Back to Impact

IT capacity assessment of COCOBOD to manage the CocoaLink platform

World Cocoa Foundation / COCOBOD / Ghana - Assess and evaluate the system's requirements to enable COCOBOD manage the CocaLink platform

SDG 1 - No Poverty
SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
SDG 8 - Decent Work And Economic Growth
SDG 15 - Life On Land

Project Detail

Background

Over the years, a lack of infrastructure and financial capacity has impeded extension services, especially in the cocoa sector in Ghana. However, since the early 2000s, innovative alternatives for agricultural information were explored and piloted in different sectors. In 2011, A partnership between World Cocoa Foundation and the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) led to the implementation of an innovative program, which offers a cost-effective mechanism to enhance the provision of farmer extension services, i.e., CocoaLink. The CocoaLink program provided the digital solution that supported the delivery of extension services through COCOBOD's Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease Control Unit using mobile phone technology. 

The CocoaLink platform was established through collaborative efforts from the World Cocoa Foundation, COCOBOD and funded by the Hershey Company. Using mobile phone technology, the cost-effective platform was designed to deliver cocoa-specific agronomic information, allowing farmers to request and obtain timely farming and marketing information. After the 3-year pilot program, the platform was handed over to COCOBOD in 2014. To successfully manage the platform, World Cocoa Foundation contracted Bewsys to assess and evaluate the system's requirements and provide the needed capacity training required.


Solution

Bewsys was contracted by World Cocoa Foundation to evaluate the capacity and performance of the CocoaLink platform, assess expansion requirements and capacity building of their IT staff. The Bewsys consulting team conducted secondary research to understand better the project's systems requirements, system features, and functions. The team interacted with key project partners and stakeholders, including World Education, Inc., COCOBOD, Word Cocoa Foundation, and DreamOval, to understand their contribution to the project.

Following that, a comprehensive review of the software requirements of the platform was accessed and subsequently reported on. The data collated helped the team effectively report on the capacity and performance of the current CocoaLink platform and the capacity-building requirements to host and manage the platform.

The report elaborated some recommendations regarding the level of human resource and equipment capacity investment the COCOBOD management team needs to consider within specifically stated timelines. In working closely with the World Cocoa Foundation and COCOBOD, the Bewsys consulting team successfully presented a report on the study's findings for effective decision-making and implementation.


Impact

The recommendations from the Bewsys consulting team provided COCOBOD with the software and capacity-building needs of the CocoaLink platform. At the project's inception, 45,000 Ghanaian cocoa farmers in 1,800 communities were registered and benefited economically as their yields increased significantly by 45.6% in three years. More farmers have access to mobile phones now compared to 2011. The benefits of using mobile phones to improve agriculture are significant to an economy like Ghana's. CocoaLink is progressing the achievement of SDGs 1 (no poverty), 2 (zero hunger), 8 (decent work and economic growth), and 15 (life on land).

Related Projects

Testimonials

FAO

Working with Bewsys has been a tremendous journey. We have not reached our destination, but we are enjoying the ride. Although it was supposed to be a corporate function, at meetings, we built rapport and trust with the consultants, and at the same time, they enhanced efficiency and collaboration.

World Cocoa Foundation (WCF)

Bewsys sure knows what it’s about. I’m particularly thrilled with the use of technology to accomplish tasks and also with the packaging of deliverables.

Proforest

Great service. I will recommend any day anytime.

USAID

The Bewsys team worked professionally on our assignment and sought to deliver our needs with great patience and creativity. They are reliable, competent and I recommend them for any assignment.Bewsys sure knows what it’s about. I’m particularly thrilled with the use of technology to accomplish tasks and also with the packaging of deliverables.

Chemonics

Very professional in their work, and client communication. I was really impressed with their ability to meet all their deliverable schedules, and above all submit a comprehensive user manual. Will recommend them to other projects.

UNDP Phillipines

Bewsys has been able to deliver what was expected based on the agreed timelines. The inception mission in the Philippines has been successful, and discussions with various stakeholders have been fruitful. Bewsys showed eagerness to know more about the unique requirements of the portal upon hearing it from firsthand users. They were able to accommodate various questions, comments, suggestions, and recommendations with different stakeholders, mostly from the government side, with each agency with unique requirements.

International Organisation for Migration (IOM)

Bewsys staff are results-oriented and adapted a lot of tasks, and were flexible to ensure the solution they provided was the best. A feather in their cap!

Association of African Universities

There is a great need for digital systems development in Africa. I think it will be essential to continue supporting institutions such as Bewsys so they can do these jobs better. Also, we need to think about solutions that can be deployed quickly to support other institutions where there is a match in need.