Sep 26, 2012

NYU Wagner, RCLA Help Launch The Ghana Wins! Project

New York University, in collaboration with Fundación Mujeres Por África, the University of Ghana, and Banco Santander has launched The Ghana Wins! Project, a major initiative designed to develop and promote leadership skills in Ghanaian women. A select number of Ghanian women will receive training and assistance from the NYU College of Nursing (NYUCN), the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service to help address Ghana’s critical needs in healthcare, education, and strengthening of its civil society.

“The needs in developing countries are great, but the more health resources that are developed, the better off the country will be,” says NYUCN’s Yvonne Wesley, co-director of the project. The project’s director, NYUCN’s Mattia Gilmartin, added, “Ghana is dealing with increases in diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as we are here. One goal of our program is to teach the participating nurses skills to improve the quality of care in their local settings.”

Each school has been awarded a grant from Banco Santander to implement its portion of the project. The College of Nursing is the first to begin, launching the four-year Ghanaian Nurse Leaders Program, which addresses a fundamental need of the Ghanaian nursing profession—the development of a corps of nurses that can improve health system management and clinical practice —in Ghana.

The Research Center for Leadership in Action (RCLA) at NYU Wagner will offer a one-year cohort-based leadership development program for mid- to senior-level women leaders from government and civil society organizations in Ghana. RCLA will select two cohorts of 15-20 women each working in public service across the nation. Women leaders will identify a pressing organizational or community need and design a public service action-learning project to address it. They will spend the following year working in small groups to implement their projects, aided by ongoing expert coaching via regular videoconferences and support from peers.

“In the half century since gaining its independence, Ghana has developed a strong and vibrant civil society to support its social, political, and economic growth,” noted RCLA Executive Director Bethany Godsoe. “As Ghana enters this next phase in its history, the continued strengthening of democratic institutions will be crucial to realizing greater prosperity, and NYU Wagner is honored to be identifying, nurturing, and equipping visionary women leaders as central to that effort.”

The Ghana Wins! Project builds on the collaborative relationship between NYU and the University of Ghana, which includes NYU’s study abroad site on the university’s campus in Accra, the country’s capital and largest city. For more than three years, the two universities and two medical centers—Korle Bu in Accra and Bellevue in New York City—have been working together and learning from each other.

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