09 May 2016

A New Game to Teach Children Essential Hygiene Practices

In 2015 alone, over 10,000 children under five in Ghana died from pneumonia and diarrhoeal diseases ( WHO 2015 ). Therefore,  one year ago  we set out to develop a serious game that could teach children in Ghana about the importance of handwashing.  Handwashing with water and soap (HWWS) is proven to be the most cost effective health intervention…, Why use games to teach handwashing, and how to do it?, Evidence  on information campaigns to promote handwashing in other countries has shown that these interventions often lead to higher awareness in the short term but show limited longer term impact in terms of actual behaviour change. A  growing body of research  suggests that experiential learning through play can be effective in transferring…, The final product – a modular game embedded in local folklore and culture, The development was finalized in April 2016. ‘Handwashing with Ananse’ is now a three-chapter story and game experience centered on the popular Ghanaian folklore character Ananse. He often takes the form of a spider who likes to trick other people. In our game, Ananse has stolen all the knowledge about handwashing and hid it in his pockets. The…, All materials freely available to download, ready for roll-out, The facilitation materials have been made available for free under the Creative Commons 4.0 License. The colourful guidebook, also available as laminated facilitators’ guide from UNICEF Ghana, can be  downloaded here (PDF, 5 MB) . We are currently finalizing short tutorial videos and additional resources for facilitators which will be accessible…, An innovative evaluation to assess the game’s effectiveness, ‘Handwashing with Ananse’ will now be subject to a rigorous quasi-experimental evaluation. It will asses the effectiveness of the games in transferring knowledge and leading to increased handwashing behaviour in the medium term. More details will be provided in a separate blog post that describes the innovative sensor technology used in the…
25 June 2015

New Incubator Model Launched

Solutions to society’s most pressing problems are often found by those most affected by them. Many “new” technologies are really combinations and modifications of existing, independent ideas. Innovating means  tweaking . In Ghana, as in many other countries, innovative  tweakers  are already working locally to improve the lives of children. What…, An incubator to identify and support local innovations, To address this need,  UNICEF Ghana  has partnered with the  Reach for Change  foundation and the  European Union  to establish the  I imagine Ghana  innovation incubator. 200 applications were received from all over Ghana, covering the priority areas of education; health & nutrition; child protection; water, hygiene and sanitation; and youth…, A proven model to nurture lasting solutions, I imagine Ghana  is built on the  innovation incubator model  that has been successfully deployed by Reach for Change in  six African countries .  Rather than financing the operations of social entrepreneurs, the incubator supports them to develop sustainable business models. Special value is placed on transferring relevant skills; therefore the…, Ten ideas for a better Ghana, According to UNICEF Country Representative, Ms. Susan Ngongi, who chaired the final jury panel, “ It wasn’t easy to select the best ideas because there were many great contestants who would have deserved a chance. But we had to identify the ideas that have the potential to become sustainable after one year of support from Reach for Change and…, Meet the 1st cohort of “I imagine Ghana” innovators ,  , Bernice Dapaah: Producing sanitary pads locally to keep teenage girls in school. , Bernice wants to help teenage girls to stay in school by addressing their challenges related to menstrual hygiene. Through her business, she will set up small manufacturing plants of sanitary pads, produced with local materials using a technique piloted in Kenya. She will employ women from rural communities, thus providing employment opportunities…,  , Cordie Aziz: Environmental education for all, for a cleaner and healthier Ghana. , Cordie is passionate about environmental education, and believes that a cleaner and healthier Ghana is possible if we engage with children. She will open a centre that will provide a safe and stimulating space for underprivileged children, who will be taught about environmental protection, sanitation and creative use of recycled materials. Her…,  , Ernest Gavor: Improving availability of blood to reduce maternal and newborn mortality. , Ernest is the founder of an organization called Moja, which means ‘blood’ in the Twi language. In Ghanaian hospitals there is a chronic shortage of blood, which poses a big health risk especially for mothers and their babies during birth. Many Ghanaians have direct experience of urgent requests to donate blood to save the life of a relative or a…,  , Ishmael Hammond: Using local language phonetics to teach dyslexic children to read. , Ishmael is one of the creators of an offline methodology that uses the phonetic sounds of the Twi language (the most commonly spoken language in Ghana) to teach children with learning difficulties how to read. Once the child has learned through this method, s/he is able to read in any other language. Now Ishmael will make a digital version of his…,  , Randolph and Wolanyo Rodrigues: Promoting literacy through an offline/online storytelling platform. , The two cousins are passionate about education. They believe that a different, more engaging approach can help children become more articulated adults. They have observed that children love social networks and like to share their stories, so they have created an app that fosters collaborative writing, and can also support inputs from offline…,  , Linda Ansong: Science and ICT education for children. , Linda has a passion for IT and believes that everyone, girls and boys, young and old, can learn how to code and create apps and IT objects. She thinks that if children received a more solid S.T.E.M. education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), they would have more chances to succeed in adult life. Therefore, she will open a centre…,  , Wilson and Zakyia Amooro: music education with instruments from recycled materials. , Wilson and Zakyia will bring classical music to remote areas of Ghana. Providing children with musical training will help them to express themselves in a creative and stimulating way. They will make this accessible by creating musical instruments from recycled materials, thus also helping to reduce the amount of waste in Ghanaian communities –…