Whom to ask? How quantitative and qualitative data is collected in Ghana

Interview with Dr. Kennedy Alatinga of the University for Development Studies on his involvement in the project as an associated partner. He explains his role in the quantitative and qualitative data collection in Ghana

You are an associated partner to the EnerSHelF project and involved in three work packages. Can you tell us about your role within these distinct packages?

I am the Country Project Manager of EnerSHelF in charge of the socio-economic component of the project in Ghana. In my position, I am involved in developing survey instruments for data collection and analysis. Another major task is to ensure that the project team gets ethical clearance from the Ghana Health Service Ethical Review Committee for the project – which I already secured.

How do you implement your tasks and areas of responsibility?

I am leading the development of both qualitative and quantitative data collection instruments. With these we plan to assess the impact of the institutional framework – both in terms of prevailing technologies as well as socio-economic conditions – on the decision-making behaviour of market actors regarding PV solutions.

First, we look at the demand side with the health care decision-makers. We focus on their arguments in terms of adoption or non-adoption of PV solutions. Second, we change perspective to the supply side, ergo the enterprise perspective. Here, we asses the provision or non-provision of PV solutions and the underlying reasons.  

The data will be collected from stakeholders in the health and energy sector in various locations in Ghana. Most stakeholders are in Accra, where we plan to interview representatives from relevant public authorities, but also from NGOs and private sector entities. Interviews will be conducted with health care decision makers, head of facilities, representatives of governmental authorities relevant to the health and energy sector, and staff at private sector companies active in the PV market. This allows us to cover a wide range of facilities: From small- to large-scale facilities and all the different types of health service providers (public, private, faith based). Overall, the interviews help us to understand the different decision-making procedures and institutional rules regarding the set-up and use of renewable energy technologies.

What are the biggest challenges for you right now? And what are the next steps?

The biggest challenge right now is the COVID-19 pandemic, which is delaying the smooth implementation of the project. At the moment, Ghana is easing some of the restrictions on social gatherings. We hope that the restrictions are further eased soon, so we could embark on the fieldwork to collect data for the project.

Dr. Kennedy A. Alatinga is a Senior Lecturer and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Planning and Land Management at the University for Development Studies (UDS), Tamale, Ghana. Dr. Alatinga holds a PhD in Public Policy and Administration and a Master of Public Administration from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. He also holds a Master of Arts degree in Development Management from the Ruhr University in Germany, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Integrated Development Studies from UDS.