This report analyses the impact of the International Cocoa Initiative’s Community Development Programme on child labour and its severity in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. ICI’s Community Development Programme supported 75 cocoa-growing communities in both countries over four years, between 2015 and 2018, with the overall aim of improving these communities’ capacity to protect children.
Using participatory approaches, community members identified development challenges and received assistance from ICI to tackle them. Activities included the creation and training of child protection committees, improvements to education and community infrastructure, awareness-raising activities, adult literacy classes, distribution of birth certificates and assistance to diversify household income.
Complementing an external evaluation of ICI’s work, conducted by the Bureau of Integrated Rural Development, this report concludes that the Community Development Programme had several positive impacts on assisted communities.
Key findings of the report
- The programme reduced children’s participation in hazardous child labour. In Côte d’Ivoire, the prevalence of hazardous child labour decreased from an estimated 62% to 51% in supported communities, a reduction of 17%. A decrease was also noted in Ghana, although this was not statistically significant.
- The programme reduced the severity of child labour. In Côte d’Ivoire the average number of hazardous tasks, number of hours spent working on hazardous tasks and the average number of days on which children worked all decreased. In Ghana, we found a similar reduction to the average number of hours worked, and the average number of days on which children worked per week.
- School enrolment increased in Côte d’Ivoire from an estimated 69% to 84% in ICI assisted communities. In Ghana, where school enrolment was at nearly 100% in both assisted and control communities at the project’s outset, there was no significant change.
- The impact of the programme was measurable across the community as a whole, not only among those children and their families who participated directly in programme activities.
These positive results indicate that the Community Development Programme was successful in supporting communities to address child labour, as well as some of the other development issues, such as education and women’s empowerment, described in the external evaluation report.