Interview with Ana Maria Perez Arredondo from Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences. She explains how and why she examines institutional structures in Ghana and points out linkages of EnerSHelF to her doctoral thesis on One Health.
You recently joined work package 1 of the EnerSHelF project which is examining the political economy structure of Ghana. Can you explain your role within this work package?
Sure. I will be looking at how the dissemination of technology, particularly photovoltaic (PV), is happening in Ghana. In particular, I will interview managers of health facilities to evaluate the challenges they have in relation to energy supply and their impressions towards renewable and non-centralized energy sources. The goal is to evaluate the market potential for PV.
Besides working for the EnerSHelF project you are a member of the NRW Forschungskolleg “One Health and Urban Transformation”. What is it you are working on within this interdisciplinary graduate school?
I am looking at the development and adoption of a health policy in Ghana that jointly cares for the health of humans, animals, and the environment. This joint prioritization of health is known as “One Health”. For the last years, I have been following up on the institutional changes linked to One Health and the pitfalls and opportunities for implementation. Currently, I am trying to evaluate if those changes have had any impact at the community levels.
Can you elaborate how your work for EnerSHelF and the Forschungskolleg are interlinked?
This may be not very intuitive at first, but I believe that as Planetary Health – the recognition that human health and the health of our planet are inextricably linked – has become the new paradigm for health and One Health offers a great support towards implementation. Therefore, in addressing issues such as energy supply that affect the human health and environmental health spheres, renewable energy sources can play an important role in advancing healthcare provision and a clean environment.
From your experience of researching governance structures in Accra, Ghana, what are the implications you derive from this work for the EnerSHelF project?
Governance structures in Ghana, as in many other countries, are overly complex. However, I am confident that the general interest of different actors from the public and private sectors towards achieving sustainable development, has created a fertile ground for innovations and for science-based interventions. I think this highlights the importance for projects to be based on a transdisciplinary approach.
Ana Maria Perez Arredondo recently joined the International Centre for Sustainable Development (IZNE) at Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences as a researcher within the framework of the EnerSHelF project. She is a doctoral student at the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, and part of the One Health and Urban Transformations Graduate School. Her doctoral thesis covers topics on One Health governance, and the social and environmental determinants of health in Accra, Ghana. Before starting her doctoral studies, she worked for the PPP on Climate Risk Transfer and Agricultural Insurance between the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) and Swiss-Re, and for the Agricultural Unit of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). She holds a MSc. of International Agribusiness and Rural Development Economics from the Universities of Gottingen in Germany and Talca in Chile (2016), and a Bachelor of International Business from the University of Guadalajara in Mexico (2013).