An Evidence Based Impact Study of Oil Funded Irrigation Projects, 2018

As Ghana seeks to achieve optimum utilization of extractive resources, it is imperative to take a reflection of how resource revenues have so far been invested so as to identify the gaps and lessons to inform future policy decisions. Oil revenues continue to play significant role in Ghana’s economic development contributing in excess of $4 billion in proceeds.

Therefore, there is the need to learn lessons from Ghana’s experience in oil revenues investment since the country begun receiving inflows from petroleum resources nearly ten years ago. This was basically the driving force that influenced ACEP with support from Oxfam in Ghana under the NORAD grant to conduct this impact study. It is worthy of noting that ACEP has over the years been advocating for oil revenues to be invested in pro poor sectors such as education, agriculture and health which various governments have considered.

The study was therefore set out to assess the impacts of oil revenue investment in selected agricultural projects and to assess the level of adoption of recommendations from the various value for money audits (VFM) by government by way of influencing spending policies.

The study employed an experimental research design by selecting a treatment and control groups. The treatment group in this case refers to the group of selected projects that received oil revenue funding whiles the control group did not benefit from oil revenue funds but were selected for purposes of comparing against the treatment group.

The Tono and Zuedem Irrigation dams were purposively selected from a list of projects that benefitted from oil revenues for dam rehabilitation and dam construction works respectively. Wiaga and Vea communities were also selected as control group because they share similar socio-economic characteristics with the treatment group but did not benefit from oil revenue investment. 

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