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STATEMENT BY HON. OTIKO AFISAH DJABA AT THE LAUNCH OF UPPER EAST REGION GNHR DATA COLLECTION EXERCISE AT PUSIGA

 Naa Chairman, Naaba Issifu Atiah Aborg, Chief of Tiili, MP for Pusiga, Hon. Laadi,Northern Regional Minister, Deputy Regional Minister, Upper East, Dean of the University for Development Studies - Wa, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, Traditional Rulers, Staff of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Invited Guest, The Media, Ladies and Gentlemen.

  I am delighted to be here with you today to launch the commencement of data collection exercise in the Upper East Region after several months of consensus building with stake holders, planning and training of field personnel. It has been a challenging journey create and complete the data collection exercise in 2017 in the Upper West Region, by the Grace of God, we have entered the Upper East Region. 

The Ghana Living Standards Survey 6 (GLSS 5 & 6) indicates that Ghana has been able to reduce the people living below the poverty line from 51.87% in 1991 to 24.6% in 2012.

Within the same period, the extremely poor population was also reduced from 36.5% to 8.4%. This progress is in sync with the Sustainable Development Goals 1 of Ending poverty in all its forms everywhere.

In order to sustain and deepen the data collection on extremely poor households, the Government of Ghana (GoG) through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) established the Ghana National Household Registry (GNHR) to ensure that social protection benefits get to the people who really need them for production inclusion where we leave nobody out or behind.

Targeting is very critical in Social Protection as it seeks to correctly and efficiently identify the recipients of social benefits. Experiences from countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Georgia and Pakistan which have successfully developed single national household registries to serve and to collaborate the critical role of GNHR in ensuring the effectiveness of the various social protection programmes. 

The GNHR aims to enhance transparency and accountability in selecting beneficiaries of social protection programs across MDAs by establishing a credible, up-to-date single national household registry that will ensure efficiency and coordination in the implementation of SP programs. 

I am happy to state that we have our Gambian friends in Pusiga  on a study tour to find out how they can replicate such a system in Gambia.  Liberia is also planning a similar trip. We must therefore support this data collection exercise that would form the basis of the targeting process.

I would like to call on the MPs in the Upper East, District Chief executives, Chiefs, opinion leaders, traditional rulers across our borders and other stakeholders to own this activity and encourage various households to take this exercise very seriously.

The information to be gathered would go beyond social protection issues and help local government authorities have a baseline information for their developmental agenda. 

Let me also state that the GNHR has completed  its data sharing protocol guidelines based on the data protection act that would allow information to be accessible to the public and relevant institutions. The Upper West data is ready and would be disseminated in a round table workshop in March, 2018 for key users of this data. 

His Excellency, the president, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo and the NPP is committed to the systematic reduction of poverty in our country and bringing relief to our vulnerable and less fortunate households. The GNHR is therefore the key beginning of identification and targeting to enable us address and achieve the SDG goal one and two of eradicating hunger and ensuring zero hunger by 2030 in Ghana. 

We are deploying a total of 965 field staff made up of 22 District coordinators, 135 Supervisors and 808 Enumerators. I entreat all field staff after your successful training to put up your best and ensure that you are part of the success story of identifying and classifying poor households. 

The Ministry would ensure that all the necessary logistics as well as motivation needed for this data collection in Upper East are made available for all Field Staff to ensure the success of the program in the region. The field staff should be aware of how the accuracy of the Data we collect will be crucial in achieving the main objective of establishing the Registry and to address poverty eradication. 

Field Staff, I will entreat you to adhere to simple safety rules as you extensively travel the length and breadth of the region to get this all important job done. I am so passionate and determined to see this registry move from the Upper East Region to the mother region and nationwide this 2018 because poverty is in every region of Ghana and we must eradicate it. 

Collectively, let’s all help to build an excellent database and be part of this beautiful and efficient process. On this note I would like to officially declare the GNHR data collection in the Upper East region duly launched.

Thank you for your kind attention. 

BY HON. OTIKO AFISAH DJABA