Veep opens forum on data collection for sustainable development
The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has underscored the importance data plays in development and urged governments to provide resources for its collection.
“I do not know how you can be successful in your development agenda when you have poor data because your decisions have to be anchored on data,” he said, adding that statistics had moved from being a simple tool for progress monitoring and evaluation, to a key driver of development progress.
Dr Bawumia stated this yesterday when he addressed the opening session of a two-day forum on “Ghana’s Data for sustainable development road map” in Accra.
The forum has brought together data producers, data users and policy makers from Europe and Africa, as well as representatives of various ministries, departments and agencies (MMDAs) in the country to chart a road map for sustainable development in the country.
SDGs road map
Countries all over the world are in the process of collecting and producing data to track the level of growth of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In line with this, the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development (GPSD) is supporting the efforts of countries and leaders to make the process easy and convenient as part of efforts to chart a road map for the SDGs.
The GPSD is a network of more than 200 data champions, including governments, companies, civil society organisations (CSOs), international organisations, academic institutions and statistics agencies, who are working around the world to harness the data revolution for the successful achievement of the SDGs.
As a result, the GPSD has developed a toolbox and methodologies to help countries to create and develop their own holistic data road maps for sustainable development.
The toolbox addresses institutional, policy, resource and technical challenges and gives the countries the opportunity to monitor the level of growth of the SDGs in connection with their own development priorities.
The Vice-President also pointed out that a country that produced wrong data was bound to provide wrong policies and expressed concern that most governments did not prioritise data collection.
“Unfortunately, however, both data production and data use have thus been limited, not reaching their full potential in Ghana and many countries,” he said.
Dr Bawumia indicated that what accounted for this was that returns from investments in data were not immediately obvious to them.
He said based on the premise of Agenda 2030, data would have to become more disaggregated, where information could now be sought at the district instead of the regional or national level.
“Whereas in the past, we have been satisfied with national or regional averages, we now seek information at the district level to adequately reflect the different realities and diversities of our beloved country,” he said.
Dr Bawumia explained that in the implementation of pro-poor programmes, for instance, data was critical in determining the impact of such interventions.
He explained that the country’s level of commitment to the SDGs would not be feasible without fast-tracking the data revolution to provide the right information at the right time that was universally accessible to all.
“Ghana’s attainment of the SDG goals will critically be underpinned by a robust data regime that is collectively supported by all partners, including the private sector, academia, NGOs, bilateral and non-bilateral institutions, in a compromised manner,” he added.
In his address, the acting Government Statistician, Mr Baah Wadieh, said there was the need for stakeholders of statistics to work together to create a harmonious data ecosystem in the country.
“In order to meet the considerably increased data needs of the country and to harness the opportunities presented by the substantial growth in the amount and type of data available, as well as new technologies for data collection, processing, sharing and dissemination, we all need to work closely to create a harmonious data ecosystem,” he said.
Ghana’s development indicators
The Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Dr Nii Moi Thompson, said to ensure effective implementation and management of the necessary national policies, the commission harmonised the SDGs and the African Union (AU) goals, in line with Ghana’s national development agenda.
In view of that, he said five strategic national development goals namely industrialisation, healthy and disciplined society, safe environment, efficient and dynamic institutions and strengthening of Ghana’s role in international affairs had already been developed.