As part of efforts to help address the increasing inequality and persistent poverty thwarting national development in the country; UNICEF-Ghana and University for Development Studies(UDS) has taken a giant by launching a network christened : Inclusive Development Research Network(GIDRN)

The new network provided a forum for selected research teams to receive mentorship, capacity-building, and networking between academics and policy-makers.

The network was launched at a day’s workshop in Accra on Thursday, December 14th 2017 at the Coconut Grove Hotel.

The organisers of the GIDRN were overwhelmed by the response to its request for proposals, receiving well over 100 team applications to conduct research in the area of inclusive development.

Some of Ghana’s most well-known academics and professors signed up to support the network and mentor the research teams

Today, the network is presenting the findings of the different pieces of research conducted under this network.

Inequality is now at its highest level in Ghana today with empirical evidence indicating a widening gap between the poor and the rich.

A recent survey indicates that it takes about 1000 years for the poorest poor in rural Ghana to earn what the top rich earn in one month.

Thus, for the media, this network presents a reliable pool of researchers whose work can be used to inform national debate on the gap between the rich and the poor and provide a platform on which to connect journalists to researchers.

The network provided small financial grants, technical support, mentoring and
Policy engagement and networking opportunities for 10 finalist Ghanaian research teams who proposed successful research projects in line with the defined research areas .

Today’s presentations therefore relate to the following themes; (i) inequity;
(ii) poverty; (ii) child poverty; and (iv) social protection. It is hoped that the outcomes of these research outputs will contribute to good policies for inclusive
development.

UNICEF and UDS envisaged that GIDRN, as Ghana’s first ever research network
will fill a critical gap in terms of supporting academia to promote the issue of inclusive development in Ghana.

As the gap between rich and poor has never been greater in Ghana than today, the country needs research input to tackle the issue even more than ever.

Prof Gabriel Ayum Teye, the Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies added that research is key for finding solutions and findings of this research will be part of the most reliable sources of direction for the development of Ghana’s inclusive development.

He the described the initiative as a laudable move and called on the government to throw weight behind the agenda.

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