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PARIS 21/ECOWAS REGIONAL WORKSHOP FOR WEST AFRICA THE USE OF STATISTICS IN DEVELOPMENT AND POVERTY REDUCTION POLICIES. GHANA COUNTRY ISSUES PAPER BY DR. KWAKU A. TWUM-BAAH GOVERNMENT STATISTICIAN & CENSUS COORDINATOR. INTRODUCTION.

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PARIS 21/ECOWAS REGIONAL WORKSHOP FOR WEST AFRICATHE USE OF STATISTICS IN DEVELOPMENT AND POVERTY REDUCTION POLICIES

GHANA COUNTRY ISSUES PAPER

BY DR. KWAKU A. TWUM-BAAH

GOVERNMENT STATISTICIAN & CENSUS COORDINATOR


Introduction
INTRODUCTION

  • The vision of the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) is to see the national statistical system become the best it can be, so that it can stand among the best in the statistical community. Towards that end, the mission of the GSS is to have statistics of the highest quality, relevant to the development needs of users of statistical data, produced in the country.

  • Statistical data have assumed an increasingly international dimension (donors want measurable results) and national statistics are taking on the features of an international public good.


Demand for and use of statistical data
DEMAND FOR AND USE OF STATISTICAL DATA

  • Statistical data are crucial for social and economic development which, ultimately, is expected to meet human needs

    - Planning to make the most informed decision is the essence of good governance,

    - Evidence-based policy-making process requires inputs of statistical information to guide development

    - Statistical data are needed to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of programs in achieving development goals.

  • Challenge to statistics is to produce relevant, reliable and value-added statistical data that will facilitate the process of identifying and assessing the relative effectiveness of alternative procedures for attaining the development goal.

    - develop information system that will facilitate communication and transfer of the data in a timely manner to stakeholders in the development planning process.


  • Meeting the challenge depends on the development of an enduring capability of the national statistical system.

    - statistical legislation that empowers the national statistical system to carry out its mandate effectively,

    - organizational set-up (backed by legislative instrument) that spells out the institutional linkages for effective coordination of the system,

    - strong political support for NACPUS to serve as focal point for collaboration between producers and users of statistics

    - promotion and encouragement for GSS to stay truly independent to build capacity in MDAs and local administration,

    - build confidence in quality of statistical product,

    - discuss with and plan for needs of users of statistical data.

  • GSS, as national body responsible for coordinating development of statistical activities,

    - collaborates with individuals and institution to address statistical issues

    - reviews data needs of users and monitors statistical activities of MDAs

    - collaborates with MDAs and staff at regional/district level in statistical activities of the GSS to help build capacity.

    - NACPUS with its SSWGs is institution-based and representative of producers and users of management ran and provides effective framework of communication between producers and users of statistics..


  • Demand for statistical data covers the whole spectrum of subject matter areas and sectors

    - GSS collects for publication social statistics from the more developed units (education, health, agriculture, housing, transport, etc)

    - much greater attention paid to economic statistics indicators (price index, trade, national accounts, public finance, etc.)

    - GPRS defines priority areas as poverty-related, pro-poor, monitoring and evaluation value.


Data production
DATA PRODUCTION subject matter areas and sectors

  • Collection, compilation, analysis, publication and dissemination of official statistics vested in GSS

  • Collection, compilation, analysis, publication and dissemination of sector-specific statistical information mandate of MDAs

  • Responsibility for production of data belongs, collectively, to the GSS and MDAs as source of routine official statistics.

  • Institutional set-up of statistical system has GSS at centre, with loose relationship with other public producer agencies which derive their authority elsewhere.

  • Consistency and Quality of Data suffer as a result of

    - lack of harmonization of methods and techniques

    - duplication of effort in same area of operation

    - low response and lack of cooperation from businesses

    - use of inappropriate designed questionnaires by MDAs for lack of resources to modify

    - non-conformity with international classification and definition.


Financing statistical system
FINANCING STATISTICAL SYSTEM subject matter areas and sectors

  • Government direct support for 2000 Population and Housing Support (excluding office personnel and infrastructure) – 76 percent

  • Government support for routine statistical activities suffers from system of allocation of resources.

    - hardly any funds for data collection and publication

    - statistical units within public sector seem hardest hit

    - more serious if officer responsible for reallocation within MDA appears not to appreciate importance of statistics in sector/national development

    - lack of infrastructure and logistics support for fieldwork and for processing of data.

  • Donor support, in many cases, constitute the largest proportion of all sources of funds for statistical projects

    - Ghana Child Labour Survey (100%, ILO)

    - District poverty mapping (100%, Donors fund with World Bank)

    - Situation analysis study of reproduction and child health service delivery (100%, USAID)


- School facility survey (100%, Donors fund with World Bank)

- District-based Core Welfare Indicators Questionnaire survey (92.7%, DFID)

- Policy analysis reports (100%, UNFPA)

- Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (100%, USAID)

- Maternal Mortality Survey (100%, UNFPA)

- Ghana Living Standard Survey (100%, GOG)

- Ghana Industrial Census and Survey (20%, UNIDO)

  • When donor support ceases, projects either become unsustainable or collapse. Need to reduce reliance on external aid and provision made to sustain statistical capacity with domestic resources.


Collaboration with international community
COLLABORATION WITH INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY Bank)

  • Coordination of statistical activities at sub-regional, regional, international levels

    - data sharing and harmonization of methods and standards via workshops and conferences

  • Coordination and cooperation between national statistical offices and developing partners

    - donors may have their own agenda and therefore look at specific areas of statistics

    - statistical activities that donors want to fund may not necessarily be compatible with national priorities

    - some NGOs pay “motivational allowance” to respondents and community leaders during data collection

  • Bilateral and multilateral cooperation in statistical activities

    - improves system of official statistics

    - of mutual benefit to donors and partner countries.


  • What expectations from donors and NGOs Bank)

    - to use national statistical offices rather than collecting data themselves

    - to offer support and not seek to lead

    - give great thought to admonition of PARIS 21

  • What Ghana can offer

    - increasing globalization and sub-regional protocols have heightened the need for regional cooperation and integration of economic structures

    - production and sharing of statistical data must reflect the spirit of regional cooperation and development

    - production and dissemination of statistical information have to address needs of the international community

    - GSS has re-defined the roles of its various sections to expand their scope of data collection and analysis to be able to address the increasing data needs of the international community

    - plans are advanced to disseminate data through the internet by creating a website for GSS products, including census data

    - where information required by international, regional and sub-regional clients is outside the scope of work of the existing sections of the GSS, the needed data are sourced from the relevant sector.

    - requests for raw data are granted upon the payment of the appropriate fee for cost of processing and production.


Support for key policy initiatives
SUPPORT FOR KEY POLICY INITIATIVES Bank)

  • In response to the requirements of the decentralized planning system,

    - the GSS restructured its organizational set-up to give priority to the functions of its regional and district offices, which are the field arm of the GSS

    - provided training and re-orientation to regional/district staff to assist the development process

    - strengthened the regional/district offices with qualified professional and technical staff to assist District Assemblies

  • Towards the production of reliable relevant data of high quality,

    - GSS has promoted the concept of a national statistical system as against a central statistical office

    - GSS has adopted a proactive approach in dealing with other public producer agencies

    - involvement of staff of other public producer agencies in statistical activities of the GSS is to ensure an all-embracing capacity building effort in data collection, analysis and dissemination at every level of the administrative structure

    - implementation of CWIQ at district level, the first attempt in any country, comes out of desire to provide poverty indicators to evaluate and monitor development programs at that level, which is more relevant than national or regional profile

    - census data published at district level to support evidence-based policy planning

    - revived NACPUS to serve as framework for the coordination of statistical activities


- building bridges with major users (government, private business, media) for mutual benefit of all stakeholders

- plans to organize orientation courses and seminars for public producer agencies and the media.


Constraints challenges and way forward
CONSTRAINTS, CHALLENGES AND WAY FORWARD business, media) for mutual benefit of all stakeholders

  • Constraints to further Development of Statistical System

    - lack of harmonization of methodology and techniques, resulting in inconsistency in statistical data

    - reluctance and/or inability of MDAs to modify existing data collection forms to suit current standards and procedures

    - non-conformity with harmonized system of economic and social classifications

    - inadequate funds and allocation of resources undermine the sustainability of statistical system

    - poor working conditions, including salary, are not motivational enough to attract and retain qualified personnel to sustain statistical capacity.

  • Current Challenges

    - produce statistical data that are relevant, reliable and has value added

    - produce data that will support attainment of development goal of the country

    - achieve an appreciable level of coordination of statistical activities

    - harmonize methods, standards for data collection and analysis among producer agencies

    - create the desire and hunger for statistical data

    - encourage a willingness to pay for statistical data

    - promote and sustain an effective framework of communication with major users of statistics

    - provide periodic refresher courses in statistical methods and standards to media and personnel of producer agencies.


  • Recommendations for Way Forward business, media) for mutual benefit of all stakeholders

    - legislative instrument spelling out institutional linkages in statistical system to ensure compliance

    - set up of National Statistical Council to provide vehicle for coordination

    - human resource development on a sustainable basis is necessary for strengthening of statistical capacity

    - increased funding and resource allocation to support infrstructure building and improvement

    - good remuneration and incentive package for trained personnel will ensure that staff perform their tasks well

  • Conclusion

    - It is essential to have staff who know what has to be done, but it is equally important that they have the required skills, equipment and facilities to complete the task and the incentives to perform well

    - Statistical capacity building efforts and related technical cooperation activities need to be embedded within the national framework of development policies.


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