Prof. Samuel Annim
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Ministry of Information (MOI) and the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) as part of the efforts to retool the Information Services Department (ISD) to enable it to deliver on its mandate.
The two parties are seeking to train ISD staff in all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) on how to gather information that will guide government in the implementation of its policies.
The signing was done at a brief ceremony in Accra on Tuesday.
The MoU was signed by Prof. Samuel Annim on behalf of the GSS and the Acting Director of the ISD, Mr. Owusu Amoah on behalf of the Ministry of Information and witnessed by the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah and staff of the GSS, ISD and the ministry.
Speaking after the ceremony, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah, under whose purview the ISD directly falls, pointed out that the partnership has come at a better time.
He said in the age of information gathering and scientific research, the partnership will help enhance the ISD’s research unit so much so that it can gather feedback from the public and send same to government for further policy actions.
“This is a very important step in an exercise to reorganise the ISD and it is born out of an internal identification of an opportunity and a challenge. The ISD traditionally compiles what it calls Public Reaction Report (PRR) where when something occurs in one part of the country, in any district, they will put together a report and share same with the Minister responsible for Information who will then share same to inform Central Government understanding of what is going on,” the minister said.
“We identified, when I assumed office a few years ago, that there was an opportunity and a potential to convert this Public Reaction Report into a more scientifically-driven research instrument that can guide the Government of Ghana, regardless of which government is in power, on what the people of Ghana really think about specific matters and the kind of interventions they will want to see implemented,” he added.
On his part, Prof. Samuel Annim, head of the GSS stressed the need for state agencies to tap into the GSS’ “know-how” to improve on their workflow as mandated by law.
He said the collaboration would help improve ISD’s information gathering processes, pledging the support of his outfit to seeing to it that the ISD is repositioned as a research-oriented department of the Ministry of Information.
Mr. Amoah bemoaned the absence of information gathering systems that will see to it that the ISD makes meaningful inputs into government decision making processes.
He said however that, with the coming into force of the partnership with the GSS, the ISD can now gather feedback and relay same to government for further policy actions.