I think this is the point where I'm supposed to realize that in the next 24 hours I'll be whizzing across two foreign continents and arriving in Africa for the first time. But it sure doesn't feel like it. As I'm sitting in my apartment in Durham, throwing my last few things into my suitcase, it feels more like I'm about to head home for the weekend or take a quick trip across the state.
As a bit of background, Stesha and I spent our previous summers in Thailand and Haiti working with reproductive health and women's health, respectively, and after discussing project ideas, we decided to take a broader human rights approach to the issue, through the study of gender inequality. This summer, our project will be in Accra, Ghana's capital and largest city, and is sponsored by Duke's Center for International Studies and the Benjamin N. Duke Scholars Program.
Both of us are heading out from North Carolina today, and expect to stay in Ghana until late July. Since the issue of "gender inequality" has quite a wide scope, our work will begin with the more tangible task of interviewing NGO workers throughout the capital. In this way, we're taking a public policy approach, primarily asking the question, 'How can the efficiency of service provision be improved?' Although our goal is community and network building, we're going to wait to see where our research takes us, and hope to end our project with some tangible proposals. A couple current ideas are a brochure of NGOs' varying services and a "women's fair" to publicize women's service provision in the capital.
I hope to use this blog as both a reflection and as a forum for discussing the kind of research we're doing in Accra and the stories and people we run across in our travels. If you have any thoughts, I would love to hear them; feel free to comment on the posts themselves or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.