Mensah helped to design a research methodology, combining quantitative and qualitative methods, to furnish Canopy NWA with a well-rounded, holistic understanding of the community’s perceptions.
“They wanted me to implement a survey to gauge people’s perceptions about refugees in Fayetteville,” Mensah said. “You know there is already a perception out there that people see refugees to be threats. What I found in Fayetteville was very, very positive. People were very positive about refugees.”
Working primarily with executive director Emily Crane-Linn, Mensah collected more than 160 responses between online and paper surveys and interviews. His findings were analyzed and put into a report, which he submitted to Canopy NWA.
Mensah, who comes to the Clinton School from Accra, Ghana, is a graduate of the University of Cape Coast with a degree in social sciences.
While he did similar research work in Ghana, he credits his experiences at the Clinton School – specifically Research Methods, Social ExChange, and his Practicum project with The Wallace Center at Winrock International – with building on his foundation.
He previously worked as an assistant field officer with Ghana’s Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection. As a volunteer, he was as a liaison with the District Social Development Officers (DSDOs), working to get low-income people enrolled onto social intervention plans in rural communities.
Mensah’s public service interests include international politics, poverty reduction, and economic and community development. Upon graduation from the Clinton School, he would like to return to Ghana and get involved in the country’s politics.
“I’ve always wanted to work in politics,” Mensah said. “I’m most grateful that I’ve come to the Clinton School. It’s not pure politics, but the school has opened up opportunities to grow myself in America. I’m hopeful that the day will come when I go back to Ghana and use some of the things that I’ve learned here.”