The Ghana Statistical Service has launched the Second National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS II) to cover the period 2017-2021.
The NSDS II provides strategic direction for the production of statistical data and information in the country for the next five years.
It also takes into account the priority statistical activities of 16 core ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) that are considered vital to the statistical needs of the country.
At the launch in Accra, the acting Government Statistician, Mr Baah Wadieh, stated that the first NSDS, which was titled Ghana Statistical Development Plan, focused on building the enabling environment for the functioning of the statistical system.
However, this new strategy document, he said, placed emphasis on statistical production to meet user needs, which were many and varied.
“As you may know, government agencies require official statistics to enable evidence-based policy making and to track the impact of policies on the population. The private sector, civil society organisations and development partners also require data to inform investment decisions or development interventions,” he said.
He said the factors that affected statistical production in Ghana included the demand by the political-economic system for more and better data, while the public continued to seek evidence that social interventions were effective.
However, he added that progress had been made on making internal factors impacting statistical production more favourable under the first NSDS.
“So far, all the major implementing agencies have shown commitment and it is my hope that this will continue when we enter the implementation phase of this successor strategic plan, the NSDS II,” he added.
A Deputy Minister of Finance, Mrs Mona Quartey, said the NSDS II would seek to address the underdevelopment of the administrative data system in the country, such that more and better quality data might be collected at a lower cost, while maintaining crucial survey credibility.
She indicated that the mission for the National Statistical System (NSS) was to promote accurate, relevant, reliable and timely statistics to meet user needs.
Mrs Quartey said the goals of the strategic plan included modernising the physical infrastructure to give the system the practical tools it required.
It will also focus on human resources which is to ensure the right combination of skills within the system to deliver the statistics the country needs in order to make informed decisions.
She then added that significant attention would be placed on developing a well-coordinated system for the collection and production of data and effective dissemination of statistics to ensure that they meet the demands of users.