Migration and Social Protection in Ghana

  • Yelfaanibe, Augustine (PI)

Project Details


There is a growing discussion around the interconnectedness of migration and social protection. It is argued that while the need to manage risk and secure livelihoods can be the main driver of migration, a derived demand for various forms of social protection (state and non-state) often arise in the migration process itself. Migrants working in the informal economy are widely recognized as the most vulnerable group of the global workforce. They are normally in profound need of state protection which is either inadequate or unavailable. Current discussions on social protection for migrants, however, are largely centred on international migrants much to the neglect of internal migrants who form the largest number of the global migration stock. The purpose of this study is to explore the case of the latter in Ghana’s informal economy through state interventions such as the livelihood empowerment against poverty (LEAP) and the voluntary contribution pension scheme (VCPS). The main objective is to examine the perceptions of different categories of migrants on state social protection measures and conditions of work in the informal economy. It is designed as a case study with mixed methods of inquiry. It involves migrants from the highest out-migration area of Ghana (the Upper West Region) in their most preferred destination area (the Techiman District of the Brong Ahafo Region). The source area is largely rural with high levels of deprivation, poverty, lack of development and economic opportunities. It is inhabited mainly by a peasant population whose livelihoods revolve around an erratic and unreliable single rainfall season. On the other hand, the destination area where studies would be carried out is less rural/deprived with more natural resource endowments, low in poverty levels and a flourishing export oriented economy with numerous socio-economic opportunities. It also has a double rainfall season for all year round farming. The outcome of this study is expected to provide an understanding about 1) the perceptions of migrants about state social protection and how it reflects in their conditions; 2) why migrants are (not) participating in opportunities provided by the state for access to social protection; 3) differences and similarities in perceptions of state social protection between gender in rural and urban employments; and, 4) how these perceptions are linked to their daily practice to manage risk and secure livelihood. These outcomes would provide useful information for social protection policy and stimulate debate on internal migration and social protection particularly in Ghana

Layman's description

The research is about how migrants working in the informal economy think about the actions of government to protect people against adverse conditions and how this is reflecting in their situations, aspirations and working life. The project considers the views migrants from the highest out-migration area of Ghana (the Upper West Region) living in the one of the most preferred destination area--Techiman District of the Brong Ahafo Region--to examine two key interventions, namely, livelihood empowerment against poverty (LEAP) and the voluntary contribution pension scheme (VCPS).

Key findings

Still evolving. No empirical findings as of now
Short titleState Interventions and Perceptions of Migrants in Informal Employment
Effective start/end date15/06/201419/06/2017


  • internal migration, unskilled/low-skilled labour, social protection, informal employment, vulnerability, poverty


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