AudienceScapes Field Blog
KEY COMMUNICATION AND DEVELOPMENT WEBSITES AND PROJECTS
Ghana Communication Profile
Health: Here the AudienceScapes survey examines how Ghanaians receive information regarding seven key public health issues, including Malaria, HIV/AIDS, Maternal and Infant Health
Case Studies: Rural Women Under 30 and Opinion Leaders in Health Information
Agriculture: Crop and Livestock farmers were asked how they stay informed about various agricultural topics—both “practical” topics such as fertilizer use and pest control, and “business” topics such as market prices, legal questions and agricultural loans and credits.
Case Studies: Communicating with Cocoa Farmers, and Opinion Leaders in Agricultural Information
Personal Finance: The AudienceScapes survey approached finance issues from an information perspective to determine whether and/or how Ghanaians are learning about various services, with the aim of pinpointing information gaps that might be filled by development organizations.
Case Studies: Extending Finanical Services to the Unbanked and Opinion Leaders in Financial Information
The Country Overview examines both traditional and new media formats in terms of access and general use, including radio, television, mobile phones, newsprint and the internet.
Gender Gap: Communication often needs to be tailored by gender to account for differing socioeconomic conditions of men and women, cultural norms about household roles and the use of leisure time, or gender differences in preferences and tastes.
The Urban-Rural Divide: Poor infrastructure and lower socio-economic status topped the list of likely reasons why rural dwellers trail in access to and use of information and communication sources. A principle obstacle is a lack of adequate and reliable electricity in rural areas to power radios, TVs and computers, or to charge mobile phones.
Political Context: Ghana’s political situation provides helpful context for analyzing the current development environment and how best to communicate with Ghanaians on development issues. The evolution of multiparty democracy, with vibrant competition between parties, has led to a political and social culture embracing free debate and open communication. Ghana has enjoyed relative political stability for nearly two decades, including two peaceful transitions of power.
The Economy and Development: Despite being a functioning democracy and having a relatively robust economy in Sub-Saharan African terms, Ghana still faces considerable development challenges. Ghana receives more than one billion dollars in official development assistance each year. In 2007 (the last year for which data are available), aid constituted more than a quarter of government expenditures.
Gauging Development Progress: In addition to asking Ghanaians about their priority development issues, the AudienceScapes survey asked them to judge their country’s development progress over the past four or five years. These questions were derived from six targets included in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which participating countries have pledged to meet by 2015.
Development in the News: One way to gauge Ghanaians’ priorities of issue is to find out what types of news stories tend to capture their attention when they read newspapers, watch TV or listen to the radio. It may be encouraging for development professionals involved in communication efforts to see in that topics such as health, the environment and agriculture rate high among those that attract “a great deal of attention” from survey respondents as they use traditional media sources.