More than 80,000 households with an average population of five members in the Upper West Region, have so far been registered under the Ghana National Household Registry (GNHR) project.
The project, being undertaken by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, seeks to compile a comprehensive data base for peopleconsidered to be vulnerable and socially excluded in the country, is expected to register a total of 135,000 households in the region .
When completed, the data would help government to prioritize its resource allocation in the area of social intervention, as well as the operations of non- governmental organizations in the country.
According to the National Coordinator of the GNHR, Robert Austin, who was in the region on a two-day working visit, the data would help identify all social programmmes currently ongoing in the country.
He said the exercise was very important because it would help eliminate duplication of social intervention and ensure maximization of resources.
Mr. Austin said t very often, agencies including governmental ones, found themselves undertaking similar social intervention programmes without recourse to each other, leading to duplication and waste of resources.
“The GNHR data apart from bringing about harmonisation of social intervention activities, will also provide a one stop shop for other development agencies to acquire information not only on the socially excluded but also various interventions on going and this will ensure proper targeting,” he emphasized.
Mr. Austin explained that even though more than 80,000 households had been enumerated, a significant number of households in the region were expected to be registered in addition.
“If you go to the 2010 census, the number of households in the upper west region was 110,000 and with population growth we are expecting some increase in that and so we are thinking we have some 40,000-50,000 households more to cover,” he stressed
Mr. Austin also visited Jirapa, Nandom and Tumu where he interacted with some residents and enumerators on the field where he expressed satisfaction with work done so far.
He also paid a courtesy call on the Upper West Regional Minister, Alhaji Amin Amidu Sulemani where he briefed him on the progress of work in the region so far.
On his part, Alhaji Sulemani expressed his appreciation to the GNHR for pioneering the whole exercise in the upper West region.
He said the experiences gather from the region must be a guide to the secretariat as they proceed to other regions to collect their data.
The minister noted that the poor data available in the country often made it difficult to measure the real impact of numerous social intervention programmes undertaken by both government and development partners.
He expressed the hope that the GNHR project would help address this deficiency as well as aid government to do proper targeting of its programmes.
From Cliff Ekuful & Rebecca Nti, Nandom