National Statistics Assessment Survey Report Launched

The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and the Ghana Statistical Service have launched the National Statistics Assessment Survey Report which detailed the state of statistical development whilst proposing steps to strengthen the national statistical system.


At the launch of the Report, the Acting Director General of National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Dr. Grace Bediako lamented that when it comes to statistics, most Ghanaians have little knowledge which do not help in data gathering in developing the country.


According to her, there is the need to educate the public when it comes to statistics, explaining that the study of Mathematics in the various schools in Ghana is difficult for students to understand statistics but then, there is a need to educate the public that when it comes to statistics, it is not difficult as they thought.


Dr. Grace Bediako urged the public to have the passion to understand some key economic terms practically so as to have ideas of government policies as well as the state of the economy.


The document which was officially out-doored stated that overall, users’ satisfaction with official statistics with respect to details, timeliness, and relevance, frequency of publication and style of presentation were encouraging with 94.5 percent of users being generally satisfied with official statistics and statistical products.


According to the survey, over 90 percent of respondents were satisfied with all the attributes of data quality.


“Generally, the majority (81.9%) of data users believe that it is easy accessing official statistics and statistical products while 9.7 percent of users think otherwise. Nearly nine in every ten users of Census and survey reports (88.5%), Monetary and financial statistics (87.7%) and Living conditions statistics (87.4%) indicated that they had easy access to these statistics,” it indicated.


The Survey Report also mentioned that industrial statistics which is 74.2% and Crime and Governance statistics of 65.0% were identified to be the difficult products to access as 9 in 10 respondents indicated that sufficiently clear information on methodology were provided for the statistics they accessed.


Respondents rated Living conditions statistics of 96.3%, Industrial statistics 93.7% as the statistical products with clearer descriptions of methodology.


Whist some respondents had difficulty with understanding the metadata, either the language used was too technical or the methodology was usually not self-explanatory.


Results from the survey also indicate that the majority of users, 80.8% are unaware of the disseminated calendar of release for official statistics and only 19.2 percent of users are aware of any disseminated calendar that announces the dates on which the official statistics they use are to be released.


On the use and satisfaction with statistical products of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, the MDAs largely met the data needs of the respondents, with 83.1 percent having their data needs fully met and 13.5 percent having their needs partially met.


The National Development Planning Commission fully met the data needs of 97.6 percent of their users.


Ten percent of users of statistics have ever used a publication or statistical product of the MDAs hence, in all the attributes of interest looking at relevance, accuracy, reliability, accessibility and style of presentation, 97.1 percent of respondents who have ever used publications from the MDAs rated them as good or better.


However, use and satisfaction with statistical products of GSS on the whole pointed to the fact that 95.3 percent of respondents have ever made enquiries or requested for data from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), mainly through personal contact (51.2%) either at the head office or the regional offices and the use of the GSS website (22.0%). “Demographic statistics (55.6%), National census and survey reports (46.0%), Health statistics (26.3%), Education statistics (26.3%) and National accounts statistics (26.3%) are the most widely used publications; the least used publication is the Digest of International Trade Merchandise (5.8%),” the document stated.


It was however recommended that there is the need to thoroughly analyse all the survey outcomes and come out with decisions that would help improve statistics production in the country.


There is, however, the need for improvements since not all those who requested for data from the MDAs received responses to their request. For some, even though the request was met, the time lag was too long, and some had their request partially met.


It also recommended that GSS, as the main leader in the production of official statistics, should conduct training for officials responsible for statistics production in the various MDAs/MMDAs after assessing their training needs, whilst producers of official statistics should strive to improve their efficiency by improving on the quality of official statistics in terms of accuracy, timeliness and frequency of releases.


GSS, according to the survey should provide leadership to the adherence to standards, definitions and concepts among statistics producing agencies.


Meanwhile, Grace Bediako in an interview mentioned that the usefulness of official statistics as rated by users increased between 2012 and 2018.


“The number of individual users and institutions contacting GSS either for data or for a query increased over the period. This is quite encouraging for the production and use of official statistics in the country,” she said.


The launch of the Report was supported by UNICEF AND UNDP.



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