Ghana lost US$3 million in donor funding due to delays in Parliamentary approval of the Ghana Statistics Development Project (GSDP).
The GSDP which targeted capacity building of the Research, Statistics and Information Management Directorates of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to produce statistics for tracking progress of key indicators in national development programmes was approved by the World Bank in August 2011.
However, Parliamentary approval delayed the project’s implementation for two and half years and only became effective in April 2014.
This came to light at a workshop to discuss key achievements and lessons learned from the GSDP in Accra yesterday.
The event which was also to celebrate this year’s African Statistics Day was on the theme “Everyone counts: Quality statistics for better management of forced displacement in Africa.”
Sylvester Gyamfi, Project Coordinator, called for avoidance of delays in project approvals to safeguard resources which could have been channeled into other activities for the benefit of the country.
He further reiterated the importance of improved communication between management, project implementation team and staff implementing the project activitiesto ensure staff buy-in for successful implementation.
Collaboration and involvement of stakeholders, he said, was key in the design and implementation as well as lateral and vertical coordination necessary for successful projects.
He said continuous professional training was imperative in improving performance and provide special attention on implementing scheduled activities to eliminate missing of timelines.
Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Annim, explained that the implementation of the GSDP led to the passage of the Statistical Service Act, 2019 (Act 1003) which has given the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) a comprehensive law that governs the production and use of statistics and ensured its technical independence.
He said the project also resulted in a number of surveys and censuses and rebasing of both the Consumer Price Index and the Gross Domestic Product over the period of implementation.
In line with aligning the GSS’ activities with international best practices in the production and use of quality statistics, he noted that the GSS has developed a five-year corporate plan to guide it modes of operation, reviewed its institutional organogram and deepen transparency.
He said the GSS was currently undertaking Phase II trial census ahead of the main census in 2020 to ensure that the processes to be deployed were fully functional and robust.
In a statement read on his behalf, Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, called on the public to cooperate and participate in the 2020 census to enable collection of accurate data which would assist in the development of effective plans for housing, schooling and other socio-economic plans.
“Census data is crucial to inform development plans and strategies. Expecting the 2020 census to provide data for policy reviews and re-strategise to meet the needs of Ghanaians,” he stated.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS