We must embrace administrative data collection – Prof. Annim

To ensure the availability of accurate and up-to-date data for decision-making and development, there is a need for the country to adopt administrative sources of data, government statistician Prof. Kobina Anim has said.

Speaking at a pre-departure meeting in Accra for a delegation he is leading to Demark on a study trip, Prof. Annim said administrative data could help the country cut down the cost of data collection associated with censuses, surveys and head-to-head and house-to-house counts.

“The aims of the collaboration between Ghana Statistical Service and Statistics Denmark are the landmark transition to rely on administrative sources of data to complement the use of surveys and censuses in the production of statistics and the provision of a benchmarking mechanism for quality – assuring the production of key economic statistics.”

The visit by the delegation is part of a Strategic Sector Cooperation programme between Statistics Demark and the Ghana Statistical Service.

The cooperation’s purpose is to exchange knowledge with experts from Statistics Denmark and explore best practices in statistics management. The visit will also enable the two statistical bodies to exchange ideas on how to collect and process accurate statistics for decision-making and dissemination.

The delegation is made up of officials from other key institutions involved in data collections – the Births and Deaths Registry, the National Identification Authority, the Ghana Police Service and Ghana Immigration Service are visiting the Scandinavian country between August 17 and 22.

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He added that the trip will lead to finalising modes of engagement for the three-year life span of the collaboration to ensure achievement of the set targets.

In addition, Statistics Denmark is exploring how best to assist the Ghana Revenue Authority with developing a national price valuation database.

This Strategic Sector Cooperation on statistics seeks to, among others, promote inclusive and sustainable growth and development in Ghana by supporting conducive framework conditions for the fulfilment of prioritised Sustainable Development Goals; and bring Danish technical experience and assistance as well as state-of-the-art statistical solutions to solving development challenges in Ghana.

It also aims to strengthen official statistics in Ghana, with a specific focus on the increased use of administrative data in the production of statistics – especially the national head-count instead of house-to-house population censuses which require huge logistics and funds.

During the study visit, delegates from Ghana will have first-hand information on best practices on generating accurate data to aid decision-making. Specific issues to be discussed include using administrative data for population statistics, database infrastructure and data security, business registers, among others.

The cooperation between the Ghana Statistical Service and Statistics Denmark commenced in February this year. So far, there have been missions by Statistics Denmark to support the Ghana Statistical Service with rebasing the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Automatic transfer of data from the Births and Deaths registry to Ghana Statistical Service.

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Statistics Denmark is the central authority on Danish Statistics, responsible for collecting, compiling and publishing statistics on the Danish society. Statistics Denmark participates actively in international statistical cooperation, and has an ambition to make an impact on the improvement of international statistical cooperation.

Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Tove Degnbol who hosted the pre-departure meeting said: “We expect this collaboration to be of mutual benefit for Denmark and Ghana. Exchange of knowledge and experience will generate mutual inspiration and is likely to yield significant results. This is what we have seen in other sectors such as the maritime sector and the water sector; we are confident that we will see the same with this collaboration”.

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