Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah, the Executive Director of the National Population Council, has encouraged the citizens to endeavour to get counted in this year’s Population and Housing Census for a better national plan.
She said Census was a very important exercise for nations because the data played critical roles in national planning and policy formulation.
The 2021 Population and Housing Census is on the theme, “You Count, Get Counted,” and expected to help gather credible and comprehensive data on the populace towards transforming the economy for sustainable development.
The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), in consultation with the Office of the President, has endorsed Sunday, June 27, this year, as the Census Night.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, Dr Appiah, said during the Census, information about the living condition of Ghanaians, the number of people living in the country; in terms of age, sex, education, occupation, and economic activity would be collected.
Dr Appiah, who is a Physician and Senior Public Health Specialist, likened Census to the health of individuals, and further compared the description of the health state of the individual by the laboratory technicians and diagnosis by the physicians to the work of the GSS in describing the state of the nation.
“Just like how we take interest in our personal lab investigations, so should we take interest in the national lab investigations, which is being undertaken by the GSS.”
She said the Population and Housing Census was a description of the state of the people in the country, which then would be followed by diagnosis by various departments – multi-sectoral for national development.
The NPC Boss said data by GSS was very important but the most important was policy relevant analysis; saying that the work of government was basically to help people live well and long.
Dr Appiah noted that data was neutral; however, what one did with it was what mattered; stating that, “Data has no conscience of its own, but what man does with it could be good or bad for the citizenry.”
The Executive Director said data was very important for rational decision-making and that participating in the Census was part of the citizens’ responsibility.
“So, if we do not get the right data, how does the Government address our needs collectively? So, how will we develop as a nation if we do not have the right data?” She asked.
Dr Appiah explained that through the Census Data, Government would build more schools and hospitals, and also decide on where to site new industries for job creation for the people.
She urged the Information Services Department, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the media to intensify the campaign to get people living in the country informed about the Census.
Dr Appiah appealed to chiefs and traditional rulers, churches and other religious groups, and civil society organisations to help make the exercise successful.
She advised policy makers to base every decision they made on data; saying, “We should base what we do, how we do it and why we do it on data. We should align our goals, our initiatives and then our priorities to the data.”
“But most importantly we should probably know the standard, the vision; where we want to get to, the big picture, and then let the data drive us to the place.”
Dr Appiah urged the citizenry to give accurate information to officials of GSS during the Census.