News Column

The Ghana Statistics Development Project Launched in Accra

July 11, 2014

The Ghana Statistics Development Project (GSDP), which is aimed at strengthening the National Statistics System (NSS) in the production and dissemination of timely and robust statistics relevant for evidence-based policy-making, has been launched in Accra.

The project-- a collaboration between the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and the World Bank-- is being funded with a grant of US$ 10 million from the Statistics for Results Facility-Catalytic Fund (SRF-CF) and a credit of US$ 30 million from the International Development Association (IDA).

In her remarks, the Government Statistician, Dr Philomena Nyarko, said the fund was set up by the British and Dutch governments to sustain improvement in the production, availability and use of quality statistics in developing countries.

Dr Nyarko said the project was carved out of the Ghana Statistics Development Plan which was the framework for the development of statistics in Ghana, adding that it would be implemented by ten Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

She said the project was to ensure that relevant and quality statistics were produced on a timely basis for sound and effective decision making, adding that statistics were indispensable for good governance and constituted a key element in the development planning process.

Mr Kwasi Armo-Himbson, Chief Director of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, and chairman for the occasion, explained that the project had four main components.

These components, Mr Armo-Himbson said, included Institutional reform and organizational change, Enhancing statistical capacity, Data production and dissemination and Project management and monitoring and evaluation.

He expressed worry that limited statistical capacity within the MDA's remained a major obstacle to effectively monitor the growth and poverty reduction strategies in the country.

"As the country progresses, the need for more reliable official statistics becomes urgent as better decisions could be made by the use of more accurate and comprehensive statistics to achieve targets set within the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda II," Mr Himbson noted.

He expressed the hope that with the implementation of the Ghana Statistics Development Project, the NSS would be strengthened through training and equipment support for the production and dissemination of statistics.

For his part, the Board Chairman of the GSS, Mr Boye Ocansey, said statistics were essential in presenting and reporting on the objective picture of a country's economic and social conditions.

Mr Ocansey said accurate statistics were also essential in the efficient allocation of scarce resources for national development.

He expressed regret that the statistical system in the country, comprising the statistical units of the various MDA's and the GSS, had, over the years, not received the requisite support it deserved.

He said he was, however, encouraged that the NSS was being revived and strengthened with support from development partners and the government of Ghana.

In his remarks, the Country Director of the World Bank, Yusupha Crookes, said the project would help the country make good decisions and monitor projects as far as development was concerned.

Mr Crookes said to realize the success of the project, there was the need for co-ordination with development partners as well as openness among data producers to identify ways to serve the nation better.

Source: ISD (Mabel Addo & Solace Amankwah)

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Source: AllAfrica

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