ASSAR West Africa holds fifth Regional Meeting in Ghana

12 May 2016 - 15:30

Mathew Lavoie of DMI giving a presentation on research methods

The meeting, held in the conference room of the United Nation’s University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA), University of Ghana was attended by participants from Ghana, Mali, Benin, United Kingdom and the United States.

The meeting also saw the participation of some key reference group members from the study area that helped in identifying the potential participants to be involved in the forthcoming TSP Workshop to be held in Wa the Upper West Regional. The broad objectives of the meeting include to:

1. Gain broader understandings of how to effectively reach various stakeholders through different outreach techniques and methods to help prepare the Team ahead of the pilot radio programmes and the more in-depth programmes planned for year three of the ASSAR project.

2. Receive updates on the status of the Regional Research activities and as well as preliminary findings from the research activities of the first cohort of ASSAR students from Ghana and Mali respectively.

3. Identify key lessons from students fieldwork; discuss how these lessons will inform the upcoming Transformative Scenario Planning (TSP) workshops, finalise arrangements for the first round of TSP workshops by engaging the TSP reference group to select potential participants for the TSP Workshop as well as plan for the recruitment of a new cohort of ASSAR students.

INTASAVE in collaboration with Development Media International (DMI) trained the participants on effective methods for outreach in preparation for the development, piloting and dissemination of district level radio programmes in the study sites of Ghana and Mali. The presentation was jointly made by Mathew Lavoie (Country Director, DMI Burkina Faso) along with Sophie Lashford (Head, Global Communications INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE Group) and Shona Maguire (Manager, Global Communications INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE Group).

Group photo of participants (courtesy Prof Chris Gordon)

It noted that communication should not be limited to feelings or emotions, instead, it should be research driven with rigorous thinking. Three core principles saturation, science and stories were identified as key for communicating research findings while the following five are key components of a successful research:

Design and solid campaign strategy

Qualitative and quantitative research

Content creation and production



The team was also taken through the processes for conducting technical assessment of radio broadcast/transit range through triangulation with community data. Rebroadcast systems were also discussed, and the possibility that simple charging stations, sponsored by ASSAR, could help increase listening ability in very remote communities.

The TSP reference group present at the meeting provided useful insights on the discussion of the different options for outreach within the ASSAR study. It was also indicated that songs play very important role in communicating different types of information in the Upper West region. To this end, there was an indication of the need to collaborate with the Drama and Communications Departments at the University of Ghana to explore further the possibility of incorporating drama as part of outreach activities. While exploring the options, the participants were encouraged to devise radio and TV formats that are cost effective and can be produced quickly to enable frequent broadcast.

Read the full report here

See photos here

Also visit and these posts for more updates on the CARIAA projects in Ghana