Gender ministry launches information system to help in monitoring and evaluation 

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Social Social Protection
Social Social Protection

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has launched the Social Protection Monitoring and Evaluation Management Information System (SP MEMIS) in Accra.

The System also termed as the SP MEMIS Dashboard is an electronic platform to streamline Social Protection monitoring and reporting, to track targets and Key Performance Indicator (KPI) of National SP Policy, and track performance of SP Programmes, among other functions.

It was launched during the Fifth National Social Protection Dialogue Series on the theme: “Enhancing the Wellbeing of Vulnerable Ghanaians through Effective Social Protection Systems”.

The two- day’s Dialogue Series, initiated by the Gender Ministry, serves as a platform for engaging stakeholders, experts, and the public on key Social Protection issues.

The fifth dialogue focuses on the Pilot Reassessment of the LEAP Programme and the role of Social Protection initiatives in addressing food security.

Madam Lariba Zuweira Abudu, Minister, Gender Ministry, in a speech read on her behalf by Madam Barbara Oteng, her Deputy, said the Dashboard would improve monitoring and reporting on Social Protection performance in the country at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region, African Union Level (AU) level and internationally.

She said the Ministry had digitalised all social protection systems to improve service delivery and ensure efficiency and effectiveness.

Madam Abudu said the Ministry was committed to the social protection agenda of the Government, hence, it was continuously improving and streamlining all social protection interventions.

‘‘For instance, we have doubled the LEAP cash grant for the beneficiaries. We have so far conducted regular and consistent LEAP payments to the beneficiaries.

Payment for the 87th cycle began on 4th December and is ongoing across the country. The LEAP programme now covers 350,551 beneficiary households which translates to over 1.5 million extremely poor individuals in the country,’’ she stated.

The Minister said it had also developed a Social Protection Bill, which had been approved by the Cabinet and presented to Parliament for consideration and passage into an Act.

Dr David Quaye Ananng, Vice Chairman, National Development Planning Commission, said Social Protection had become the lifeline for those in need in moments of crisis, however, the National Social Protection systems had faced operational challenges and lack of reliable data for targeted assistance particularly during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said it was widely documented that there was a connection between Social Protection and food security, and that food and nutrition insecurity was closely related to poverty and vulnerability.

‘‘This is predominantly among farming households in rural settings, where income and crop production strongly overlap,’’ Dr Annang said.

He said there must be social inclusion, gender equality, and respect for people’s rights and dignity to make Social Protection systems effectively address the challenges of society.

Ms Cynthia Nimo Apredu, Social Protection Specialist, World Bank, said strong systems were important for the day-to-day implementation and tracking of interventions for purposes of knowing ‘‘who is receiving what, for how long and with what impact’’ to inform policy decisions.
She said those systems must be interoperable for maximum efficient delivery as the sector thrived on multi-sectoral partnerships.

Ms Apredu noted that interoperable systems were proven to contribute to cost-saving, and fundamental to the Ministry’s Social Protection coordination role.

Ms Barbara Clemens, Representative and Country Director, World Food Programme, said the 2024-2028 Ghana Country Strategic Planning (CSP) had been approved to start in January 2024 with Ghana’s context evolving during the period, necessitating good understanding of the tools and resources required to provide sustainable support.

Ms Clemens said the new CSP provided more relevant opportunities to work together on the policies, strategies, systems, and structures that supported Social Protection and national priorities for the betterment of the vulnerable.

Mr Timothy Dolan, Team Lead at Macro-Economic and Trade Section, European Union, said fostering Social Protection contributed to ending poverty and hunger, build strong sustainable inclusive communities.

He said according to the 2022 Annual Household Income and Expenditure Survey, almost 50 per cent of Ghana’s population suffered from lack of food and nutrition.

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