The GIJ organizes an interfaculty conference to promote research

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Acting Dean of the GIJ Faculty of Public Relations, Advertising and Integrated Marketing, Dr. Mavis Essandoh

The Directorate of Research, Innovation and Development (DRID) of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) held its third inter-faculty conference.

This is part of efforts to promote research culture in Ghana.

The event, which took place on September 23, brought together lecturers from the Institute, guests and students.

The Acting Dean of the Faculty of Public Relations, Advertising and Integrated Marketing, Dr. Mavis Essandoh, gave a presentation on “Fighting ‘Real’ Fire? – A case study of two Ghanaian crisis management organisations”.

In her presentation, she noted that organizations such as the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) and the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) are riddled with myriad challenges including logistical constraints.

She said these challenges have over the years contributed to the ineffectiveness of some organizations, leading to a cross section of the public having a negative perception of the two crisis response organizations.

Cross-faculty research should be held regularly to encourage research

On communications issues, the GIJ keynote speaker suggested that the two organizations should review their strategies to better serve the population with much-needed information to prevent or manage disasters.

“They have some communication in place, but it probably wasn’t enough and given the recent series of disasters, they may need to revise their communication strategy with the average Ghanaian.

“They may need to focus more of their efforts on pre-crisis communication rather than post-crisis communication,” she remarked in an interview.

In the meantime, the Research Directorate has indicated that it is ready to organize regular research seminars for the staff of the institution to share their projects.

The move – according to DRID chief Dr. Etse Sikanku – is to serve as a way for lecturers to disseminate the results of their work to the academic community and the general public.

Dr Sikanku stressed the need for such regular seminars in academia to “stimulate the intellectual atmosphere, foster and build a good research environment and influence decisions at the national level”.

He observed with concern that in the absence of such events, the research work of academicians only ends up in libraries.

“That’s the goal of this program, to connect academia with the public. Without programs like this, all the research we do gets left in lecture halls, it gets left in libraries, it gets left on the shelves.

“But in programs like this, it serves as a form of research dissemination to the academic community and the general public.

“So the information, the inputs, the conclusions that are made will then inform policy at the national level and improve professional practice at a wider level,” he said.

Other lecturers who attended Dr. Mavis Essandoh’s presentation supported the suggestions for more such seminars.

Prof. Eric Opoku Mensah, event chair and GIJ deputy rector, said staff pursuing doctoral programs could share some of their literature review or work at such events “to test some ideas before even to go to your departments to ask them the difficult question.

He further suggested that the interfaculty research seminar could be held once a month.

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