Monday, July 30, 2007

Interview with Gifty Dzah, Programme Assistant, ABANTU for Development

This video features Gifty Dzah who shared her view on how best ICTs could help facilitate the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act which was recently passed by the Ghanaian Parliament.
What is your name and what do you do with ABANTU for Development?
My name is Gifty Dzah and I work with ABANTU for Development and I am the programme assistant in charge of National Coalition on the Women Manifesto for Ghana as well as coordinate other programmes. I am actually in charge of advocacy and public awareness.
What is the domestic violence?
The domestic Violence Act was passed by Parliament and endorsed by the President on 3rd May 2007 and it is now a law that came about because Ghana's criminal code didn't completely cover all domestic violence issues. The Act is based on provisions from the UN declaration on human right and then our constitution and the Children's Act. The Domestic Violence Act basically looks at the definition of Domestic Violence, filing complains, police assistance then there is a session that looks at protection orders for both victims and people who report on behalf of victims then there is another session that looks at miscellanous provisions that is the fund to support the Domestic Violence Act and the management board among others.
What Role can ICTs play in the Implementation of the Domestic Violence Act?
When I think about the role ICTs will play in the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act, I look at mobile phones, the internet, computers among others. So it is not only about sofwares and all that.Now I think that we need a national hotline which we don't have which I think ICTs can help us with that. All the mobile networks could set-up a code that is easily accessible.It could be toll free or call back and you don't pay anything for that.So far, our land phones do not have those special codes or pay phones do not have those special codes. So there is the need to set-up a national hotline and then to online counseling services. People do not always want to go and seat in front of a counselor and to talk about issues so those who have access to internet could visit the site and then talk to the counselor online and then again too for information dissemination as well as education of the public, we could have a website created and have regular programmes on TV and Radio.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Interview with Mr Joel Sam, GAINS Coordinator

Mr Joel Sam is the Coordinator for the Ghana Agriculture Information Network Systems(GAINS). He shared his opinion on IICD South Project Node Meeting organised in Accra on the 17th of July 2007.
I think it was very well organised in the first place and well patronised. The participants were forthcoming with their views and comments about coming together to share ideas as to how we can move the various projects forward. The ideas generated again was very good and will help the other projects in the way they do their things. Some lessons we learnt, some pitfalls were realised and that those projects starting new may not fall into such pitfalls. For me I think that we need to have more of such interactions both online and offline to continue to generate more ideas into the various projects.

Interview with Dr. Irene Susan Egyir

Dr. Irene Egyir was the lead researcher in the GINKS/IDRC Mfantsiman project .She shared her views a bout the project at an output dissemination workshop on the project.
What is your name and what position do you hold in the GINKS/IDRC Mfantsiman Project?
I am known as Dr. Mrs Irene Susan Egyir and i work with the University of Ghana, Legon as a lecturer but in GINKS, I am the lead Researcher for the Mfantsiman Research Project.
What was the purpose of the GINKS/IDRC Mfantsiman Project?
You know we have growth and poverty reduction strategy for the nation and I think GINKS is trying to enhance knowledge sharing for poverty reduction so its main objective for the research was to find mechanisms and tools for generating, storing, disseminating information through the use of modern ICTs but in order that we find out whether underprivileged communities can be part of the knowledge enhancing through ICTs, GINKS went there in 2005 to start such a research.
What were some on the interesting findings from the Mfantsiman Project?
The first objective was to have a best practice tour and one of the interesting findings in the tour was the fact that when you want to implement such a project, you should have a knowledge club so we were able to put together women who were basically old food producers into an ACCASI club. ACCASI stands for Atakwa Community Centre for Knowledge Sharing through ICTs. The second objective was to find out what they needed most and through sample surveys and focus group discussions, we found out that, they needed where to find low cost credit for their food production activities. Third was to also scout for what modern ICTs and other traditional and conventional ICTs they use to source for information. We realise that they don't use any modern ICTs, however, they know about computers but not much about internet. They also knew about television, they knew about digital radios but did not know how to use it, so we trying to use the internet, mobile phone and computers to link them to holders of knowledge. These holders of knowledge are service providers, the extension people, money or financial institutions and other groups that help in group dynamics so that is also one of the interesting things we have been able to achieve. we were also able to put together a resource centre in that village and train these women. Most of them were illiterate, some had some number of years of education and at the end of May 2007, we have able to get these people to break the myth concerning older women and gadgets. So they were able to operate DVDs and also log onto the computer and retrieve information that has been repackaged for them and I believe that these are some of the interesting findings that we came up with. The fact that women knew what they wanted, we could get what they wanted, repackage with them, put them on computers and they themselves can retrieve it at any time and share with others. These are some of the interesting findings that have come out of the GINKS/IDRC Mfantsiman project.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Interview with Shafiu Shaibu of SEND Foundation about

Shafiu Shaibu is the programmes coordinator of the ECAMIC Project of SEND Foundation supported by IICD. He was a participant at the just ended GINKS Technical follow-up meeting in Accra and shared his opinion on how the project will work with to improve market information for the farmers. The video is about 3 minutes long. Here's the transcript:
At Send Foundation we've been thinking over time how to facilitate the speed at which the market information which is gathered gets to the farmers. We found it difficult. We thought about the GSM model, but it needs back-up and technical skills. Tradenet appears the right solution because it has institutional background. Send will no longer be the technical body but will link farmers to Tradenet. Farmers will be registered on groups to received SMS alerts with market prices. Our area is now open to mobile phones, so we can set up centres. Tradenet will therefore be a very good solution for us. We are planning training on how to use SMS for the farmers. Tradenet will train us (train-the-trainer) and then we will train the farmers how to use SMS to get market information.