What is Ricerca e Cooperazione

Ricerca e Cooperazione is an International Non-Governmental and non-profit making organization. It operates in the international co-operation within which it promotes, plans and implement development projects in Less Developed Countries (LDC).

Objectives of Ricerca e Cooperazione

Our vision and mission is reflected in our slogan “more diversity, less difference”
“More diversity” thus ensures there are biodiversity conservation, preservation and valorisation of indigenous knowledge and cultural heritage.
“Less difference” means the promotion of fundamental human rights of people such as right to life, equal access to health and education, freedom of expression and association.
Within this framework, RC therefore aims at promoting sustainable development through:
Direct project implementation, Research, capacity building and advocacy

Areas of Operation

Geographically, RC operates in Italy, Ghana, Benin, Argentina, Ecuador, Columbia, Bolivia, West Bank, Jordan, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Egypt, Malawi, Lebanon, Yemen. Syria.
RC’s mandate has revolved around rural development with special interest in environment, community development, research, professional training and education, as well as institutional support.

Operations Of RC In Ghana

Ricerca e Cooperazione has been operating in Ghana since 1987.  In November 1988, the Department of Social Welfare granted RC the right to operate as a voluntary organization rendering selfless social services to humanity.

During the past twenty years Ricerca e Cooperazione has operated mainly in the Western and Eastern Region. RC has however since 1999 operated in the Ashanti and Greater Accra regions respectively under an Institutional Capacity Building Programme.

The main areas of intervention by Ricerca e Cooperazione in Ghana are:

  • Rural  Development including Rural Housing Schemes, Income Generation, Agriculture, Primary Health Care, Water and Sanitation.
  • Environmental Protection/ Integrated Coastal Zone Management, Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable management of Forests, Natural Resources Management.
  • Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Building- Human Resource Development, Education etc.
Target Beneficiaries

The beneficiaries of RC programmes in Ghana vary depending on the programmes. However the target beneficiaries are the marginalized, poor, rural people, women, and youth/children, refugees.(See details) Beneficiaries of the programmes implemented so far include the following:

  • Poor Rural Communities: There are community-based programmes for which the entire communities are the target beneficiaries. E.g. Cocoa farms, Bee Keeping and Weanimix projects for selected communities in the Sefwi Wiawso district. Construction of drains, toilets, incinerators, tree planting, dredging of a lagoon and preparation of lay-outs for some selected communities in the Ahanta West district.
  • Individual Rural Households: individuals are targeted sometimes to benefit from RC’s programmes. E.g. household latrines, support in income generating activities (bee keeping, soap making, poultry farming etc.) as in Sefwi Wiawso, Appiahkrom, Princess Town and Akatekye all in the Western Region; Donkorkrom in the Eastern Region and a rural housing scheme in Anglo in the Sefwi Wiawso district Donkorkrom in the Afram Plains District.
  • Women’s Groups: women groups have been important targets for RC programmes. RC has supported these groups in income generation activities, training and other capacity building programmes. E.g. Women’s groups in Donkorkrom in the Afram Plains district, women’s groups in Appiahkrom, Punikrom and Kesekrom in the Sefwi Wiawso district and women’s groups in Princess Town, Aketekye, Anwona village, Tumentu, Abura etc in the Ahanta West district.
  • Farmers’ Groups and Forest Fringe Communities: farmers groups and FFC have also been important targets for RC’s agricultural and agroforestry programmes. RC has supported these groups in the supply of seedlings, soil conservation and fertility enhancing programs, training and other capacity building programmes.
  • Community Based Organizations (CBOs): These are often targeted for capacity building to help implement and sustain development initiatives. Examples of CBOs, which have benefited from RC programmes, include fishermen’s groups, fishmongers groups, and youth groups in the Ahanta West district.
  • Local NGOs: these are targeted for capacity building and institutional strengthening to help in the implementation and sustainability of projects. NGOs, which has benefited from RC’s interventions, are: Conservation Foundation-an environmental NGO based in Agona Nkwanta; Children Better Way a Liberian NGO operating in the Refugee Camp of Budumburam in the Central Region; the Gender Working Group active in the Sefwi Wiawso District. 
  • Government Departments: The major government departments which have benefited from RC’s programs are the Department of Community Development (DCD) under the Ministry of Local Government & Rural Development and Environment, Department of Social Welfare under the Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment and the District Assemblies in the districts where RC operates. Some departments of the DAs also benefit from training and capacity building programs to strengthen their institutions.
  • Refugees: Since January 2004 Ricerca e Cooperazione has been working with refugees in the Budumburam Camp. The project implemented is aimed at enhancing education at the camp.
  • Street children: Since October, 2007 RC has been working with street children and mother in an enhancement of living conditions with street children and street mothers in Accra.
Collaborating Agencies

RC works in close collaboration with government departments (Ministries), Local NGOs, District Assemblies, relevant Departments and Institutions, Universities as well as private consulting firms in the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of various programs to enhance the living conditions of the communities in which it operates.

Examples of these agencies include the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment, Afram Plains, Sefwi Wiawso and Ahanta West District Assemblies, National Board for Small Scale Industries, Environmental Protection Agency, Water Research Institute, Faculty  of Renewable Natural Resources, Departments of Botany, Zoology, Geography, Ghana Wildlife Society, Wildlife Department, Depatment of Social Welfare, Department of Community Development, Department of Rural Housing, Ghana Tourist Board, JEAVCO Associates, Conservation Foundation, Afram Plains Development Organisation etc.

Projects Counterparts

RC has had three counterparts since the inception of its projects in the country. The main one being the Department of Community Development. The DCD has been RC’s counterpart in almost all of its projects/programmes implementation.  Some of these projects include

  • The Afram Plains Development Programme,
  • Agroforestry, Environmental Care, Job Creation and Poverty Reduction Project, in Sefwi Wiawso,
  • Princess Town and Aketekye Coastal Zone Restoration and Management Project,
  • Decentralized Cooperation Programme etc.

The other two counterparts of RC are the Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources-KNUST and Conservation Foundation (CF). The FRNR was RC’s counterpart in the implementation of the Forest Resources Creation Project in the Sefwi Wiawso district and Afram Plains. CF is a local environmental NGO based in the Ahanta West district and has been RC’s counterpart in most of its environmental projects in the district.

These three institutions have greatly enjoyed mutual collaboration over the past years with RC and have formal agreements/memorandum of understanding.

Human Resources

Ricerca e Cooperazione in Ghana has a permanent staff of 32. This number is made of 30 national staff and two expatriates. RC also contract short-term experts, both expatriates and nationals. 

RC Ghana’s headquarters is in Accra with three decentralized offices: one at Sefwi Wiawso in the Sefwi Wiawso District and one at Agona Nkwanta in the Ahanta West District both in the Western region. A third one is at Donkorkrom - capital of the Afram Plains District, in the Eastern Region.

Ricerca e Cooperazione’s Funders

Ricerca e Cooperazione’s major funders are the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European Commission, Agence Francaise de Development, the World Bank, UNDP and internally generated funds from the NGO and contributions in cash and kind (labour, land, etc) from the project counterparts and beneficiaries.

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