Ghana Elections 2020, A Step Forward for Women

Election season in Ghana is special to me. I have lived through the 2008, 2012, 2016 versions of it and gotten more and more involved in each election cycle. So for 2020, I decided to be a bit proactive! Together with a colleague at the Nordic Africa Institute with a soft spot for Ghanaian politics, Diana Højlund Madsen, we planned an event and a policy note around the gendered aspects of the 2020 Ghana Elections.

The event was held on November 9th and now with days to the election, the Policy Note is in! The text was written together with one of the panelists from the event, a real Ghanaian scholarly treasure, Prof Kwesi Aning of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping and Training Centre!

In the policy note, we write “In the upcoming Ghanaian elections, a woman has, for the first time, emerged as a vice-presidential candidate for one of the two major parties in the country. Her candidacy has sparked hopes of progress on gender equality, but has also triggered anti-feminist and misogynistic rhetoric.”

Thanks to all involved in making the event and the policy note possible.

Read it in full here in PDF, Issuu and here in an online version.

Policy Note on Key Challenges for African Universities

Last month, the NAI policy note I have been working on for a while now was published. Find it here: Resources, Relevance, and Impact – Key Challenges for African Universities. (link to PDF)

Abstract

Global and regional goals, such as Agenda 2030 and the African Union’s Continental Education Strategy for Africa, foreground higher education as an engine for development and job creation. Yet, many African universities perform weakly in international comparison. This policy note looks at the challenges in strengthening the freedom, relevance and impact of research and higher education in Africa.

The Recommendations In Short

Writing for Clarity

As a researcher who is also a blogger, I am very much interested in the availability and ease of use of my research. Even though I went into the process of writing for a policy audience highly motivated, I was challenged by the level of work that goes into a shorter paper simplifying the issues.

After writing and rewriting a text that in the end was 1000 words longer than the format, I had several of my researcher colleagues read early drafts and come with comments – especially how to phrase recommendations and limit the scope I found tricky. Next, our communication unit read the text and we had conversations on what aspects to visualize and what to cut out, and then there was (very much needed) language editing. It is actually quite scary when I saw how many words can be altered for clarity, thinking about how I have gladly been pressing “publish” on the blog for many years without any such editing! Then a few back-and-forth-emails on final titles, illustrations and other details – and then four months later – voilà: The finished Policy Note.

Please download, share, and let me hear your comments!