In this report I will give an overview of my internship for the Centre for International Cooperation (SIS) at VI University Amsterdam, the Netherlands and the research I conducted in Ghana for this internship. The structure of this report will be as follows: Section 1, below, is a short introduction on the search for an internship. How did I find SIS as an internship providing organization? Section 2 describes the preparations for the internship, from applying for the internship to developing an internship assignment. Ђ Section 3 elaborates on the internship assignment and the project within which the internship falls. Section 4 is a detailed account of my stay in Ghana for the internship. It is divided in the four subsections, corresponding to the regional zones in which I inducted research; Cape Coast, Tamale, Upper West and Upper East Region, and Sacra. Section 5 is the evaluation of the internship. The appendices include the following: l. The internship assignment II. A map of Ghana Ill. A flyer of the WAR Project ‘V.
The research report for SIS: The Role of Sits in Knowledge Sharing within Rural Communities in Ghana Motivation. As a first orientation, I looked at the vacancies for internships at the website of the Faculty of Arts in the third year of my Bachelor. My aim then was to get an idea of the different possibilities for internships and the organizations providing internships. Since I did not have the chance to study aurora ruling my Bachelor ROI a ten International component was one AT ten reasons I choose this particular course, I preferred an internship abroad. In addition, I preferred to do research during my internship.
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On the one hand this was because I perhaps would like to be a professional researcher in the future and I wanted to get a better view on the work a researcher does on a daily basis, on the other hand in my current work as general manager of a restaurant I already have a lot of practical experience and organizational and managerial skills and I wanted to do something completely different. Initial Context. On October 20th, 2009, I attended a symposium at VI University Amsterdam on Regaining the Sale Initiatives that my father was organizing that day as a part of the Dies Natalie of the university.
At this symposium I got excited about the work done by one of the participating organizations at the symposium: the Centre for International Cooperation (SIS) of VI University Amsterdam. The symposium on the World Wide Web and social development told the story of Yucca Shadow (see picture 1), an innovative farmer from Barking Fast. L In the sass and sass the Sale region in West-Africa experienced extreme roughs and famines, and many people left the region to find a better place to live elsewhere. Yucca Shadow was one of the farmers that stayed behind and worked on the land.
He improved the traditional ‘Aziza’ technique of digging pits in the ground and adding manure to improve the soil and he taught other farmers about this technique. This turned out to be 1 More information on the symposium and on Yucca Shadow can be found on http://www. Vi. Nil/Nil/unassigned/agenda/2009/got-DCE/yucca_shadow. Asp. 2 successful in rehabilitating large areas of degraded land and in achieving significantly higher yields for the farmers. As a result, many of the people that had left returned to their villages and are able to provide for themselves now.
Link with SIS. The initiative of Yucca Shadow and the farmers in Barking Fast has been taken up by national and international Nags, including the Centre for International Cooperation (SIS) in order to contribute to the development of the Sale region by meaner of the African Regaining Initiatives. The mission of SIS is to make “knowledge, experience and expertise accessible to institutions and individuals in developing countries”. The way SIS wants to achieve its goals is to work with the people and develop programs together with partners in developing countries.
I was impressed by the way of working with people instead of for institutions on social development that SIS follows and I decided I wanted to try if I could get an internship at SIS within the framework of projects on Regaining the Sale. After passing the exam for the Research Seminar Power Configurations in World Politics I wrote an email to Ms. Anna Bon of SIS in December, 2009. In response to this email, Ms. Anna Bon invited me for a meeting on the possibility of an internship and we set an appointment at SIS in Amsterdam for the beginning of January, 2010.
Picture 1: “The man who stopped the desert” Yucca Shadow on his farm in Burbank Fast See the website on SIS VI on http://www. Sis. Vi. Nil/en/about-Sis/general-info/ index. Asp. 3 2. Preparations Interview at SIS. In January, 2010, I visited the Centre for International Cooperation of VI University Amsterdam for the first time. Ms. Anna Bon and her colleague Ms. Wendell Http asked me about my C.V., my studies at the University of Groping, my work experience, my interests, my goals for the future, and my motivations for doing the internship at SIS.
We talked for quite a long time and later we started discussing the possible internship in more detail. Ms. Bon and Ms. Http told me that they had interns before and what kind of projects these interns had worked on. We discussed my ideas and preferences for an internship and a couple of projects SIS is working on. When preparing for the meeting I had thought of some things that I could be doing for the Regaining the Sale Initiatives, since I wanted to be of assistance to one of the projects SIS is working on.
We talked about some of the possibilities and at the end of the meeting they told me they would look for a project I could do useful work for. Developing the Assignment. We agreed to start my internship at SIS at the first of May, 2010, which gave the three of us time to think about a specific assignment. To get a better idea of the scope of projects SIS is working on, Ms. Http gave me the annual report of 2009 to look through. Apart from the projects in Africa, SIS is operational in developing countries all over the world, such as Surname in Latin-America and Indonesia in Asia.
In the next weeks we kept in contact via email. I send some more information on the objectives and rules of the internship and gave a list of the internships of other Master ROI students to give them a good view on what the internship might look like. Ms. Bon on her part asked me some additional questions to get a better idea of what exactly I could and would like to do or not during the internship. For example, since the Regaining the Sale Initiatives are projects running in Africa, one of the constraints was that my knowledge of the French language is not sufficient to work in a French-speaking country.
Another question was if I was willing to work alone in a country where the political situation might be tense. Field Research in Ghana. After my affirmative answer to the last question in April, Ms. Bon drafted an internship assignment for me to go to Ghana and do research on the role of Sits (Information and Communication Technologies) on knowledge sharing within rural communities in Ghana (see Appendix l). Although I do not know much about Sits and applications for mobile telephones and the World Wide Web, the assignment sounded very interesting.
Especially because the assignment entailed to do field research in Ghana, I accepted the assignment. Meanwhile, I started to read about Ghana in general and traveling through Ghana. The more I read about Ghana, the more enthusiastic I got. Ghana is a relatively politically stable country In West t-Attract Ana ten Annealing are Known Tort their friendliness towards foreigners, so I figured it would be safe for me to travel Ghana alone. During the next weeks Ms. Anna Bon and Ms.
Wendell Http contacted a number of people they work with in Ghana to try to make some appointments for me to interview some of these people. Unfortunately, the arrangements took longer than expected and my trip was postponed to later in May. One mishap was that one of the major contacts of SIS in Ghana at the Technical University in Kumara was not to keen on receiving me for my research and we had to find other contacts as starting point for the internship. Preliminary Research. In May, I started doing preliminary research on Ghana in general and on rural development in Ghana more specifically.
I went to the library of the university and searched the internet for books, articles, and newspaper articles on the history of Ghana, the political situation in Ghana, social and rural development in Ghana, foreign aid and financial 4 assistance for Ghana, etcetera (see Reference List). In addition, I gathered data for example on the use of Sits in Ghana, such as mobile phone usage. I had decided to bring my laptop with me and I stored all the information on my laptop, so I could access it easily during my trip to Ghana.
I used this information as background for my research in Ghana and as references in the research report I wrote for SIS. Also, I tried to get in contact with organizations that work in Ghana to see if they wanted to help me with my research. For example, I contacted a fellow student that I was introduced by earlier by DRP. Sweeter in Groping, because she was also supposed to go to Ghana for her internship. Another example is the International Institute for Communication and Development (ACIDIC) in The Hogue I contacted, because this organization was working on different projects in Ghana, also on CIT and rural development.
Preparing for the trip. Apart from the preparations for the research in Ghana, I started preparing for the travel to Ghana. I made sure I had all the vaccinations needed in rural Ghana, I thought about what cloths to take with me, I borrowed a backpack, looked at airplane tickets and hotels, and I made arrangements for my visa. However, I could not book a ticket to Ghana yet and therefore I could not et the visa, because it still was not clear when I was supposed to go to Ghana.
I needed to have a copy of my plane ticket in order to get a visa and I needed to know from what date to what date I was supposed to be in Ghana in order to book a ticket. On the other hand, I did not want to rush things and go to Ghana with at least an idea of where I would be at what time. The delay made me somewhat unsure about the internship; what if things would not work out and my internship for SIS was cancelled? Ms. Bon assured me it would work out in the end and I continued my literature research and the preparations for traveling. Finally, at the end of May, together with Ms. Bon and Ms.
Http, I decided it would be best for me to fly to Ghana together with Ms. Http who had business to do at the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Cape Coast. This way Ms. Http could introduce me and I could start my research there. Initial Itinerary. After this decision I had to finish the preparations. I Docked my dulcet Ana got my visa. Also, I Selenga a scandals Tort my travel through Ghana. On June 7th, 2010, I would fly Siphon Airport to the International Airport in Sacra, Ghana, to begin my adventure in Ghana. Together with Ms. Http I would then travel to Cape Coast.
After a stay in Cape Coast, I had scheduled to leave for Tamale where I was expected by Professor Ditto of the University of Development Studies on Saturday June 19th. Then, from Sunday June 27th until Saturday July 3rd I was invited to Join Stephan Boyar and his team of the World Wide Web Foundation -one of the partners of SIS in different projects -on their meetings in Sacra. Since Sacra is the capital of Ghana and most national and international governmental and non-governmental organizations are based there, I planned to stay in the capital to finish my research until I had to fly back to the
Netherlands on July 17th. 5 3. The Project and the Assignment The project: WAR. My internship at SIS and the research I was going to conduct in Ghana was aligned to the project Web Alliance for Regaining Africa’, abbreviated as WAR (see Appendix Ill for a flyer on the project). This project is a collaboration of VI University Amsterdam and the World Wide Web Foundation. Within VI University, the Centre of International Cooperation and the Network Institute are involved in the project. The World Wide Web Foundation is established by Sir Tim Burners-Lee, the inventor the World Wide Web, to enhance access to the Web throughout the world. Today, a fifth of the world population is using the web as resource for communication and sharing information, but the other 80 percent of the world has not had the opportunity to meet the benefits of the web yet. The alliance with VI University Amsterdam has the aim to stimulate the development of CIT services to help regaining activities in the West-African sub-Sahara Sale countries, where SIS has been active already for a long time.
Background and Context of WAR. In the sass and sass periods of drought deteriorated the living conditions in rural areas in West-Africa severely. Today, the soil conditions and vegetation have improved due to the work of innovative farmers as Yucca Shadow in small rural communities using simple yet effective farming techniques. An area of over 5 million hectares has been restored and converted into fertile land. One of the factors in the success of these ‘regaining activities can be found in the exchange and spread of knowledge of the local knowledge amongst large numbers of farmers.
Knowledge on how to effectively and sustainable manage the lands, how to preserve trees, how to enhance soil fertility, and how to improve crops and herds is crucial for the people in these rural communities, whose livelihoods depend on agriculture and livestock. One great source of information for farmers is the radio, since radio stations broadcast programs for farmers in local languages. Another source of information is the mobile telephone.
In Barking Fast, where the project has started with a target community, mobile phones are used by farmers for example to check market prices in town, and to negotiate with potential customers about prices of commodities. In the target village up to 98 percent of the households own a radio and have a mobile phone. The Detentes AT ten array Ana ten model phone are worth e costs, Decease teen prove essential information for the live and business of people in the village. Objectives of WAR.
Combining existing radio content with new ways for voice-based access to the Web and other mobile CIT services makes it possible to increase the speed and amount of information and knowledge sharing between rural communities. The objective of the project is to improve and facilitate the local exchange of knowledge through the use of Sits. This is to be done through, first, the development of new innovative CIT tools and services which are adapted to local content, and, second, opacity building of local software developers and entrepreneurs on how to create sustainable CIT services.
The project has officially started in 2010 and in the first week of February, 2010, a first Web Foundation Workshop on Mobile Web and Social Development took place in Barking Fast. It is projected to have a similar Workshop in Ghana at the end of 2010. The Assignment. I was given the assignment to do a first research in Ghana on the use of Sits within rural communities and make first contact with stakeholders that might play a role in the project in the future. The assignment SIS gave me was to do research in Ghana on the 3 See the websites of these organizations for further information: www. Is. Vi. Nil, www. Tendentiousness’s. E, and www. Habituation. Org. 6 role of Sits in rural communities. The internship assignment can be found as Appendix I to this report. The increasing use of CIT over the world is influencing the ways people are communicating with each other. Even in the most remote rural communities in Sub-Sahara Africa mobile telephony is used as a communication tool. The Regaining Initiatives aim at stimulating the development of CIT tools for the dissemination of knowledge amongst farmers in rural communities in Sub- Sahara Africa.
For my internship and research in Ghana we formulated the following research question: What is the role of Sits in communication and knowledge sharing within rural communities in Ghana? 7 4. The Internship 4. 1 Cape Coast I started my research in Cape Coast which is situated at the Gulf of Guiana, some 165 kilometers west of the capital Sacra (for a map of Ghana see Appendix II). At the north of the city lies the campus of the University of Cape Coast (USC). From the international airport at Sacra, Wendell Http, her associate Mike Roberts and I were driven to the USC campus where Ms.
Http and Mr… Roberts were to visit the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) for a project they have been working on together. The idea was that Ms. Http would introduce me to some Ghanaian PHD-students who are employed by VI University to do research in Ghana and who are writing their dissertation at the moment. Ms. Http and Mr… Roberts would stay in Cape Coast for three days and after that I was supposed to find my way around myself. Accommodation. One AT ten pond students, Joseph, Nellie Witt Telling accommodation for me to stay during my visit in Cape Coast.
Since SIS was not able o assist me financially during my internship, I had to keep the costs as low as possible. Joseph and I looked at the possibilities and I decided to stay in a student hostel for 5 Ghana Cedi a night. 4 Because of the summer holiday most students had gone home to visit their families and the hostel was rather quiet. The students remaining at the hostel for the summer were ‘national service students”: graduates that have to work as national service for one year after their Bachelors.
I stayed alone in a room at the ladies’ floor (see picture 2). The hostel was new, one part was still ender construction even, and a cleaning crew came to clean the bathrooms and hallways every morning. I went out and got some cleaning materials and cleaned the room before I moved in the room. I was rather pleased with the price of my residence and the space and cleanliness of my room and the bathrooms, but when I went to sleep that first night, I got anxious since I realized that I was starting an adventure I did not know where it would lead to.
Picture 2: My room in the ISRC Hostel at the campus of the University of Cape Coast The national currency of Ghana is the Cedi (GAS or C) which is divided into one endured pesewa. One Cedi equals approximately 0. 50 Euro or 0. 70 US Dollar. 8 Getting to Know Ghana. The next couple of days I had to take my time to adjust to Ghana and the Ghanaian. Before leaving the Netherlands I had searched the internet for Ghana and Ghanaian customs, but in reality it was very different from anything I had done before.
In the past I have traveled through foreign countries, for example I traveled Central-America for a month, and I have traveled through Egypt, but my stay in Ghana was very different: now I was living in Ghana for six weeks. I kook my hostel and the Institute for Development Studies as starting point and walked around to get somewhat familiar with the surroundings. Soon I had found a couple of places where I could by drinks, food, and other groceries, I figured out how the system of shared taxis in Ghana works, and I met some people to talk to.
Joseph had sent one of the followers of his church, Albert whose nickname was “Swabbed” – born on Tuesday in Akin -to check up on me every once in a while because he was residing in the same hostel as I was. Swabbed was friendly enough to lend me his bucket so I was able to fetch water for bathing and washing cloths. At the inner courtyard of the hostel there were three large water reservoirs where I would get water to take upstairs to one of the washrooms to bath.
After a day or two I felt more comfortable in my new living environment. Every morning I walked to IDS to start my day from there. I visited Joseph briefly every day and made some contacts for my research. Elmira. The third day in Cape Coast Ms. Http and Mr… Roberts had the afternoon off before leaving for Sacra and invited me to come to visit the town of Elemental neared (see picture 3). Elmira Is rumors Tort ten case el lull y e Portuguese n 1482 as a trade settlement on the Gold Coast as Ghana used to be named.
S¤o Jorge dad Mina, as the castle was called by the Portuguese, later became one of the most important stops in the trade of slaves from Wastewater to the Americas, especially when the Dutch took over the Castle from the Portuguese in 1637. This castle is one of the most popular places to visit in Ghana and both foreigners and Africans came to visit the castle to learn about the horrifying history of the slave trade. Picture 3: Fishing boots at the coast of Elmira. 9 Mingling with ‘locals’. After this valuable trip to Elmira Ms. Http and Mr… Roberts left Cape Coast and left me by myself.
I had already realized that the low-budget way of staying in Ghana would help me in doing my research. The majority of foreigners that come to Ghana reside in hotels that are very expensive and, in addition, closed off from locals. By mingling with local people as much as possible I would be able to get a good idea of the way of living of Ghanaian and I figured this would be an advantage for the research report I had to write for SIS. I noticed that Just by talking to Ghanaian I already learned a lot about Ghana and Ghanaian and I made it an effort to talk to as much people as possible.
This was not that difficult, since I was the only white person around and people would Just come up to me to talk to me. The majority of these conversations were rather superficial, but still they gave me a better impression about the country and its people. Some conversations developed more in depth and in these conversations I could easily bring up the project I was working for and talk about Sits for rural development in Ghana. Ghanaian pace. Another thing I learned is that the pace of living in Ghana is very different from what I was used to in he Netherlands.
During the preparations I had already noticed that Ghanaian are not that strict in making appointments. One of the reasons it took some time to figure out a travel plan for Ghana, was that the Ghanaian contacts said it was fine for me to come and told me or Ms. Bon to let me get in contact once I was in Ghana. At USC it was hard to make an appointment with a professor, because most professors preferred you Just come walking in and see if the professor was in. And if you had made an appointment, it could take hours of waiting, sometimes even days, before you could meet the professor.
On the other hand, even the professors that were very busy made time to talk to me. Some of the interviews lasted for fifteen minutes, others stretched out to over an hour. I concluded that Ghanaian like to talk and especially when I told them I wanted to interview them for my research, the people were very perceptive and talkative. Interviews. Because of my lack of experience in field research, I wrote down a number of topics I wanted to know more about for the project and I thought of questions I could ask to get the right answers. In total I spend half of my time in Cape Coast.
I interviewed a number of people there; experts on ‘CT, on development in Ghana, on agriculture, on extension workers, on government policy, on Ghanaian languages. In the interviews and during the conversations Witt some AT ten people I Ana met, we accuses ten level AT development in Ghana, the challenges for Ghana in further development, the role of the government, universities, and Nags on rural development. I used what I learnt from the interviews in the report for SIS (see Appendix ‘V). Also, I used the interviews as starting point for further research.
For example, when I learned in a conversation hat there are many different languages spoken in Ghana, I visited the Department of Ghanaian Languages to get further information on the different languages and dialects spoken in Ghana and the problems this could bring for development. I tried to speak to as many people as possible to get their views and to see if there where commonalities. A selection of the interviews at USC was with: – DRP. Fests Manor- Fremont, director of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension – Mr…
Joseph Boating-Eugenia, progress made in developing Ghana – Proof. Stephen B. Kenned, the main issues for rural development in Ghana – DRP. John Victor Menses, director of the Institute for Development Studies – Proof. DRP. Mini Quandary, Sits and the World Wide Web for development – DRP. Moses Setting, CIT coordinator of the University of Cape Coast – Mr… K. A. Tuff, Ghanaian political structure and its influence on development – DRP. Shame bin Yah, the role of agricultural extension officers in rural development 10 From Cape Coast to Tamale.
After spending some time in Cape Coast, I emailed my contact in Tamale, the capital city of the Northern Region, proof. Saa Ditto of the University of Development Studies. Ms. Bon from SIS had asked him to receive me in Tamale for the research and we had agreed I would travel to Tamale on the 19th of June. Via email professor Ditto told me I could Join him on a field trip he was undertaking for another project if I would be able to come sooner. Since the field trip sounded very interesting, I left for Tamale the next day.
Early the next morning I took the bus from Cape Coast to Kumara and from Kumara to Tamale. Because I felt I had not finished my work I Cape Coast yet, I made arrangements to come back to the campus at the end of my stay. I took one bag with me and left the other with Joseph ND made sure I could return to my room with the manager of the hostel. 4. 2 Tamale Accommodation. Since I would arrive in the evening, professor Ditto had booked a room in a guest house for me to stay in for the first night. We would see if we could find accommodation for the rest of my stay later.
I was a bit insecure about where I was supposed to stay and when I met a student representative of the University of Development Studies (LIDS) on the bus, I discussed with him the possibilities. I told him about the hostel I had stayed in at USC and asked him if he could help me with minding similar accommodation in Tamale if necessary. He told me that would not be a problem and we exchanged telephone numbers to get in contact later. After the first night in Tamale the professor took me along on a field trip he was undertaking together with two fellow researchers of LIDS; Margaret Aquaria and Conrad Webbing.
When returning from the field trip we discussed accommodation for me in Tamale. I tool teen I was trying to arrange a nooses at ten campus, out Margaret was Klan enough to invite me to stay with her. She lived alone and had an extra room in her house in a compound with three other houses. From South to North. While traveling by bus from Cape Coast to Tamale I noticed the big differences in Ghana between the North and the South. In Tamale, a city of approximately 300,000 citizens, the situation was completely different than in Cape Coast.
Tamale lies 600 kilometers North of Cape Coast and the climate is significantly dryer than in the South. In Ghana the rainy season starts in April, but while in the South I had experienced rainfall already, in the North it had not rained yet until I arrived in half June. The three regions in the North of Ghana -the Northern Region, the Upper West Region, and the Upper East Region – are not only the driest but also the poorest regions of the country. The farmers in these regions are struggling to survive.
As the largest city in the North of Ghana, Tamale was a good place to start my field research on Sits in rural Ghana. Professor Ditto sent his son Francis to help me with my research. Data Gathering. In Tamale I wanted to get insight on the use of Sits at the moment and the possibilities to use Sits for rural development in the future. Together with Francis, I visited the radio stations, cyber cafe©s, Nags working in rural communities, software companies, and CIT training centers in the city. We interviewed a lot of people of these organizations, or made appointments to come back later for an interview.
Here I gathered a lot of usable information for my research and learnt that there are many challenges for developing CIT tools for rural development. For example, the speed and stability of the internet in Tamale is a serious issue. In Europe we are used to incredibly fast internet connections. In Cape Coast I had already learnt that the internet is very slow in Ghana. In Tamale the situation again was totally different; the internet is very slow and instable, often connections are down for days. 11 The findings of my research in Tamale are discussed extensively in the report I wrote for SIS (see Appendix ‘V). . 3 Upper West and Upper East Region From city to rural area. Not only the differences between North and South were striking; I also started to notice the differences between the cities and the rural areas. During the field trip we traveled to the Upper West Region and the Upper East Region where the climate clearly was even more severe and poverty was extremely high. For the field trip we visited four rural communities: Kale near Wa, Gorier and Tankard in the facility of And and the border with Barking Fast, and Kananga near Obligation.
Since it is not appreciated to come unannounced, the visits were carefully prepared by Conrad and contact persons of the communities. The primary purpose of the field trip was to look at community initiatives in the framework for sustainable land development. For example, the Gorier (see picture 4) had taken up the initiative not to burn the bush near the village and not to burn debris on their land. The non-burning rule has contributed to the growth of the forest which brings shade and shelter for people and animals in the neighborhood.