Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, the Government Statistician, has emphasized the need of Parliament relying on reliable statistics to carry out its oversight responsibilities for the welfare of the people.
He claimed that using credible data will not only increase Parliament’s oversight role in enhancing accountability, but also assist the legislative body in formulating appropriate policies and regulations for the country’s socio-economic growth.
Prof Annim made the remarks in Accra yesterday during the launch of five new constituency reports as part of the Data for Accountability Project (DAP) and to mark the start of African Statistics Week.
The theme of the celebration, “Modernising national statistical systems to support socio-cultural development in Africa,” aimed to emphasize the importance of all national institutions using credible and reliable data in decision-making for the benefit of their citizens and the development of their countries.
Every year on November 18, African Numbers Day is commemorated to promote awareness about the vital role statistics play in all facets of Africa’s social and economic life.
Constituency profiles, on the other hand, are reports that are prepared using time-series data for a specific geographical area and include information on health, education, and district budget allocation.
The reports were created as part of the DAP, which is being implemented by the African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), and INASP with Hewlett Foundation support.
DAP is a two-year project aimed at increasing Ghana’s Parliament’s capacity to monitor the country’s progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals by enhancing the use of evidence in Parliament ( SDGs).
The constituency reports, which are based on a survey performed in five selected seats as part of the project, are intended to give background or context for Members of Parliament (MPs) who represent those constituencies.
Asante Akim Central, Hohoe, Wa East, New Juaben South, and Ajumako are the constituencies.
Prof Annim, who introduced the paper, said the constituency profiles looked at existing administrative data to show the usefulness of local data in making local decisions.
He added that the data used in the survey was already available in several ministries, and he hoped that the findings would assist Parliament understand the importance of data in local and national growth, as well as the necessity to invest in data infrastructure.
Dr Evans Aggrey Darko, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, said the project would improve lawmakers’ ability to do their duties and rely on statistical data to fight for projects for their areas.
Mr Mohammed Nyagsi, the Director of Research in Parliament, who spoke on behalf of the Clerk of Parliament, said Parliament’s responsibility was to monitor the delivery of public goods and services.
He stated that the capability of the employees at Parliament’s research department would be increased to assist the various committees of Parliament in their job.
Dr. Gifty Adika, who spoke on behalf of ACEPA’s Executive Director, Dr. Rasheed Draman, said the project would strengthen collaboration between data users and producers, as well as provide MPs with access to high-quality statistical data to assist improve the living conditions of their constituents.
Dr. Godfred Seidu Jasaw, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Wa East, whose constituency was also chosen for the project, said the findings will allow him to seek assistance for 311 of his residents who had been affected by flooding.