The Ghana National Household Registry (GNHR), has begun a nation-wide data collection exercise to establish a single national household register from which social protection programmes will select their beneficiaries.
The exercise forms part of efforts by the Government to expand and sustain the progress made in poverty reduction by ensuring that a larger share of assistance of social protection interventions go to the extremely poor and vulnerable.
The GNHR is a unit under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
Among others, the Registry seeks to 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.
The exercise would commence from Monday, October 3, to Tuesday, December 20 in the Central Region, which had been divided into two zones with Mfantseman, Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam, Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem, Abura-Asiebu-Kwamankese, Gomoa West and Cape Coast Metropolis making Zone one.
The Zone two involves; Agona East District, Awutu Senya West, Awutu Senya East Municipal, Agona West Municipal, Gomoa East and Central and Effutu Municipal Assemblies.
Addressing participants at the opening of a two-day workshop for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Information Service officers (ISD) in Cape Coast on Monday, Dr Richard Adjetey, the Head of GNHR, said the exercise would involve the use of an electronic data collection to safeguard the integrity of the information gathered for rapid processing of data.
The forum, organized by the GNHR was geared towards empowering the personnel to upscale public education to get the backing of the political, administrative, traditional and religious leaders as well as the public.
Underlining the essence of the exercise, Dr Adjetey said the GNHR, would support inter-institutional coordination to improve the impact of social spending and the elimination of duplication.
That, he said would allow the development of accurate socio-economic analyses on poverty to support drawing of plans, designs and development of specific programmes targeted at the vulnerable and low-income sectors with a reliable and modern system of social information.
“The data will support activities of institutions including Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) & LEAP 1,000, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Free School Uniforms/Free Exercise Books, Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), and the Labour-Intensive Public Works Programme (LIPW).
“Others are; Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies engaged in any other social development works that requires the targeting of the poor and vulnerable, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, research institutions and non-governmental organizations,” he said.
Furthermore, Dr Adjetey said review meetings were ongoing with the national Identification Authority, National Health Insurance Authority and LEAP on data sharing systems integration as a sharing portal was being finalized to share requested data.
Mr David Ofori Amoah, Chief Information Officer, said the capacity-building exercise had been tailor-made to equip them with relevant skills to ensure effective government communications.
With the emergence of technology and new media, he said, there was the need for the officers to equip themselves to add value to their work.
He emphasized the importance of increasing the research prowess and capabilities of officers to add value to their task of raising public knowledge about government policies, providing public relations for the various local assemblies and accurately offering feedback to the Government.