Archive for Ghana

Capstone Workshop: Improving STEM education in Ghana

A signature of the SIPA curriculum is the Capstone Workshop, a live consulting project on a real-world issue for an outside organization. You’ll work with small consulting teams of other SIPA students under the guidance of an expert faculty advisor.

This is just two of the Spring 2018 workshops out of the 80+ projects each year, and your project could be in the public, private, and nonprofit sector

Building a Hands-on Science Culture Among Ghanaian STEM Teachers

Client: Practical Education Network (PEN)

Based on the finding that one-off teacher trainings alone are not sufficient to enable teachers to implement hands-on science, the Capstone team developed an incentive strategy to increase teacher uptake of in-class activities. The team also made recommendations to improve PEN’s monitoring & evaluation practices, including providing guidance on data collection, analysis, and storage. The team’s final deliverables include toolkits, step-by-step implementation, and measurement guides for immediate incorporation into organization processes. Learn more here.

Clean Cooking Energy Enterprise in Uganda

Client: United Nations Capital Development Fund

In Uganda, only 2% of the population has access to clean cooking technologies while the majority of households rely on biomass to cook, thus making the expansion of the clean cooking sector a major challenge in the country. To fulfill the client’s requests of providing diagnostics to help the companies attract further technical and investment support, the Capstone team undertook background research on the sector, conducted interviews with international organizations and local associations, and took a weeklong field visit to Uganda to meet with local entrepreneurs and produced a set of deliverables, including company prescriptions, company profiles and a website with database feature, to advise them properly on the ways in which they could scale up their efforts. Learn more here.

Check out the full list of SIPA Capstone Workshops here.

What I Did This Summer: Entry #7

Abibata Shanni Mahama is a second year MPA student concentrating in Economic and Political Development.  I asked her to share about her internship this past summer and she wrote the following.


A_Mahama1My summer vacation was in two folds. On the one hand, it was fun and exciting to re-unite with my family after being away in school for several months. I spent quality time  with my kids and husband, friends and other family members for about a month. However, after this period, I got very tight with my internship at the Institute of Economic Affairs, Ghana. It offered me the opportunity to relate my academic work to industry because the organization has four main departments: Economic and Policy Analysis, Governance, Research and Programs.

I had insight into the processes involved with the formulation and implementation of government policies from the series of round table discussions that were held at the organization by eminent professionals. My passion for teamwork was mostly at play by my engagement in consultative and round table discussions that characterized programs of the organization.

My duties at the Institute of Economic Affairs included the following:

1.    Prepared a contact list of all members of parliament of Ghana containing the names, political parties, constituencies and the contact addresses and a segregated list of leadership of the house of parliament.

2.    Built a list of cabinet and non-cabinet Ministers with their respective ministries locations and contact details.

3.    Assisted in compiling the list of leadership of select stakeholder institutions in civil society and public sector, as well as distributing invitation letters and contacting them on phone to remind them of in-house and off-site workshops or meetings that are organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs.

4.    Helped in organizing logistics and preparing venues for meetings that are to be held at the IEA.

5.    Worked as scribe in caucus and platform meetings with the leadership of political parties where government policies are evaluated  and debated.

6.     Took part in discussions of the various meetings and discussions, most of which were of significant national interest. This was a great learning experience for me.

The Institute of Economic Affairs has contributed immensely to the deepening of democracy and promotion of good governance as the premier organization in public policy in Ghana. The tremendous effort that the Institute has installed in the Ghanaian populace regarding issues of democracy is highly remarkable. IEA creates among others, forums where opposition parties and the ruling party meet to deliberate on issues of national importance once every month.

In my view, this practice enriches democracy and paves the way for transparency. They also hold workshops, seminars and round table discussions with stakeholders, politicians and experts periodically at their premises where I benefited tremendously because I had the opportunity in participating actively to discussions at these forums. Besides, I gained a lot of experience in public policy concerns, professional ethics and I built a great network with stakeholders, policy makers and experts from different fields.

Being a citizen of Ghana, I was able to provide significant input on policy guidelines needed to shape local issues particularly relating to my native region, the Northern region of Ghana. In fact, IEA is a great institution that does my course-related policy and governance issues. My internship with them has indeed received commendation across board.

The following are photographs of me at round table discussion on “Improving the Trade Policy in Ghana”.



"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

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