mechanisms and why. The secondary objective was to measure the impact of the programme on youth knowledge and skills acquisition, behaviour and attitude changes. The evaluation questions that this impact assessment seeks to answer are: Compared to non-participants, to what extent has the MASO project improved economic outcomes for participants? How and why?

This report is published by the Youth Forward Learning Partnership, led by the ODI's Digital Societies programme, with Development Research and Training in Uganda; and with Participatory Development Associates in Ghana. Youth Forward supports young people in Ghana and Uganda to get jobs, grow their businesses and access finance to expand opportunities available to them. The Learning Partnership works to develop an evidence-informed understanding of the needs of young people and how the initiative can best meet those needs.

MASO youth participants from Tweapease, New Edubiase, Ghana
Image credit:© MASO/Solidaridad ~ Image license:© MASO/Solidaridad

Melanie Pinet, Vidhya Unnikrishnan, Lukasz Marc, Maya Atta-Mensah, Sophie Bridonneau, Ethel Seiwaa Boateng and Nathaniel Amoh Boateng