Monday, December 15, 2014


This video is the maiden ICT Quiz Competition organized for 
Mamobi Prisons JHS1 in Accra as part of GINKS ICT in Education Activities. 

The quiz competition is an effort to test the ICT skill of Junior High 
Students, to prepare them towards their final examination and also 
enable them compete with other schools in similar competition in the future

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bicycle talents in Ghana

CYBER CRIME; Ghanaian Government Worried About Rising Cyber Crime

Telecoms Service Qaulity; Ghana Moves To Deal With Poor Quality Of Service

Legon to introduce ICT Distance Learning Center

News 360 - Samsung Provide Solar Powered ICT Facilty to Rural Communities

Made-in-Ghana Cars Ready for Market

Made-in-Ghana Cars Ready for Market

Interview with Nathaniel Padi - A 14 year old mobile entrepreneur in Ghana.

Nathaniel walked into Mobile Web Ghana Lab in early October 2012 and asked us 
if we could help him develop a mobile version of a software he had created with his 
friend. We are amazed about this young entrepreneur, so much that we decided to 
create this interview about him. Interestingly, he wanted to sell his app in order to
raise money to buy himself a laptop.

Female technology entrepreneur in Ghana - featuring Regina Agyare

Regina Agyare was the first female IT at an international bank in accra before 
leaving in 2012 to start her own business, Soronko Solutions

Female Teachers Using Technology Fellowship

FTUT logo Photo credit: savana Signatures

The Female teachers Using Technology Fellowship has been initiated by Savana Signatures to promote female participation in ICTs. Each year, applications would be open to female teachers to apply. 10 Applicants would be selected each year for the fellowship and they would mentor young female students in their schools while they acquire ICT pedagogical skills to enable them use technology to prepare and deliver their lessons.

Young People Commemorate WAD in Nalerigu

Two Junior High Schools in Nalerigu in northern Ghana test their knowledge in 
sexual reproductive health and HIV/AIDS issues during a quiz competition to 
mark World AIDS Day.
A scene of the interactive drama during the durbar to mark World AIDS Day

Hundreds of young people commemorate World AIDS Day (WAD) in Kolinvai, a farming community in Nalerigu in Northern Ghana. The event to mark the day was organized by the Association of Church-based Development NGOs (ACDEP) in collaboration with the Baptist Medical Centre (BMC).
Activities marking the day included a radio discussion, quiz competition, interactive drama and a grand durbar of young people and adult community members. The durbar was enlivened with cultural drumming and dancing by sons and daughters of Nalerigu.

The global theme for the Day is: “Getting to Zero”, while the national theme is: “Ghana towards an HIV free generation through PMTCT, safe sex and Stigma reduction”.
This is the second time that ACDEP is organising this event to create and deepen awareness on sexual and reproductive health issues and provide an opportunity for young people to celebrate life and unite in the fight against HIV; show their support for people living with HIV and AIDS and to commemorate people who have died through AIDS.

ACDEP’s decision to support young people to commemorate the day is in fulfilment of a statement Mr. Malex Alebikiya, Executive Director of ACDEP made during the 2013 event in Tamale, where he declared: “Part of the decision of organizing this event is sustainability. It only makes sense to organize this event if we believe there is a future for it. And we think there is.” The 2013 event was organised with support from IICD / volunteers of the WoD programme.

The commemoration of the 2014 World AIDS Day event was made possible by our partners: Connect4Change, Baptist Medical Centre, Ghana Health Service, Ghana AIDS Commission, the East Mamprusi District Assembly and the traditional authorities.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Interview with Nawsheen Hosenally

ARDYIS Youth Exchange and Training Workshop on Web 2.0 
for Agricultural and Rural Development in Accra, Ghana at 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

ACDEP Organizes Training for HMIS Administrators

ACDEP Organizes Training for HMIS Administrators

Following the establishment of electronic Health Management Information System (HMIS) at the first set of five ACDEP partner Health Centres in Northern Ghana, ACDEP organizes a three-day training workshop for System Administrators of HMIS. The workshop is to equip the Administrators with basic information and skills needed to operate the system and also build their capacity to be able to provide a single point of communication to all end-users concerning Health Management Information System issues
at their various clinics. The workshop forms part  

Christiana practising her skills during the training Photo credit: John Faile 

of series of training / capacity building sessions planned to build capacities of system administrators and end-users to facilitate successful implementation of the electronic system at the various clinics to improve efficiency in their work to access, analyze, manage, and utilize information that is essential to patient care and the overall healthcare delivery services.
Participants are being provided with hands-on skills in system installation, the Key members of the Tech Support group based in Tamale are also participating in the workshop as part of a capacity building plan to build local capacities to provide technical support services to the clinics during the implementation phase.
Participants are being provided with hands-on skills on functionality of the various modules including how to connect to the server, login / logout, assigning users and user login rights; access and control, how to add a patient, search for a patient, create an encounter, perform prescriptions and dispense drugs.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

VakaYiko: Sensitization & Launch of EIPM Course in Ghana

Sensitization and Launch of EIPM Course in Ghana
Date: 1st October, 2014, CSTC Accra

Monday, October 13, 2014

Green Innovation: Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative

Social Good Summit 2014 in Ghana

This is a multi-stakeholder discussion of the role of new technology (social media) 
in stimulating action for environmental sanitation in Ghana. It was hosted by UNDP 
in Ghana in partnership with Creative Storm Networks on September 22, 2014 
during the 2014 Social Good Summit in Ghana.

Improving on Navigation system in Ghana

indigenous technology, Ananse identification platform launched.

Tech Needs Girls Ghana

A 3 minute video with some highlights of Tech Needs Girls Ghana. Tech Needs 
Girls Ghana is a movement to get more women to create technology and not just 
consume it. We want more women to study and pursue careers in technology.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Youth, ICTs and Agriculture

This video illustrates a youth's ICT-enabled journey into profitable 
farming, based on the publication 'ICT4D Effects: Youth, ICTs
and Agriculture'.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Helping the poor access health insurance Ghana

SEND connects local community and the national government 
by training monitoring teams to use ICT. Using laptops, teams 
collect insurance and health status data about the local community. 
Whilst doing this, teams inform people how to benefit from 
National Health Insurance.

ACDEP Establishes HMIS at 4 Additional Clinics

ACDEP establishes Health Management Information System (HMIS) at 4 additional clinics at Langbensi, Namolgo, Kongo and Zorko to enable the clinics to transit from traditional data management practices with paper to more efficient electronic management system. The system was first established in Nalerigu in 2013 as a pilot before replicating it at the four other clinics.
The significance of this intervention is to empower health professionals with a system that facilitates their work to access, analyze, manage, and utilize information that is essential to patient care for timely reporting, planning, decision-making and the overall healthcare delivery services.

Current situation in retrieving patients’ data 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Charge-up Ghana: Pilot Workshop February 2014

ICT Experts Advocate More Training For SMEs PT1


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Girls in ICT Day 2014


African Ladies In ICT( Marshalls University wing)

Connect To Learn Ghana: The Impact of Education
In May 2013, the first set of Connect To Learn scholarship students 

graduated from Mansoman Senior High School in the Millennium 
Village in Bonsaaso, Ghana.

Project Work Debriefing African Ladies In ICT Pt 1

ICT improves healthcare in rural areas in Ghana

The Association of Church-Based Development NGOs (ACDEP) 
networks in Northern Ghana improves healthcare, by facilitating 
ICT in health clinics clinics in rural areas. By doing so, promoting 
data sharing on health education, and enabling health workers and 
communities to access healthcare through ICT.

Legon to introduce ICT Distance Learning Center


African Ladies In ICT( Marshalls University wing)

Camfed Ghana ICT Training Workshop NR 14

A three day ICT Safety Training Workshop has been organized 
for selected teachers in the northern region to create awareness 
on the risks associated with online communication and the 
negative impact it has on the youth in the society.

Telecoms Service Qaulity; Ghana Moves To Deal With Poor Quality Of Service

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Effectiveness of ICT for Rural Development: Building a Digital Green Learning Community

This workshop will share Digital Green approach using ICT for 
rural communities across different domains such as agriculture, 
livelihoods, health and nutrition, and in different geographies in 
India and Africa, specially Ethiopia and Ghana.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Course Review towards Instituting EIPM Course

It was a long range of discussions that begun in the third quarter of 2013, harmonized by series of personal meetings, phone calls, and email exchanges. Seeking an opportunity to engage a government institution to work in altering traditional processes of government business has never been easy. But with the goodwill and support of all stakeholders, a golden opportunity flashed through, witnessed by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This was the bedrock of other activities in GINKS’ engagement with the Civil Service Training Centre (CSTC) Accra, Ghana to embed a sustainable course in Evidence Informed Policy Making (EIPM) at the centre. A course review exercise was started, and has produced some inspiring experiences that are worth presenting for public exposition. GINKS (Ghana Information Network for Knowledge Sharing) is undertaking these activities as part of its commitments in the VakaYiko Consortium. This short piece describes the concept of EIPM, and shares GINKS’ experiences with reviewing the courses available at CSTC.

The Concept, EIPM
To better understand the concept of EIPM, it is best to break it down into smaller compartments (Evidence and Policy Making); which will be reassembled to give a much holistic understanding. Concerning this, Oxman et al (2009) wrote that;

“Evidence concerns facts (actual or asserted) intended for use in support of a conclusion. A fact, in turn, is something known through experience or observation. An important implication of this understanding is that evidence can be used to support a conclusion, but it is not the same as a conclusion. Evidence alone does not make decisions”.

By this understanding of evidence therefore, different ‘evidence’ works have different relationship with what actually is evidence. For example expert opinion is more than just evidence, but a combination of facts, the interpretation of those facts, experiences, values and conclusions (Oxman et al, 2009). Secondly, not all ‘evidence’ works are convincing. In this regard Askew, Matthews and Partridge (2002) argued that;

“Apart from the importance of the quality of the evidence, which is principally associated with the rigor with which research methods and scientific principles are applied, there is the more contested aspect of choice of research methods, or even more fundamentally, choice of approach or research paradigm”.

And Oxman et al (2009) observe that;

“Research evidence is generally more convincing than haphazard observations because it uses systematic methods to collect and analyse observations. Similarly, well designed and executed research is more convincing than poorly designed and executed research”.

Some other determinants of perceived credible or quality research findings include, the profile of the researcher, how the works is communicated, the context of the research (sector and discipline), and where the research was conducted (scale or “global evidence”) (Askew, Matthews & Partridge, 2002; Oxman et al, 2009).

Policy Making is an act of making decisions for[1] or on behalf of[2]; and that affect a group of people, especially nations; and policy makers are officers charged with this responsibility. Although policy making falls within the domain of the Executive arm of government in most countries, de facto actors may span from global, through national to local levels of social strata.

Other than policy makers in this vertical arrangement, there are actors present in a breadth of relationships, and may include local and international NGOs, bilateral and multilateral donors, Think Tanks, and other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) that may be unofficially responsible for policy making within the jurisdiction (Askew, Matthews & Partridge, 2002). These organizations may be engaged in activities that have indirect bearing on official policy making.

For example, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) may influence government policy within an LMIC (Lower and Middle Income Country), to either increase or decrease budgetary allocation to health relief by virtue of the organization’s expanded operations within the country.

Evidence Informed Policy Making (EIPM) is therefore the assimilation of research evidence into policy making processes; an activity that requires the possession of primary evidence evaluation skills, information literacy skills, writing and communication skills, and an understanding of the policy process. Concerning this Oxman et al (2009) explained that;

“Evidence-informed policymaking is characterised by the fact that its access and appraisal of evidence as an input into the policymaking process is both systematic and transparent;… and also that policymakers understand the systematic processes used to ensure that relevant research is identified, appraised and used appropriately, as well as the potential uses of such processes”.

From the wide spectrum of policy makers present, it is obvious that there are equally different information needs. For these needs to be adequately satisfied, policy makers and their assistants must possess skills that enable them to satisfy these needs.

The Experience, Reviewing Courses at CSTC
As a prelude to embedding a course in EIPM at the CSTC, there was the need to review all courses offered by the centre. With reference to appropriate documents and agreements, course review tools were developed for an online survey of courses presented at the centre’s website for 2013 and 2014 academic years, and semi-structured interviews of two principal officers of the CSTC.

These two methods were used to provide adequate breadth and depth to data that was collected and to each other in the review exercise. Different sub-themes to the review exercise were explored and these included, background of courses, course contents related to EIPM, course structure, course participants, course sustainability, and training methodology and pedagogy.

A total of sixty one (61) different courses were available for training in 2013 and sixty (60) for the year 2014. Many of such findings were made from statistical evaluations (mean, median, mode, standard deviation, etc) made, and presentations were made in cross-tables and charts. Identified gaps in data gathered from the website informed the design of interview schedules for the second phase of the review exercise.

Appointments were made, and availability was discussed with interviewees. After some adjustments to these schedules, interviews were conducted and lasted for approximately two (2) hours each. These discussions were semi-formal, and allowed for elucidation of misconceptions and gaps that were present after the online course review. The interviews were recorded on electronic audio media, and transcribed with Listen N Write (the free transcription software).

The following key findings were made from the course review exercise undertaken, that;

a.    the CSTC had no specific course on EIPM

b.    at least 50% of the offered courses in 2013 were not delivered due to financial constraints

c.    MDAs (Ministries, Departments and Agencies) were responsible for staff training

d.    most of the courses at CSTC ran for 2 to 3 days

e.    the Head of the Civil Service is a key player in deciding the final call of courses delivered and the priority topics for each year (although informed by the CSTC through needs assessment)

f.     there are four non-exclusive categories of courses (scheme of service, competency-based, induction and promotional)

g.    participants for CSTC courses originate from all the MDAs, the Public Services, and other extra-ministerial organizations in which the Head of Civil Service has presence

h.    participants are categorised into classes (according to job specifications) for training purposes

i.      course completion rate at CSTC is almost a hundred percent (100%)

j.     the introduction of a new course can be a challenge, but once introduced, discontinuation is very rear

k.    there are 12 permanent trainers and a pool of about 55 adjunct trainers

l.      peer reviews activities are organized among trainers

m.  CSTC believes in a Skill Based Approach to training, and adapts a participatory approach to training delivery known as Learner-Centred training

The Conclusion, Looking Forward
Evidence Informed Policy Making (EIPM) is a fast developing multi-discipline, with applications in health, medicine, law enforcement, knowledge management, public administration, and the likes. Due to its approach to development (one that is based on what works) any programme to make EIPM a core aspect of public policymaking processes is likely to enhance efficiency and effectiveness, especially in LMICs.

This short piece delved into the concepts of evidence and policy making, and combined these to provide and understanding of EIPM. The various activities and findings of the course review exercise embarked upon by GINKS at CSTC also featured. Such findings, and a subsequent needs assessment will inform the design of course modules for delivering EIPM training at CSTC.

As GINKS proceed to achieve other milestones of VakaYiko, and in concert with the in-country stakeholders, it is hoped that the impact of “better formulated and implemented policies and processes as a result of increased access, evaluation, scrutiny and use of research evidence” is achieved.

[1] An example is a policy made by a multilateral organization such as the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), or a resolution passed by the United Nations, organizations that are located outside the jurisdiction of a single State. Such policies or resolutions are ‘enforceable’ at national levels by virtue of membership or association.

[2] An example is a Ministry, Department or Agency (MDA) of State such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or a district administrator.


Knowledge Brokering: the Think Tanks’ Approach and Opportunity to Policy Influence in Ghana


Ghana has a long standing history of democracy on the African continent, especially after the country paved way for multi-party democracy in 1992. The state has since undertaken development programmes with the consciousness of, and collaboration from many other stakeholders. Among these stakeholders are Think Tanks, a category of not-for-profit organizations that seek to influence government policy making in diverse range of sectors with the ultimate object of efficiency and effectiveness in delivering development.

Available to Think Tanks are a wide variety of tools, processes and mechanisms with which they influence government policy decisions. Prominent among these methods are publication of surveys and reports, media presence, advocacy, conferences, seminars and meetings.

In the conduct of their activities, Think Tanks have engaged in knowledge brokering in one way or another. This piece therefore seeks to explore the knowledge brokering role of Think Tanks in Ghana, and discuss ways to enhance these activities as Think Tanks seek to continuously influence government policy making.

Knowledge Brokering (the Concept and the practice)
Knowledge brokering is a concept that has been defined as the “use of information-packaging mechanisms and/or interactive knowledge-sharing mechanisms to bridge policy-makers’ and researchers’ contexts” (WHO, 2013). Lomas (2007; cited in Knight, 2013) expands the definition by indicating that knowledge brokering includes all activities that links decision makers with researchers, facilitating their interaction so that they are able to better understand each other’s goals and professional cultures, influence each other’s work, forge new partnerships, and promote the use of research-based evidence in decision-making.

Knowledge brokerage involves processes of translation, coordination, alignment, gate-keeping and representation between perspectives whiles requiring the ability to link practices by facilitating transactions between them (Meyer, 2010; Karner et al, 2011). It is obvious therefore that knowledge brokering is a borderline field/activity that brings together policy makers on one hand, seeking effectiveness of their policies but with limited knowledge summarization skills; and knowledge producers on the other hand, generating evidence that inform the effectiveness but with too much detail for the policy maker.

To this effect the WHO (2013) perceives a knowledge broker as an individual or organization that engages in knowledge brokering activities. Meyer (2010) agrees that knowledge brokers act in three different manners: as knowledge managers, linkage agents (between producers and users of knowledge), or capacity builders (through enhancing access to knowledge); and in doing so, they are involved in a broad range of activities: articulation work, communication work, identification work, mediation work, educational work, and so on.

The activities of a knowledge broker therefore require a variety of tools, such as organizing seminars or meetings, developing databases, and producing plain-language booklets (ibid). This implies that knowledge brokering is a core function of Think Tanks, acknowledged explicitly or not. Think Tanks therefore constitute a segment of knowledge brokers (see Smith and Torres, 2013).

An Overview of Think Tank Knowledge Brokering in Ghana
Think Tanks have been operating in Ghana and many other African countries for many years. Kimenyi and Datta (2011) acknowledge that during the early post-independence years, African governments reconfigured former colonial research institutions to promote growth and development, and invested considerable sums of money in expanding state infrastructure, including research and development (R&D). These activities served as platforms for invigorating research projects that were mostly implemented by academics (intellectuals) for informing policy making.

However, as the political climate became turbulent in the 1960s and 70s, policy making was dominated by ruling parties, particularly presidents or the ‘big man’, with little input from other groups in society. Post-independence African leaders sought primarily to consolidate power and extract economic gains, perceived intellectual criticisms as a challenge to their rule, and reacted by cutting support to intellectual development. African intellectuals therefore turned to civil society for international donor support and thereby provided indirect advice to their governments through research projects undertaken on behalf of the donors (see Kimenyi and Datta, 2011).

With a rich pool of human resources, Think Tanks have increasingly played pivotal roles in the development of the Ghanaian society, especially from the days of structural adjustment. Ohemeng (2005) attributes such great prominence to “the important role they play in the dissemination of ideas [knowledge] and their influence in the policymaking process in general”.

Currently, Ghana boasts of a great number of Think Tanks with prominence over a wide range of socio-economic issues. In fact the Global Go To Think Tank index registered 38 Think Tanks in its 2013 report (Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, 2014). Ghanaian Think Tanks have very broad sphere of influence ranging across parliament, the bureaucracy and the executive.

Moving Forward
In a current vibrant civil society environment in Ghana, Think Tanks have maintained a high profile for policy influence. However notwithstanding their number, these institutions need to step-up efforts in order to expand their influence on government policy making (reflected in global indices). To this end therefore, the following approaches are suggested;
1.    conduct a stock-taking exercise of all knowledge brokering resources within the country
2.    establish a portal for coordinating knowledge  brokering resources among Think Tanks
3.    encourage patronage of the portal through reward systems and indices/ranking
4.    establish standards for knowledge brokering resources produced by Think Tanks
5.    and convene national policy dialogues to discuss coordinated efforts by stakeholders at improving knowledge brokerage

World Health Organization (WHO). 2013. How can knowledge brokering be advanced in a country’s health system? Health Systems and Policy Analysis (BRIDGE series). Policy Brief 17
Knight, C. 2013. Knowledge brokers: the role of intermediaries in producing research impact. Evidence & Policy, Vol 9 (3), pp. 309-16

Meyer, M. 2010. The Rise of the Knowledge Broker. Science Communication, Vol. 32 (1), pp. 118-127

Karner, S., Rohracher, H., Bock, B., Hoekstra, F. & Moschitz, H. 2011. Knowledge Brokerage in Communities of Practice: Synthesis report on literature review [Draft version].

Smith, K.E. & Torres, J. 2013. Think tanks as research mediators? Case studies from public health. Evidence & Policy, Vol 9 (3), pp. 371-90

Kimenyi, M.S. & Datta, A. 2011. Think tanks in sub-Saharan Africa How the political landscape has influenced their origins. London: Overseas Development Institute.

Ohemeng, F.L.K. (2005). Getting the State Right: Think Tanks and the Dissemination of New Public Management Ideas in Ghana. Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 43 (3), pp. 443–465

Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program. 2014. 2013 Global Go To Think Tank Index and Abridged Report. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania.