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26.08.2005 General News

Ghana Living Standards Survey Launched


Kumasi, Aug. 26, GNA- Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, on Friday launched the Ghana Living Standards Survey dubbed 'GLSS-5' in Kumasi.

The survey seeks to provide information on patterns of household consumption and expenditure at a greater level of desegregation and intended to serve as the basis for the construction of the Consumer Price Index and for updating national accounts.

The survey will cover about 8,700 households in 580 enumeration areas throughout the country and expected to commence on September 5 this year will last for about 12 months and each sample household would be visited for a month.

In a speech read for Mr Baah-Wiredu, he said the government was implementing various interventions to bring about improvement in the living standards of Ghanaian.

These, he said, had been done within the framework of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy agenda and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said the roadmap towards achieving the objectives of these programmes required indicators to measure and monitor the progress being made.

Consequently, poverty reduction strategy programmes including the setting up of a monitoring and evaluation welfare information system had now become the cornerstone of government policy and programmes, the Minister said.

He said the survey was one of the nation's development agenda that would provide information on a wide range of indicators for monitoring poverty reduction interventions in the country that had emerged as one of the effective means of monitoring poverty and living standards. Mr Baah-Wiredu said since its introduction within the past two decades, the survey had been considered as one of the important tools in the welfare monitoring system in support of the economic recovery and adjustment programmes in the 1980s and 1990s and continued to be an essential component of the monitoring system.

He said the GLSS-5 was, therefore, indispensable in effective implementation of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy towards the monitoring of poverty and the effects of the various development policies, programmes and projects on living standards.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said in more recent times, there had been the need for a more up-to-date, timely and reliable statistical information or indicators for monitoring poverty and the effects of the various policies, programmes and projects on living standards.

He said the present round of the survey was based on a national representation, household sample aimed at providing invaluable insight into living conditions in Ghana as well as facilitating in-depth analysis of living standards of households and measurement of poverty. Another important feature of the survey, the Minister said, was the inclusion of a non-farm Household Enterprise Module that would collect information from non-farm household enterprise for national accounts and consumer price index estimates.

Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Ashanti Regional Minister, said the government had an agenda to develop the country but pointed out that before any meaningful assessment of the development could take place, there was the need to have statistics as proof and not mere words. He said: "We need to know where to start so that we can know whether we have progressed or not within a period" adding that concepts like inflationary rate; per capita income, price index, population growth and the rest were measured by data.

Mr Boafo asked the field staff who would undertake the survey to be patient in administering the questionnaires otherwise they might not get the desired results.

He said: "At this computer age, it will be a disgrace on our part if we are not able to get credible information for our projections and growth pattern."

Professor Kwadwo Assenso-Okyere, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ghana, who chaired the function, said the survey was more important now that Ghana was executing the Poverty Reduction Strategy, and that progress in attempts to reduce poverty could be ascertained through a study like the GLSS-5.

He said knowledge about progress with the strategy would enable the country develop good programmes, policies or projects and expand, adopt and sustain them in different places and over time. He said this was the paradigm for scaling up as used in developing strategy and thus the GLSS could give the country a clue about good policies and bad policies.