The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), has initiated a capacity development and certification programme in statistical data communications for journalists to improve their data storytelling skills.
The programme, which will be run by GIJ aims to equip journalists with the needed skills to interpret and report data accurately and position them to effectively advocate for policy and social change through data storytelling.
Speaking at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Dr. Frederick Mugisha, the UNDP Economic Advisor in Ghana underscored the important role of the media in shaping the development conversation and in ensuring accountability through their reportage.
He said ‘’as we continue to produce evidence on various aspects of development to inform policy decisions, compelling data storytelling by the media will help bring about change that is desired, a transformative change, and a positive change in people’s lives’’.
The Rector of GIJ, Professor Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo, described the module outline of the certification programme as a comprehensive one that reflects the needs of data interpretation and storytelling. He expressed the institute’s commitment to ensuring quality teaching and learning.
‘’I can assure that because of our position within the media education and training space, we have qualified and experienced staff to deliver what is required.
Delivering this training programme is our priority”, Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo noted.
On her part, Mrs. Abena Osei-Akoto, Director of Census and Surveys at GSS commended the data communications programme and noted that, it will position journalists to help the GSS in telling a better story from data collected.
‘’We are hopeful that the programme will help the journalists to appreciate data and strengthen their capacity to interpret statistical data accurately, advocate and cause more social changes through their reportage’’, she noted.
The media capacity development programme on data story telling is a three-month course that will lead to a joint certificate award by the GIJ, GSS and UNDP. It has been structured in three levels: Basic, Intermediate and Advanced levels, with the Basic level taking off in September 2021.