Community Register process
Hello everyone! Thank you very much for your warm support for ACE's activities. This is Kondo, a staff in charge of Ghana.
In this report, we will tell you about “Community Register”, which is very important for understanding the actual situation of child labour.
In Ghana, guidelines for the creation of government-certified "Child Labour Free Zone" (CLFZ) have been established, and ACE has been involved in their development. The guidelines were completed in 2020, and ACE then attempted to test the guidelines in practice through a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) research project*.
The guidelines outline the requirements for creating a child labour free zone, which must be met in order to receive government recognition as a CLFZ. In the areas where ACE has been implementing the SMILE Ghana project, most of the requirements stipulated in the guidelines have been met, but there is only one thing that has not yet been implemented, which is a Community Register of residents in each village.
Community Register to capture information at the village level
The Community Register is part of the Ghana Child Labour Monitoring System (GCLMS), which was created by the Ghanaian government to identify and resolve child labour at the community level. Information on community residents is collected on a household-by-household basis, recorded in a database, and managed.
The purpose is to identify children who are engaged in or at risk of child labour by verifying the presence and enrollment of children in each household through the Community Register.
In order to ascertain as accurately as possible, the presence or absence of child labour, and to be able to receive CLFZ certification in the future, we have decided to implement Community Register in the two villages where we are currently working.
Survey and registration process begins
Initially, we planned to register the data on a paper basis, but since the Ghanaian government is currently in the process of putting the database online, we followed the government policy and registered household data online using tablets.
The registration process was as follows.
1. Selection of surveyors to collect information
In discussions with the elders' association, resident volunteers, and others, we selected the people who would actually conduct the survey (information collection) in the village. During the discussion, we also explained that the data collection and registration process would facilitate the understanding of the actual situation of child labour and the formulation of effective preventive measures, as well as the effective formulation of village development plans.
2. Provide training for surveyors
Training was provided to the surveyors selected in the above discussion. Training was provided on how to prevent double counting, how to select survey routes, etc., as surveys in rural areas with high population mobility, such as Ghana, require training. We also trained them in understanding the content of the questionnaires used to collect information and how to ask questions to obtain appropriate answers. Staff from partner organizations with experience in conducting surveys in rural areas served as instructors.
3. Household visits and interviews in the village
Staffs from the local partner organization and trained village surveyors visited each household in the village and interviewed the family structure, length of residence, occupation, children's schooling status, and living conditions according to the items in the questionnaire.
4. Data input
Data obtained from interviews conducted through home visits were entered into an online software program.
Findings from Community Register
The results of Community Register revealed that there was no child labour in two villages, but in one village, the kindergarten to elementary school enrollment rate (the number of children enrolled in school out of the population of children of school age from kindergarten to elementary school) was 76%, which is different from the situation identified in the project. We will discuss this point with local partner organizations to confirm the factors and how these children should be follwed up.
In addition, the survey to obtain the data was a series of hardships. The survey was conducted during the rainy season from May to June, and we encountered heavy rains many times. In some areas, the road conditions were very bad. By conducting the survey throughout the entire village, we were able to reconfirm the conditions of the village, including the lack of infrastructure in many areas.
In order for CLFZs to spread nationwide in earnest in the future, Community Register must also be implemented nationwide. We would like to encourage the Ghanaian government to apply the challenges and lessons learned from our implementation of the CLFZ to other regions.
Meetings with elders' association and volunteers
Interviews with residents
Data entry using tablets
Many places are still bad road condition