Mr David Owusu-Amoah, the Chief Information Officer at the Information Services Department (ISD), says the country’s media landscape is vibrant with multiplicity of media houses competing for audiences, nonetheless, the ISD remained the preferred reference for authentic public information in communities.
“In the past, the ISD carved a niche for itself as an effective channel for disseminating government-relevant information, a brand the Department could successfully re-establish in the minds of the public if it was well resourced to perform its mandate effectively,” Mr. Owusu-Amoah stated.
The Chief Information Officer disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, on the side-lines of a two-day capacity-building workshop for ISD staff in the Central Regional capital, Cape Coast.
Arranged by the Ghana National Household Registry (GNHR), the workshop is to empower the personnel to scale up public education on the establishment of a single national household register from which social protection programmes will select their beneficiaries.
Mr Owusu-Amoah said the ISD was responsible for creating public awareness of government policies, programmes and activities, promoting Ghana’s international marketing agenda and providing public relations support to other Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
Also, it establishes a responsive two-way channel of communication between the government and the people to proactively and readily assist the government’s investment promotion and development programmes towards good governance.
However, many people have downplayed the relevance of ISD with the advent of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and the new media, but Mr Owusu-Amoah said the role of ISD as an indispensable ally in the national development trajectory has become more pertinent than before.
He said the unbridled misinformation and miscommunication on national issues, reinforced the essence of government, corporate Ghana, and donor partners to resource the Department and equip it with the necessary logistics to better educate the public on government policy initiatives and programmes.
“The ISD remains the most preferred choice of the people and all government communication-related activities today. That must be harnessed to move government communications on policies to every community, particularly in villages and difficult to reach communities.
Regardless of the challenges confronting the Department, Mr Owusu-Amoah commended government and urged it to re-commit itself to help the Service to achieve its core vision.
Earlier in an address at the opening of the programme, Dr. Richard Adjetey, the Head of GNHR, said the collection of data for the single household register is scheduled to commence in the region, from Monday, October 3, to Tuesday, December 20.
The move forms part of efforts by the Government to expand and sustain the progress made in poverty reduction by ensuring that a larger share of social protection interventions goes to the extremely poor and vulnerable.
It would streamline and make more efficient the targeting system in Ghana by using the same Proxy Mean Test indicators (Common Targeting Mechanism) in the identification of potential beneficiaries for social protection interventions.