September 19th, 2012 | Posted in Health
by Adriana Biney, PRB 2012-2013 Policy Communication Fellow
Adriana is a second-year doctoral student at the Regional Institute for Population Studies at the University of Ghana.
“Long-term goals: To become a philanthropist and start an NGO that caters to the needs of orphans in Ghana and developing nations all over the world.”
I wrote this goal for the 2005 City College of New York’s Honors Year Book, after graduating with a BSc in chemistry. A few years later, I transitioned into the world of population studies but still wondered about the feasibility of me improving the lives of disadvantaged populations in Ghana. Then, the PRB Policy Fellows Program came along…
The eleven other Fellows and I completed a two-week workshop at the PRB office in August. In addition to teaching us an array of topics related to policy, writing techniques, and presentation skills, the core of each lesson was the same: Be clear and succinct with your messages.
We will meet again at the Population Association of America PAA meeting in April 2013, where we will give our policy presentations. This experience has been priceless. It has given me the essential skills to understand how policymakers and key stakeholders think, so I can tailor my messages to convey what I need to say. Hopefully, the conciseness of the messages will) ensure that they listen, and the realistic recommendations provided will ensure that they act.
As I make strides to complete my dissertation, I am certain that the document will not become a dusty book sitting on the University of Ghana library bookshelf. After the Fellows Program, I began thinking about this goal I naively wrote years ago—one that has slightly changed. My confidence has improved because I feel better-equipped with strategies to bring the needs of young people in Ghana to the forefront through my research.