The Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) officer at Urbanet has, under the GROW2 project, commenced a series of pieces of training on the Gender Action Learning System (GALS) in various communities in the operational zones of the GROW2 project. The training will include selected couples within these communities and village agents, who will later transfer the knowledge learned to others within and outside the community.

The Gender Action Learning System is a community-led empowerment methodology that uses specific participatory processes and diagram tools that aim at giving women as well as men more control over their lives and resources. Couples and clients will be introduced to setting goals, making active decisions, and planning towards achieving these goals. The component takes participants through the processes involved in goal setting, identifying challenges or obstacles that hinder the success of the goals they set for themselves, and how to mitigate these challenges.

Participants in this training are guided to understand the concepts of goal setting, effective decision-making, and planning strategies that foster the achievement of these goals. And with the help of illustrations, they can draw out their visions, and schedule for goals, opportunities, challenges, and targets. They are made to identify on their own how they can achieve these goals using existing resources and opportunities and controlling challenges.

The primary focus of these activities is to first empower these women, to be able to take charge and create an environment that aligns with the future they want for themselves and their communities. And secondly, ensure that couples and households can make collective decisions that foster growth within and outside their household. It is also meant to address the issue of gender and social injustice in economic development by using an inclusive and participatory process, which in itself is an empowerment strategy.

Since the inception of the Gender Module Family (GMF) within the various communities of the GROW2 project, gradual monitoring has been made to determine the impact the module has had on various households. The GMF is a gender component of the GROW2 project, which seeks to elevate the opportunities of women, create space for them to venture into or have time to generate more income through reducing unpaid care work, foster participation in household decision-making, and improve their standards of living.

The GMF is currently running in the Savelugu, Nanton, and Central Gonja districts and has made a lot of impact on the participating households despite the challenges in the beginning. Families that have embraced the concept have shared the changes they are seeing in their households. Led by the GESI officer at URBANET Ghana, couples are taken through how to foster inclusiveness in the household, especially how men can support their wives.

Recent monitoring has shown immense improvement in households and the relationship between spouses as well as their children. Men have begun to support their wives in household chores, including decision-making, providing social and financial support, and engaging in communication, which has reduced gender-based abuse, among others.

In the Savelugu district, through decision-making and effective communication with their husbands, a lot of women have been able to acquire certain pre-harvest and post-harvest technologies such as threshers, roller/push planters, and motokings, amongst others, under the GROW2 Price Discount Scheme with their support. Most women have received support when it comes to farm labour, and taking care of children, and they have also been able to acquire multiple sources of income to support themselves and their households.

In terms of communal conflicts, some traditional leaders have reported a reduction in household conflicts and minor community conflicts, and an increase in communal cohesion and peace. However, some men still face challenges in adjusting to the concept due to name-calling and mockery for assisting and performing roles that are generally known to be women’s roles. Most men have been able to fully embrace and adjust to their new roles and have become advocates for the concept in their group meetings and in the community at large.

The Gender Module Family concept has exceeded the expectations of many. A lot of women have shown appreciation and joy at the initiative, and how much stress and burden it has reduced for them. Others in polygamous households have expressed peace between cowives and support for each other. GMF, popularly and joyously called “dundong malimali” (sweet household) by our beneficiaries, has become a daily slogan sung in each practicing household.

A major component of the Women Innovation for Sustainable Enterprises (WISE) project is alleviating poverty and ensuring economic empowerment for women. The project has, since its inception, provided step-down training, innovative saving methods, and business and entrepreneurial strategy training, among others, to equip women smallholder farmers and aggregators to transform their farming activities and livelihoods into profitable agribusinesses. Through start-up support, a lot of women have been able to secure businesses for themselves, while others have transformed already existing businesses to meet wider market standards.

Over the years, a few of these beneficiaries have become exceptional entrepreneurs, and some of them have participated in competitions where they pitched their businesses in the country’s capital. These women have been selected to serve as mentees and advocates in their communities. To ensure that a ripple effect is seen across the districts, these mentees have been allowed to engage in some savings groups within the Kumbungu and Tolon districts, sharing their entrepreneurial journeys and insights.

This experience-sharing is not just about networking; it is a platform for growth, empowerment, and learning new strategies to navigate the business world. They also engaged them in proper savings strategies that can be used in transforming their businesses, setting goals, and how to achieve them. The purpose of using mentees for this engagement was to ensure that, the rural women understood they could also succeed if they put their minds to their businesses. And to also provide them with a sense of hope and boost their morale, knowing that people from amongst them have been able to go this far.

To ensure the sustainability of the project, we are aiming at getting as many advocates and mentees as possible within each community of implementation and equipping them with the needed skills to support and uplift others. The aim of URBANET is not just to support and provide relief to an entire community within our districts of influence, but to ensure that a considerable number of women are effectively transformed and serve as ambassadors in their communities.

Zoggu is one of the 28 communities under the Nanton district where the GROW2 project is executed within the Northern region by URBANET Ghana. It has been identified as one of the communities with much potential considering its vibrant women smallholder farmers and aggregators and their zeal to embrace change. Through the project, many initiatives under the market systems component and gender transformative approaches have been implemented in the community, which have seen great progress.

Through the continuous support from URBANET Ghana and the GROW2 project, the community is slowly becoming a hub for serious agribusinesses owned by women, gender rights advocacy, and several other transformational development initiatives. 

As the sponsor of the GROW2 project, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) has shown immense interest in the project and its progress. Through the major implementor, MEDA Ghana, it pays working visits to its Key Facilitating Partners (KFPs) to measure the impact of the project on clients (beneficiaries).

URBANET Ghana hosted the Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, Martine Moreau, the Senior Development Officer at GAC, Mr. Majeed Mohammed, and a team from MEDA Ghana in the Zoggu community. The visit was meant to interact with the women under the project, especially those who could acquire the various technologies under the project’s Price Discount Scheme (PDS) and members of the Gender Module Family (GMF) activity. Most of them shared their experience, the benefits they have derived from the project, and how it has transformed their households and businesses.

The High Commissioner, through the GESI officer of URBANET, interacted with some women who own tricycles and groundnut shellers acquired through the project. She found interest in how they were able to acquire such pieces of machinery and how well it is helping them. She expressed her satisfaction at how far the women have come and are working hard to transform themselves and their children.

Through the project’s market system and gender transformative approaches, many of them have improved their relationships with spouses and children, and have attained alternative income sources in addition to what they did previously, which has improved their financial status. The project intends to reduce poverty, if not end it, amongst women through business and market approaches. It seeks to create as many women in the agribusiness sector as possible, and URBANET, through its project officers across its Zones of Influence, is ensuring that it is achieved. 

The WISE project is a partner project with Plan International Ghana, and as an implementing partner, URBANET accounts to not only its beneficiaries and stakeholders but partners as well. Given this, URBANET has had a close relationship with Plan International Ghana over the years and has worked jointly to ensure the success of the project. Despite working with the northern branch of Plan International Ghana, our relationship extends beyond the branch office.

URBANET had the pleasure of hosting the recently appointed Country Director of Plan International Ghana, Constant Tchona, and some team members from the regional branch, in some of its WISE project implementing communities, as part of his visit to the regional branch. He engaged with the project beneficiaries in the Kumbungu district, sharing his life journey and as well immersing himself in their stories and experiences. From heartwarming interactions with the VSLA groups at the Kpilo community to monitoring the WISE project Safe Spaces for Children at the Tibung community, his visit was filled with impactful moments.

The team also visited the Voggu community, where the Country Director closely monitored our women-friendly solar hub and interacted with the hub agents and some women entrepreneurs. The resilience and determination of these women entrepreneurs left a lasting impression, showcasing the power of sustainable initiatives in driving change.

In recognition of the International Women’s Day Celebration, some groups in the Gumo community of the Kumbungu district organised an event to commemorate the day. As a core mandate of the Women Innovation for Sustainable Enterprises (WISE) project, uplifting and empowering women socially and economically is vital. The project has, through its components, provided several avenues to transform the lives of women across its implementing districts; Tolon and Kumbungu. Celebrating International Women’s Day is one of the recognized activities that are executed in selected communities every year by URBANET Ghana. This is to provide a platform for women to share their experiences and some of the transformative impact they have acquired so far.

This year, URBANET Ghana, in collaboration with Plan International Ghana, selected the Galinkpegu community in the Tolon district to host the celebration of International Women’s Day for its WISE beneficiaries/mentees. However, women in the Gumo community of the Kumbungu district challenged themselves to organize the same event in honour of the day. These amazing women were able to not only recognise the day but also see the need to organize an event to celebrate the day themselves, a testimony that, these inspired entrepreneurial women are making an effort to transform their lives. Through consultations and fundraising, they were able to bring together stakeholders within and outside their districts.

As part of ensuring the success of this project, we allow women to practicalize whatever they learn from pieces of training organised for them, as well as involve them in activities that boost their confidence level and build their self-esteem. Having a group of women take the initiative to bring such an event to life was very rewarding and indicates that the sustainability of the project is assured.

The WISE team that was present at the event commended the women for their exceptional work and encouraged them to generate more transformative ideas that will enhance the lives of other women, the community, and the district at large. This initiative has served as a pathway for other groups within the district to challenge themselves to become advocates for transformational development. URABANET Ghana is honoured to be a part of their journey and has promised to provide the necessary support they need each step of the way.

The Resilience in Northern Ghana System Strengthening (RING11SS) is a comprehensive initiative aimed at enhancing nutrition, health, and resilience among women of reproductive age and children under five years of age in the Gushegu Municipality. Implemented by Abt Associates in collaboration with URBANET Ghana, this program is designed to address key focus areas outlined by Abt Associates. The project will engage the Gushegu Municipal and District Health Directorate, stakeholders in 10 selected communities of implementation, and train 28 frontline health staff on Community-Based Growth Promotion (CBGP).




  • Children under 5 years
  • Women of reproductive age


  • Gushegu Municipality, Northern Region

Key Focus Areas:

  • Increasing breastfeeding rates
  • Increasing dietary diversity and meal frequency among children between 6 and 23 months
  • Reducing the prevalence of anaemia, underweight, and wasting among children under 5 years and women of reproductive age.

We are thrilled to share the inspiring journey of resilience and empowerment unfolding in the vibrant community of Kpaling, nestled within Savelugu. Here, women are spearheading a movement towards sustainable food solutions, igniting hope and change through their unwavering determination. Through the transformative support of the GROW 2 project, a collaborative effort between URBANET and MEDA Ghana, generously funded by Global Affairs Canada, these women have embarked on a profound journey, establishing Keyhole Gardens that yield an abundance of dry season vegetables right in their backyards.

Meet Nimatu Yussif, whose radiant smile mirrors the joy and fulfilment she finds in her Keyhole Garden. With newfound skills and resources, she’s one of the many women championing a positive change in the community, not just for herself, but for her entire community. Nimatu’s enthusiasm knows no bounds as she recounts the profound impact of her garden on her family’s daily life.

“This journey has been truly transformative,” shares Nimatu Yussif. “I am deeply grateful to URBANET and MEDA GROW2, as well as to Mr. Haruna and Tidoo, the Agricultural Extension Agent and Village Agent, for their exceptional dedication and assistance throughout the training process. Thanks to their support, these women have embarked on a profound journey, establishing Keyhole Gardens that yield an abundance of dry-season vegetables right in their backyards. Our Keyhole Garden has not only enabled us to achieve self-sufficiency but has also significantly reduced our household expenses. The availability of fresh, leafy vegetables right at our doorstep has alleviated the financial burden of sourcing scarce produce during this year’s dry season.”

Nimatu’s story echoes the resilience and determination of countless women in Kpaling, who are forging a path towards a brighter, more sustainable future. Each Keyhole Garden stands as a testament to the power of community-driven initiatives and the profound change that can blossom from empowerment and support.

Join us in celebrating the remarkable achievements of the women of Kpaling as they cultivate not just gardens but hope for resilience and a thriving future for generations to come. Together, let’s continue to sow the seeds of empowerment and nourish dreams into reality.

Monitoring and measuring the impact of projects on beneficiaries is imperative to ensuring their success. Ensuring that projects meet their set targets, and make a positive impact in communities and among beneficiaries is something project coordinators and officers under URBANET take keenly to every project.

The Greater Rural Opportunities for Women 2 (GROW2) project is one of the current projects with the most operational zones and components, which demand more effort in order to be successful. It is always a privilege to lead donors and partners to operational zones for monitoring, considering the proper execution by project officers in their places of operation.

This week, URBANET was honoured to host a field visit to the Zoggu community under the Nanton district by Dr. Pierre Kadet, the Regional Director of MEDA for the West Africa, Middle East, and North Africa (WAMENA) regions, Mr. Francis Essuman, the Project Manager for GROW2, and his team. The MEDA team engaged and interacted with the women smallholder farmers under the project, who were excited to share with them their experiences and the benefits they have enjoyed since the inception of the project.

Aside from the clients’ experience sharing engagement, the other highlight of the visit was a tour of the threshing centre owned by one of the women who were able to purchase a groundnut thresher and tricycle, thanks to the GROW2 project Price Discount Scheme (PDS). Many women within the district and other districts have shown great perseverance and a zeal to be economically empowered. They take advantage of every opportunity provided by the project to elevate themselves each time, a trait that was appreciated and commended by the MEDA team.

The GROW2 project’s primary focus is to alleviate poverty by providing economic and market solutions to women smallholder farmers within the two food crop value chains, soybeans, and groundnut. URBANET’s team is working tirelessly to ensure this goal is achieved successfully and is continually applauded for that.