Bridging Microenterprise Development with Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction: Coping With Mission Drift in Ghana

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Nikoi Kote-Nikoi


Many small, private voluntary and nongovernmental, organizations whose core mission is nonfinancial in nature, are bridging their core missions with finance-related activities such as microenterprise and private sector development. This is called “mission drift” which can promote new solutions to alleviating poverty but also risk project outcomes that fall short of helping the intended beneficiaries. The result can waste time, money and endanger the trust of small and vulnerable business people in less developed countries who are the project clients of the very organizations funded to build their capacity. The purpose of this paper is to test a free and easy solution and, based on those results; ask if this solution is appropriate. I assert that the best of many possible solutions is to adopt existing project planning tools specifically designed for microfinance projects, in the planning process, by these non finance-oriented organizations. These tools are available without cost and easily downloaded via the internet. They embody the experience and techniques created, field tested, and found to be effective by some of the best practitioners and organizations in the development industry. To demonstrate how the tools and techniques of microfinance projects can be used effectively by non financial organizations, I will present as a case study the mission drift that I coped with during my three years of work in Ghana as a Program Officer for the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. This case study will not only serve as the framework for a retrospective comparative analysis of the project’s planning elements viewed through the lens of new microfinance project planning tools, but it will reveal where and how microfinance tools could have prevented miscalculations by the organization and improved outcomes for the project clients. In demonstrating that adopting these tools can improve client service delivery immediately will open the door to adapting these tools, through future work, to further improve project planning efficacy while promoting innovation.


Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations | International Business | Organizational Behavior and Theory

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