Juliet Adime Amoah
Background: I am a trained development journalist who had transitioned into development work with International NGO’s. The more I progressed in the sector, moving from programmes manager, to Head of Strategy and to Deputy Director, the more I recognised that I needed to understand the theories that underpinned our work in the field. I realised that I would become a better leader of my teams, if I understood how policy was developed and implemented and if I could lead in the charge to improve equity and usefulness of the many government led social policies. This is why I enrolled at CSPS.
My CSPS experience: A field trip to three districts in the Volta Region – to understand how data on the ground translates or gets lost in the implementation of social policies – was my favourite part of the course. On that trip I saw a different, more playful side of the teaching faculty and drew closer to my colleagues. We stayed up late most nights, teased each other about picky eating habits and weird sleeping rituals, including getting into some very heated arguments with waiters over poor service and threatening to use our new degrees to ban what we called substandard hospitality facilities!
Goals: Enrolling on the programme contributed immensely to my growth in programme design, implementation and evaluation. This has led to my being appointed Executive Director at a tech-based civil society organisation whose specialty is in social accountability and anti-corruption work.
Networks: My colleagues on the MA Social Policy programme worked at the National Development Planning Committee, the Environmental Protection Agency, and in various ministries and district assemblies. This has meant that each time my organisation is developing a project we have a multiplicity of stakeholders from whom to seek opinions. Further, my lecturers have become a great resource and are constantly providing consultancies, paid and unpaid, to ensure our interventions deliver significant value to the development sector.
To prospective students: A degree is only as good as the paper it is written on. What really matters is how you link the theory to your practice. There is so much that has happened that has impacted the policies we have and there is so much to do to re-engineer the state of play within the policy development and policy implementation space. Keep focused on what you need to do in practical terms post the CSPS training and get to it. Find a space and shine your light, together we can move the needle and improve the lives of our people, especially if we build strong networks and support systems in which we all sing from the same song book.