Managing Unanticipated Consequences: Historical Research in Ghana

  • Komla Tsey


Research, by its very nature, can have a degree of trial and error about it. We must acknowledge and represent the error as well as the trial. Research engagement and impact are always evolving. One solution can often become a trigger for new challenges. In my research career, I have approached engagement as a life-long activity in much the same way that anthropologists and linguists do, by building relationships with a community over an entire professional life. This allows me as a researcher to observe how social change occurs over time and allows me to develop frameworks that reflect changes. To demonstrate the way that research within a community can be a rewarding, challenging and evolving endeavour, I return to my home village in Ghana where the launch of an historical research project spun off into two directions of impact—one positive and one negative—and caused me to reflect on the research relationship I had developed and nurtured in my home community.


  1. Asamoah, F. M. K., & Tsey, K. (2012). Botoku/Dzali: History, culture and governance. A learning resource for teachers, parents and students interested in African knowledge traditions. Kwabenya: University Child and Youth Development Centre.Google Scholar
  2. Tsey, K. (2011). Re-thinking development in Africa: An oral history approach from Botoku, Rural Ghana. Cameroon: Langaa Research & Publishing Common Initiative Group.Google Scholar
  3. Tsey, K. (2018). The search for sustainable disposal of dead bodies: The case of Botoku, Rural Ghana. OIDA International Journal of Sustainable Development, 11(5), 23–30.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Komla Tsey
    • 1
  1. 1.James Cook UniversityCairnsAustralia

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