A STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS CAMPAIGN TO IMPROVE GHANIAN ENVIRONMENTAL AND PUBLIC HEALTH OUTCOMES THROUGH COMPOST UTILIZATION
ROLE: ART DIRECTOR
Research Area: Advertising/Social Science
Faculty Mentor(s): Deborah Morrison, Tom McDonnell
ABSTRACT: "Working closely with students and faculty at the University of Ghana, our team of advertising students and School of Journalism & Communication faculty have researched how to communicate best practices for composting in Ghana. This research will result in strategic advertising messages aimed at reducing Ghanian agrarian reliance on imported fertilizers. We have analyzed research conducted by our partner team of students and faculty at the University of Ghana to identify important new connections between fertilizer usage and decreasing soil fertility, which presents significant environmental concern alongside socioeconomic fragility. After analyzing scientific reports, we found that according to the International Food Policy Research Institute, farming is the primary source of employment in Ghana but more than 36% of farmers do not have the funds to purchase fertilizer. Through our research and analysis, we have determined that educating farmers on composting practices presents solutions to a variety of issues not only addressing soil fertility, but also addressing unsustainable waste management practices and lack of economic opportunity, as well as the correlation between food security and general public health. Our primary hypothesis is that by using a variety of persuasive messaging techniques, we can shift social awareness and opinion among Ghanaian stakeholders (farmers, merchants, and consumers) to embrace compost initiatives as a means of addressing short-term food insecurity, ensuring the longevity of farmable land, increasing quality of health, and maximizing potential economic output. Our research has established a strategic framework for our production team going to Ghana to start producing a campaign."