Statistics production generally weak and uncoordinated

By Morkporkpor Anku, GNA 

Accra, Oct. 18, GNA – Professor George
Gyan-Baffour, the Minister of Planning, has said the production of Statistics
in Ghana is generally weak and uncoordinated at the various decentralised
institutions.

“However, citizens are better reached,
more effectively served and adequately planned for when policy and
decision-making are informed by reliable, quality and adequate statistics,”
he explained.

He said strengthening the National Statistical
System (NSS) to ensure the proper coordination for statistics production and
use by the institutions for evidence-based decision-making would, therefore, go
a long way to enhance decision-making and ensure that no one was left behind at
any level.

Prof Gyan-Baffour was speaking at the launch
of the National Statistical Assessment Survey Report on Strengthening
Statistics in National Development Planning.

The report is to establish the state of
statistical development and requirements for evolving a dependable and
well-coordinated NSS.

It is also to identify the relative strengths
and weaknesses of the system and assess the capacities of the Ministries,
Department and Agencies, Regional Coordinating Councils and the Metropolitan,
Municipal and District Assemblies for generating routine data.

He said statistics were increasingly playing
critical roles on decision-making of the country, adding that reliable, timely
and accessible statistics were thus crucial for informing policy decisions and
effective monitoring of the progress of development agenda.

He said an improved statistical system would
also help the country to undertake Voluntary National Review on the
implementation of the SDGs, which the country was to present to the high level
political forum at the United Nations in 2019.

Prof Gyan-Baffour said, “We need to track
the progress of implementing plans in detail so citizens could keep up with the
growth momentum, to improve the standards of living of the people and avoid any
shock that could throw the country off the course of sustained inclusive
growth.”

The Minister also said a coherent and
responsive statistical system provided the fundamental basis for the State in
planning and monitoring of development policies and programmes for citizens.

Dr Grace Bediako, the Acting Director-General,
National Development Planning Commission, said the report provided the
challenges the country had to address to improve the NSS.

She said for decades now, the availability and
accessibility of quality data had been at the centre of global development
agenda and this had also influenced the national development agenda, as
evidenced by the strategies aimed at strengthening the NSS.

She said the assessment survey findings, which
were being reported, had been conceived of and implemented by a joint NDPC and
GSS Statistics Advisory Committee set up by the Governing Board of NDPC to
advance the availability and surety of statistics within the national planning
system for evidenced-based decision-making and for informed citizen’s
participation in transparent and accountable governance.

Dr Clement Adamba of the School of Education
and Leadership, University of Ghana, presenting the findings and
recommendations, said some of the major factors affecting statistics production
and access in Ghana were funding, technical infrastructure, lack of skilled
personnel, weak central coordinating system for statistics and standardisation
of statistical activities.

On recommendations, he said there should be
the institutionalisation of statistics production and also the establishment of
a multi-sectoral coordinating agency.

There should also be a legal framework to
reflect international standards, investment in the financing of production,
investment in ICT, as well as the institutionalisation of monitoring and
evaluation in data production at all levels.

GNA

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