Ghana : The first country to get a centralized data dashboard to achieve the SDGs


According to UGCS, the world is on the verge of a data tsunami amidst voluminous amount of unstructured data being generated using different technologies.

Thus, a new concept of ‘Big Data’ has evolved to manage the huge amounts of data being generated. The emergence of ‘Big Data’, UGCS says, “Is leading to real transformation in the business world, where Governments and commercial enterprises on the African continent are beginning to take an interest in the use of technologies associated with Big Data for the analysis of enormous amount of data they currently generate and they wish to do so in real time.”

Speaking to the Executive Director of the National Population Council (NPC), Dr. Leticia Adelaide Appiah, who is also a Physician and Senior Public Health Specialist, she said, in Ghana, Governments have embarked on an enterprise architecture plan upon which an efficient ICT infrastructure has been designed, where a National Database has been constructed which currently contains data on Ghana’s population censuses.

This, she said, forms part of efforts aimed at increasing demand for relevant statistics at the national, regional, district and community levels in support of the decentralized system of administration.

However, she noted that, there are still challenges with accessing reliable and adequate data in the country, especially, with the approach of the new era of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

On the backdrop of this, Millennium Promise Alliance (MPA), has stated an initiative in efforts to utilize data from different sources on a centralized dashboard to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Speaking at a National SDGs Dashboard and Data Visualization Brainstorming workshop organized by MPA and its implementing partners with ESRI, the Executive Director of Millennium Promise Alliance (MPA), who also doubles as President of the Coffee Federation of Ghana, Chief Nathaniel Ebo Nsarko, indicated that, the system, when established will enable the citizenry to keep track of various promises and the progress of governments and policy markers.

He explained that, “This is a way by which we will get a report in a more sanitized way that will inform the media, the populist and people, so we can hold our leaders to account, otherwise when you ask them they will tell you they are doing a lot. And if you ask them to show you the a lot they are doing, they can’t show you”

There has been the need to develop a Data Visualization Hub and Central platform where all SDGs related indicators and activities could be reported. Therefore, ESRI, a US-based company has been contracted to undertake this project.

According to Chief Nsarko, the system will help centralize all data related information in a standardized manner which will be free from duplication and waste of efforts from across board.

He further disclosed that, the system will go a long way in solving the existing challenges in accessing data for the progress of the MDAs, as far as the SDGs are concerned.

We are very much aware that, it is through data collection that a business or management has the quality information they need to make informed decisions from further analysis, study, and research.

Without data collection, companies, institutions and organizations would stumble around in the dark using outdated methods to make their decisions. Data collection however, allows them to stay on top of trends, provide answers to problems, and analyze new insights to great effect.

Chief Nathaniel Ebo Nsarko, added that, “Data is only valuable when it is being used to solve a problem or create opportunities for people. So this initiative is expected to encourage a proper and consistent manner of doing things in an organized way.”

He therefore, underscored the need for all countries to adopt such approaches within reasonable means in order to measure progress on the SDGs.

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