UNICEF, UDS launch Development Research Network

Accra, The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the University for Development Studies (UDS) has launched the Ghana Inclusive Development Research Network in Accra.

The Network which is the first of its kind in the country is the initiative of the two institutions and will provide a forum for selected research teams to receive mentorship, capacity-building, and networking between academics and policy-makers.

It will provide small financial grants, technical support, mentoring and policy engagement and networking opportunities for ten Ghanaian research teams who propose successful research projects in line with defined research areas.

The research areas that the network will focus on include inequity; poverty; child poverty; and social protection.

Sarah Hague, UNICEF Ghana’s Chief of Policy, said the objective of the network is to promote a platform for researchers and connect them with policy makers.

This, she said, will fill a gap in terms of supporting academia to promote the issue of genuinely inclusive development in the country.

Sara Hague said as the gap between rich and poor has never been greater in Ghana than it is today, the country needs research input to tackle the issue as expected.

She said inequality is at its highest level in Ghana and that the network presents a reliable pool of researchers whose work can be used to inform national debate on the gap between rich and poor and provide a platform on which to connect journalists to review researchers.

Prof Gabriel Ayum Teye, the Vice Chancellor of the UDS, said research findings remain the most reliable source of direction for the development of the country.

He said forming a research network is a formidable initiative that should be commended and supported even by all.

Pro Teye said given the issues of increasing inequality and persistent poverty in Ghana, there is the need for the country’s academia to support national dialogue.

With a call for proposals earlier this year, the organisers were overwhelmed by the response, receiving well over 100 team applications and this shows the appetite of the academic community for networking support.

Some of Ghana’s most well-known academics and professors have signed up to support the network and mentor the research teams who will work over a period of one year to produce research papers and feed results into national policy-making.

Source: Ghana News Agency