Mr Martin Eson-Benjamin, Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), on Wednesday said the Authority had been doing intense underground works that would make the actual take-off of projects smooth and devoid of any hiccups.
He explained that nothing much had been heard of MiDA in the implementation of the Millennium Challenge Account in recent times since they took office some nine months ago, because they had been in negotiations with key implementing institutions, agencies and departments who will be involved with the project on the ground".
"Some of these agreements and negotiations which result in the final agreement that are signed take some time, often about three months. Hence we seem to be slow. But a lot of work has been done and continues to be done," he added.
Mr Eson-Benjamin said this at the signing ceremony of an Implementation Entity Agreement between the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and MiDA in Accra.
Mr Eson-Benjamin signed for MiDA while Dr Grace Bediako, Government Statistician, signed for the GSS.
A total of 2.7 million dollars has been earmarked for the project.
He said the role of the GSS in the implementation of the Ghana Compact was inevitable and indispensable, stressing that the idea was to capture the status of intended beneficiaries in the 23 districts where the programme was to be implemented, relate it to their lives, businesses, environment, farming operations at the end of the five years and several years thereafter.
The MiDA boss said identifying baseline conditions and evaluating impacts would involve special efforts "to identify the indicators, the quantitative, objective and reliable data, which would set the targets on the basis of which we can measure and quantify the results and the expected time by which these results will be achieved."
He noted that MiDA did not have the time, capacity or space within which to accomplish these things. Hence, the collaboration with the various public sector entities, such as the GSS.
"The signing of the Agreements is towards the successful implementation and delivery of the goals and objectives of this challenging programme," he said.
Mr Eson-Benjamin said the impact of the programme will be measured at the household level to determine the improvement in poverty levels as a result of the Compact implementation, adding that data collection activities include surveys to access current beneficiary living standards, surveys that assess the performance of farmer-based organizations and market surveys, among others.
Mrs Bediako said the Ghana Living Standards Survey Five questionnaire has been redesigned and called GLSS5+ based on recommendations by the MCC, Yale University, MiDA and Institute of Statistical and Economic Research (ISSER) to better measure the Ghana MCA Programme's impact.
She said the GLSS5+ questionnaire would be administered as a household panel survey to be carried out throughout Ghana, starting this year through the joint efforts of Yale, ISSER and the GSS. MiDA is funding the GLSS5+ framework for its targets districts.
The questionnaire will involve administering the survey questionnaire to approximately 9,300 randomly selected households in the 23 MiDA intervention districts this year to be followed by another baseline survey as a follow-up in the same households in or around 2010.