The Gulf of Guinea Northern Regions Social Cohesion (SOCO) Project

The government has signed GH¢3.2 million agreement with Switzerland to build capacity and deepen decentralisation at the country’s local government level. This is to ensure a responsive, effective and efficient local governance system in the country.

The interventions, which are being piloted in 40 assemblies, will contribute to enhancing the technical and administrative capacities of local authorities. Under the agreement, the Switzerland government is supporting the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS) with GH¢3.2 million to build the capacity to the local government officials to enable them to effectively perform their duties and responsibilities.

The Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development is working with the institute and other partners to complete this assignment and with the desired level of quality to ensure that the requisite lessons and insights are drawn to inform processes for a nation-wide rollout of this novelty in capacity building for the sector.

The Government of Ghana (GoG), through the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGDRD), in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, has received a credit facility of $150 million (out of the total $450 million) from the World Bank to implement the Gulf of Guinea Northern Regions Social Cohesion (SOCO) Project, in six regions in the northern parts of Ghana – namely the Northern, Upper East, Upper West, North East, Savannah and Oti Regions.


1. Investing in community Resiliency and Inclusion

This component aims to support people in the target Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs), to fully participate in their local development activities through the financing of local-level investments to promote inclusive and resilient communities with enhanced access to economic opportunities, especially in border areas. The component has three (3) subcomponents, stated below.

Subcomponent 1.1: Community investments for strengthening local resilience and inclusion.

Subcomponent 1.2: Strategic economic activity investments for local economic development.

Subcomponent 1.3: Youth engagement and social cohesion.

2. Building Foundation and Capacity for Inclusive and Resilient Communities

This component will support training and capacity-building activities aimed at strengthening the capacity of stakeholders at various levels, including individual beneficiaries, DAs, Community Facilitators (CFs), CPICs, Facility Management Committees (FMCs), youth groups, women groups and other local-level actors, as well as national level stakeholders.

Capacity-building activities under the Project will cover broad areas such as awareness creation, training and the provision of necessary logistics, as well as ensuring the existence of the required institutional arrangements for project delivery.

3. Regional Coordination Platform and Dialogue

The Regional Collaboration Platform (RCP) aims to strengthen regional collaboration across the four target countries to support a coherent response to prevent FCV risks and manage climate and disaster risks in the project catchment area. In this regard, the component will strengthen the national capacity to engage and co-lead regional dialogue, including advancing a shared vision of the implementing counties regarding their involvement with existing regional institutions such as ECOWAS, where they will be able to engage and share this vision with bordering Sahel countries, the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD), the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), or the African Union, among others.

Specifically, it will fund the project’s RCP activities, which will focus on three pillars, namely, data collection and analysis, knowledge generation, and dialogue.

PRCC Training


This Component will support project management and coordination at the regional, national, and subnational levels to ensure the effective implementation of project activities.

The component covers project management areas such as planning, implementation, and technical oversight of program activities; management and monitoring of social and environmental safeguards; financial management and procurement; preparation of work plans, budgets, and progress reports; communication and publicity campaigns; monitoring and evaluation arrangements, including the setup of a Management Information System (MIS); setting up and managing a project beneficiary feedback mechanism, as well as steps to improve openness and accountability, including the use of ICT platforms.


5. Contingent Emergency Response Component

This zero-budget component will serve as a contingency funding mechanism that will be activated in the case of a natural or man-made disaster, as well as a health crisis such as a pandemic, via a formal declaration of a national emergency or a formal request from the government.

If a disaster or crisis occurs, monies from the unallocated expenditure category or other project components could be shifted to support emergency response expenditures to address immediate demands.