Addressing the equality divide

Research-to-practice

Seeking practical solutions for poverty alleviation

Researching the impact of e-commerce on the sustainable development of low income communities in Ghana, West Africa

Research OBjective

Research is being undertaken to observe the impact of e-commerce enabled community-based micro/small/medium enterprises (MSME) on the social, economic, and environmental condition of low-income communities in Ghana, West Africa. There is one rural community and one urban community and each will receive specific economic stimulus. Data is being collected prior to the commencement of the stimulus and thereafter on an on-going basis. For control purposes, two other communities are also being monitored. Hence a difference-in-differences effect will be observed and reported for each control/treatment group. This website accepts forms entered data from smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers.. It also supports automated data entry from sensors for environmental data collection (weather, water quality, water usage, sanitation, recycling)..

Curtin University Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) has approved this study (HRE2020-0646)

Research Communities

Rural Communities

Tefle, Volta Region

Treatment Community

Tefle is a relatively small rural community on the western side of the Volta River in the South Tongu District of the Volta Region in Ghana. According to the 2010 Ghana census the district had a population of about 87,000 people with average home occupancy of 4.2 people. It is estimated that in 2022 the district probably has a population of about 110,000. Tefle is close to the main transport corridor in West Africa linking countries from Senegal in the west to Nigeria in the east, and beyond. The economic activities of the region include agriculture, forestry, and fishing. MSME activities include pottery, weaving, bakery products, and cassava processing. Tefle is not an extremely poor community like some other communities in Ghana and the population is reasonably will educated. A section of Tefle has been delineated with about 150 homes with an expected population of about 600 people as shown on the map below. This research project introduces a tilapia hatchery and tilapia processing facility supported by a media based marketing program for the sale of product in Accra and other areas of Ghana. The research study will attempt to show what impact a well structured and e-commerce enabled MSME can have on the economic and social wellbeing of the community.

Tefle, Volta Region

Control Community

Another community of about 150 homes adjacent to the treatment community described above has been selected as shown in the map below. Data will be collected in this community in exactly the same way as for the treatment community to observe any broader community changes that may have an impact on the outcomes in the treatment community.

Urban Communities

Tetegu Road, Accra

Treatment Community

A Tetegu Road community in South McCarthy, Accra, Ghana has been chosen as an low-income urban community to study the impact of an well structured e-commerce enabled MSME serving the business community with business paper products and other services. The community of about 150 households that will be the focus of this activity is delineated on the map below. The objective is to create employment opportunities exclusively for this community, to encourage the development of other small businesses, and introduce some self-funded improvements to social and environmental conditions in the community.

Tetegu Road, Accra

Control Community

A control community for the above treatment community is in the same vicinity, but is within the Densu River delta and is subject to flooding. A community of about 150 homes is delineated on the map below. Data will be collected for a number of household metrics to observe any broader community effects that may impact on the outcomes of the treatment community.

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