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Eric Chimsi, Ghana

...this area of study will enable me to equip myself with the critical knowledge and skill not only to permeate into the Ghanaian society with the right strategies to help mitigate the enormity of the impoverishment...

MSc in Managing Rural Development (CeDEP distance learning student)

In my country there has been very little economic and social development, even after Independence. Characteristic of countries in this situation, many development interventions (national and multinational) have been packaged to salvage the situation, especially for rural dwellers. It is my intention to work in rural development and be able to touch the lives of the people in these under-served communities.

By furthering my studies I hoped to equip myself with the critical knowledge and skills not only to permeate Ghanaian society with the right strategies to help mitigate the enormity of the impoverishment; but also to be able to practice the best management approaches to community mobilisation and rural development.

However, full-time post-graduate study was impossible due to the constraints of work, family responsibilities and finances and so the option of distance learning with the University of London was great! I was also fortunate enough to receive a Commonwealth Scholarship.

I am currently half way through my studies and have already been able to apply knowledge from my learning to my current job (Programme Manager for Childreach International). In the preparation of our annual review, I was able to lead my colleagues to analyse need and poverty more critically, using the various assets as found in the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach to development. We analysed poverty beyond just economics and went into individual and family analysis which led us to learn more about poverty and its causes. None of my colleagues realised that poverty could be so diverse. Gender approaches have also changed my approach. We looked at perspectives, perceptions, empowerment, participation and social inclusion against the existing practices and our views are now quite different.

My research interest is to investigate the causes and rate of decrease in Human Resource Quality in Ghana. I would then like to contribute my findings to our government’s policy on Human Resource Development, in the light of high rural-urban migration by the youth, low school enrolment, inadequate school supplies and infrastructure etc.

Despite the challenges and demands, I am still on the path of personal development which will certainly enrich my understanding and performance in development, which will largely be to the benefit of Northern Ghana.