Ghana Statistical Service undertakes institutional reform

BY: Zainabu Issah
Alhaji Collins Dauda (inset), Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, addressing participants in the ceremony

Twenty-eight statisticians from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) were yesterday transferred to the Local Government Service (LGS) to be integrated into the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs).

The integration is part of the GSS’s institutional reform programme which is being undertaken with support from the Statistics for Results Facility Catalytic Fund (SRF-CF) and the International Development Association (IDA) under the management of the World Bank.

The ultimate goal is to have District Statistical Departments (DSDs) in all the 216 MMDAs, which are provided with the requisite staff, equipment and resources to meet the statistical needs of the MMDAs.

The GSS staff who would be joining the LSG have nine to 38 years experience in statistics.

 

Strengthening NSS

Speaking at a ceremony to mark the transfers in Accra, the Government Statistician, Dr Philomena Nyarko, said the move formed part of government’s effort to strengthen the National Statistical System (NSS), which comprises data suppliers, producers, users, research and training institutions and development partners.

That, she said, was to ensure that relevant and quality statistics, which formed the basis for sound and effective decision making, were produced on a timely basis.

She noted, however, that the handing over of the GSS staff to the LGS did not mean the curtailment of their relationship with GSS but rather that the GSS would continue to rely on the District Statistical Departments for data and also provide periodical backstop training programmes for the staff.

Dr Nyarko, therefore, urged them to work very hard in their new areas of endeavours and also contribute their best to ensure that the objectives of the integration were achieved.

Embrace new status

In his address, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Alhaji Collins Dauda, said the statistics unit of the districts would, among others, provide credible, reliable  and timely data  and information to support policy formulation, evidence-based decision making, as well as the monitoring and evaluation of socio-economic development  programmes  and projects at the national, regional and district levels.

He assured all stakeholders of the government’s unwavering commitment and support to the process of integration of the statistics unit into the district-level institutional framework.

He expressed the hope that the LGS had developed the structure, specific function roles, responsibilities, and support systems to enable the new units to play their role of data collection, compilation, storage and archiving.

Alhaji Dauda also urged the new staff to quickly overcome any lingering fears or doubts and embrace their new status, develop their capacities and perform their functions and roles to contribute their quota to the national development effort.

Statistics is needed

For her part, a Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mrs Mona Helen Quartey, said to promote good governance, all stakeholders had a commitment to strengthen the statistical system of the country to ensure that basic statistics were routinely available and readily accessible to all.

That, she said, was because statistics was needed for development; not only at the national level, but at all levels of government administration and policy intervention.

 “Indeed we cannot do without an efficient national statistical system that is able to generate timely, reliable and accurate statistics to help us plan, measure and manage our development effort”, she said

Mrs Quartey, therefore, pledged her ministry’s full support for the integration project and called on all stakeholders to collaborate and contribute their quota to ensure the realisation of the project’s objectives.

The Head of the LGS, Dr Callistus Mahama, also assured the statisticians of their career development and progress.