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Single National Household Registry: The Panacea for Poverty Reduction in Ghana

GNHRGhana made history as the first country sub-Saharan Africa to achieve the Millennium Development Goal one of reducing poverty by half long before the 2015 deadline set by the United Nations. In spite of this great stride, poverty remains a major challenge in Ghana, specially, in the rural areas.

Government Statistician, Dr Philomina Nyarko recently indicated that overeight million Ghanaians are poor with more than two million of the number living in extreme poverty. According to the Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS6), even though most regions in Ghana showed a reduction in poverty incidence since 2005/2006, the pattern of poverty by region remains the same.

Sixty years after independence, it is not acceptable for these huge chunks of citizens of a country blessed with a lot of natural resources to be wallowing in abject poverty.

 Fortunately for us, governments (past and present) have put in place a lot of policies and programs that are aimed at eradicating poverty in all forms in our beloved country. Prominent among these policies and programmes are the Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP); Labour Intensive Public Works (LIPW), the exempt category of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) among others.  However, these programs do not seem to be making the desired impact on the poor and vulnerable in our country. 

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Ghana Household Register expected to be ready for use by January

The Ghana Household Register is expected to be ready for use by January next year.

The project, which was initiated by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection entails the registrations of households and the collection of basic information on their socioeconomic status in order to aid in the planning of social protection programmes. 

It was started in the Upper West Region in August but hit a snag when it had into some challenges forcing coordinators to step back.

The National Coordinator of the Ghana Social Opportunities Project (GSOP), Robert Austin noted that since they resumed work, they have done tremendously well starting with outlandish communities where they enjoy significant corporation from the chief and people.

“We started our work from the hinterland where communities are sparse and getting access is a challenge, but gradually we are zoning into the urban areas."

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Upper East Regional House of Chiefs to support Household Registry

GNHRGNHRThe Upper East Regional House of Chief has pledged its unflinching support for the implementation of Ghana National Household Registry (GNHR) which is ongoing in the country.

The exercise which had commenced in the Upper West Region is being extended to the Upper East Region to be followed by the northern region and the rest of the regions in the country.

The Chiefs drawn from the various paramountcies in the region, made the commitment during an engagement meeting jointly organised by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) and the GNHR in Bolgatanga on Thursday, to solicit their support for the implementation of the Ghana National Household Registry (GNHR).

Mr Robert E. Austin, the National Coordinator of the Ghana Social Opportunities Project (GSOP), explained to the traditional authorities that the GNHR Project which is being funded by the World Bank in collaboration with the Government of Ghana when completed would help facilitate the identification of extremely poor and vulnerable households.

He explained that as it stood now the Social Protection systems are not well coordinated making it very difficult to identify the extremely poor very well and expressed optimism when the GNHR Project is completed it would coordinate and consolidate all the social protections systems including the School Feeding Programme, Capitation, Labour Intensive Public Works (LIPW), Free School Uniform Programme among other social interventions.

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Assemblies urged to support the implementation of Household Registry exercise

 Assemblies urged to support the implementation of Household Registry exerciseMetropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDs) have been urged to support the implementation of the Ghana National Household Registry (GNHR) exercise which has started in the Upper East and Upper West Regions.

The GNHR is under the auspices of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), and was formally launched in October 2015.The exercise, which is expected to be replicated nationwide after the successful implementation of the exercise in the three northern regions, would be a registry of all households in Ghana.

Mr Robert E. Austin, the National Coordinator of the Ghana Social Opportunities Project (GSOP), who said this at a stakeholders’ forum, called on the stakeholders including all the thirteen Municipal and District Chief Executives and Coordinating Directors in the Region to support the implementation of the project.

The forum was also attended by the Regional Minister, his deputy, the Regional Coordinating Director, a team from the Ministry of MoGCSP and the World Bank. The forum was to brief the stakeholders on the benefit of the GNHR and to solicit their support in the implementation of the project.

The National Coordinator said the GNHR Project which is being funded by the World Bank in collaboration with the Government of Ghana would facilitate the identification of extremely poor and vulnerable households.

 “Data from the Registry will be used for social intervention programs such as LEAP, Free Health Insurance, Labour Intensive Public Works (LIPW), Ghana School Feeding Programme, and the Free School Uniform Programme among others”, Mr Austin said.

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GNHR Targets 112,000 Households in Upper West

Upper West Region, WaNana Oye Lithur, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection has described the Single National Household Register for social programs as a game changer in the effective and well-coordinated management of social protection in the country.

According to her, the register will ensure that the right people are targeted for any social intervention program and the impacts of such supports properly and effectively monitored and measured.

“The benefits of the single national household register are numerous. The register will ensure that we have a face, a name, an address and socio-economic characteristics of households in Ghana. The benefits also go beyond social protection programmes”.

About 112,000 households are being targeted for registration in the Upper West Region which is known to be the most poverty endemic region in Ghana.

She said the initiative is in fulfillment of the government’s manifesto promise that will as a social democratic government develop an integrated programme for the registration of all persons into a common database for social protection targeting. 

She stated that globally social protection has proven to be an effective strategy in poverty reduction and closing inequality gaps with some good results in countries like Brazil where poverty has reduced drastically as much as half. “And this was achieved using the single registry of beneficiaries in the management of their social protection programmes.
“With a single national household register we will achieve an effective coordination among our social protection programs and make it possible for households to benefits from more than one social protection intervention simultaneously. This way, the graduation of households out of poverty permanently can be achieved with ease”, she added.

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