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GSS unveils five-year Corporate Plan

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Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has launched five-year new Corporate Plan to support and speed up national development as it promises to provide accurate data.

The new Corporate Plan sets out how the GSS will lead the efficient collection, production, management and dissemination of quality Official Statistics to provide Ghana with the needed data for the achievement of the tenets of “The Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies, 2017 – 2024”.

It has also pledged to facilitate the move Beyond Aid agenda and track Ghana’s performance of international development indicators notably, the African Union Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, The Government Statistician at The Ghana Statistical Service, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim noted that, The GSS will continue to use “cutting edge approaches to statistical production and analysis, ensuring that all its outputs are produced to international standards and are compiled by competent and motivated staff. This is a huge aspiration for Ghana too, and the GSS’ Plan is a call to action for other statistical producers and users of Ghana’s data for timelier, more granular and relevant statistical information that better informs and tracks national progress towards development agendas”.

In addition to supporting this Plan, the Government of Ghana has shown its commitment and vision for data with the introduction of the new Statistical Service Act which was passed in 2019, he mentioned.

According to Professor Annim, “The Statistical Service Act 2019, Act 1003 serves as a key mechanism for harnessing the changes in the approaches GSS uses to collect and produce statistical information at a national level, by permitting new ways for the collection and use of non-traditional statistical information and data; such as big data, satellite imagery, administrative data, and commercial data”.

In her presentation on operationalising the tenets of the Statistics Service Act, 2019 (Act 1003), The former head of the Ghana Statistical Service and currently a member of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Dr. Grace Afua Bediako  has said, “this new Statistics Service Act makes it possible for GSS to not only collect new data from businesses, other statistical producers and through new innovations, such as satellite imagery, cell tower data and citizen generated data, but use the statistical information to provide new insights into the lives and experiences of its citizens”.

She added that, in this data-driven World, the National Statistics Office needs to ensure it keeps up with deluge of statistical information which is created consistently and readily available to all.

According Dr. Grace Bediako when done correctly, leveraging the new Statistics Service Act will mean that GSS will be able to produce more timely and cost-effective statistical information for its data users – to track the national development of Ghana.

Speaking on the topic, “better statistics, better lives, the importance of data for national development” the President of the International Association of Official Statistics (IAOS), John Pullinger, stated that, Statistics Denmark is working with GSS to improving the collection and use of Administrative data (i.e. information collected by government, for non-statistical purposes, that has the potential of being used for statistical reporting).

According to him, “The Corporate Plan is a transparent commitment to its data users and citizens on how it intends to collect and produce quality statistics for national development; without this ambition, commitment and desire, it will be hard to understand and track Ghana’s national development.

From an international perspective, as to how is Ghana Statistical Service seen, Mr. Pullinger, observed that “the economic and demographic landscape of Ghana is rapidly changing.  Ghana is an early demographic dividend country with declining birth rates and almost 40% of Ghana’s population under 15. But it is yet to realise the benefits from this, and the demographic transition is incomplete.  This presents challenges and opportunities for Ghana”.

What to expect from the GSS in 2020 to 2024

This Corporate Plan outlines the ambitious journey that the GSS is ready to embark upon with a concentrated and revitalised effort. It sets the stage for GSS to meet Ghana’s needs and to drive evidence-based decision making and planning using responsive and timely analysis that shines a light on disparities of those left behind and celebrates the successes that modern Ghana continues to enjoy.

The five strategic goals are as follow:

  1. Building a responsive, capable and motivated human resource which is based on a revised institutional structure.
  2. Mobilizing financial resources and control cost to bridge funding gaps.
  3. Ensuring full integration of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) solutions in the operations of GSS.
  4. Create an inter-operable, capacitated and resourceful National Statistical System (NSS); and
  5. Improving the production and use of Official Statistics for national development and planning.

Background

Across the world, there has never been a greater demand for data. Whether it is to hold those in power to account or to inform national development policy and planning that will help those most in need, data is an essential part of democracy and the basis for decision making.

Within Ghana, the economy is rapidly changing, and expectations continue to grow from data users and other stakeholders who depend on the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) for timely, accurate and trusted information for planning and evidence-based decision making.

Story filed by Edzorna Francis Mensah

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