The Measurement, Learning and Evaluation (MLE) Unit of the Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER) has held the third Regional Partners’ Workshop at Busua Beach Resort in the Western region.

It was held from July 17 – 23, 2016.

Topics that came under scrutiny during the workshop were; Qualitative Methods and Analysis, Monitoring and Evaluation systems, Time Management, Gender Mainstreaming and Proposal Development. The essence of the workshop was to build capacity of partners.

The 15 participants who gathered for the workshop came from Niger, Mali, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, La Cote D’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ghana. There were five facilitators.

In attendance were M.L.E Advisors comprising Prof. Felix Asante, Director of ISER, Prof. Robert Darko Osei, Dr. Isaac Osei-Akoto and Dr. Freda Asem, Business Manager, MLE. ISSER Faculty members were Dr. Fred Dzanku and Dr. Ama Fenny.

Prof. Robert Osei set the tone for the first meeting by highlighting the agenda and objectives of the workshop.

For the workshop, Dr. Stephen Afranie opened the first session by introducing Qualitative Research tools, methods of conducting such studies and the frameworks for analysis of acquired data.

Supported by Mr. Samuel Dakey, Dr. Afranie touched on the need for research as a whole and the determination of what drives change in different spheres of society.

He also expanded on the philosophical ideologies that support different approaches to focus group discussions and interviewing.

Mr. Dakey led a practical session to demonstrate the processes for constructing a qualitative study. These included sampling strategies to ensure group representativeness, forming interview questions to cover main themes, transcribing interviews to capture all verbal and non-verbal contributions, and analysis.

On the third day, Dr. Nasiru Inusah tackled Time Management. He introduced the group to the various ways of assessing personal time management skills and tools for setting and achieving goals.

During the practical sessions, the groups discussed various interruptions that plague them in their different industries, and how to identify personal traits which lead to chronic or prolonged dis-organization and ways to mitigate them. 

The workshop tempo was sustained on the fourth day when it was the turn of Dr. Josephine Dzahene-Quarshie. She led the discussion on Gender Mainstreaming.

Dr. Dzahene-Quarshie sought to uncover the group’s understanding of the concept of gender, how it is defined by social and cultural ideologies and the need for gender- mainstreaming in research.

The focus of the presentation was to reintroduce gender issues as an important tool for understanding socio-economic phenomena as it applies to both sexes, not just female.

The fifth day was when the curtain was about to be drawn on the entire meeting. Dr. David Ameyaw presented on Monitoring and Evaluation. He showed its importance and outlined each component of M&E and concentrated on the impact of monitoring on the success of evaluation.

Three meetings were held along the sidelines of the workshop. These were for ISSER personnel to meet with representatives of INRAN (Niger), GREAT (Mali) and the National Institute of Statistics and Demography (Burkina Faso), as it was a rare opportunity that could not be missed.

The regional workshop was represented by:  Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN), National Institute of Statistics and Demography and National Root Crops Research Institute.

Others included Groupe de Recherche en Economie Appliquee et Theorique (GREAT), University of Development Studies (UDS, World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), Centre for Public Policy Alternatives (CPPA) and Centre for Policy Studies (CERPS).

The rest are University of Ghana, ISSER, Centre for Economic Research and Capacity Building – CERCB, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and Centre for Social Policy Studies.