Government`s Performance In Covid-19 Response Opinion Poll
The survey was conducted between Monday, April 6, 2020 to Wednesday, April 8, 2020 via google form and circulated across WhatsApp platforms within Greater Accra, Eastern, Savanah, Western, Ashanti and Central regions.
Clearly, 95% of Ghanaians believe the proposal by John Dramani Mahama for the absorption /reduction of electricity and mobile data costs is very essential and must be considered and implemented by government now.
About 52% of Ghanaians believe government is handling livelihood measures poorly while 48% think government is handling it well.
Also, 67% of Ghanaians believe that the package to health workers is discriminatory among health workers and 89% of this respondents want government to give higher allowance to frontline workers and give less to other health workers with the underlying principle that all health workers should be motivated as all of them are exposed to risk but in graduated manner.
After our earlier publication which focused on the activities of political parties in the fight against the novel Covid-19, it has become necessary to assess the opinion of the public on the performance of the government in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our continuous monitoring of the reactions by the public in the mainstream media and on various social media platforms revealed some mixed feelings about the government`s response, especially after the president of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo announced in his 5th address to the nation on the novel pandemic and measures put in place to curtail it. In response to this, we conducted this poll (COVID-19 Response Poll) to assess the opinion of the public on the government`s response to the novel Covid-19 so far.
This is the second work of Alliance for Continuous Democratic Governance (ACDG), a pressure group dedicated to projecting the voice of the unheard, as far as this pandemic is concerned. The survey was conducted between Monday, April 6, 2020 to Wednesday, April 8, 2020 via google form and circulated across WhatsApp platforms within Greater Accra, Eastern, Savanah, Western, Ashanti and Central regions. The survey recorded a total participation of 2,669 with a valid response of 2,665, representing 99.85%.
The following sections present the results from the survey. It is organized based on the questions as presented in the data collection instrument.
Government`s Overall Response to the Novel Covid-19
This section assessed the opinion of the public on the overall response of the Government to the novel pandemic. From the result, majority of the respondents (51.63%) indicated that the government`s response to the Covis-19 is poor. This result falls in line with the outcome of the similar poll conducted by CNN International on the response of the United State Government to the Covid-19 pandemic in which 57% of Americans indicated that the government performed poorly. This result is presented in Table 1.
Table 1: Overall Response of the Government to the Covid-19 pandemic in Ghana
The result reveals people actually assess the measures and it is not enough when measures are announced getting feedback from the public is crucial.
Government`s Incentive Package to Frontline Health Workers
The survey examined the opinion of the citizens on the decision to give incentives to health workers especially the 50% pay increment for the frontline workers. Participants were asked to indicate if the decision is fair and just. Results in Figure 1 indicated that the decision to give 50% pay increase to only the frontline workers is unfair and discriminatory and can reduce the degree of commitment and zeal among the workers. Majority of the respondents (1776, representing 67%) indicated that the decision is discriminatory as against 889 (33%) who said it is fair and just.
The results show government did not do comprehensive consultations with health workers associations before the announcement. It is clear that the public agreed that the risk levels are different and that there should be graduated recognition of all health and allied health workers. The current form is considered by the public as discriminatory.
Figure 1: Incentive of 50% Pay Increment for Frontline Health Workers in Ghana
Ratio of Incentive if Government should Consider all Health Workers in Ghana
The survey further examined the opinion of those who feel the decision to reward only the frontline health workers was discriminatory on the rate that government should use in giving this pay increment as an incentive package to all the health workers in Ghana to ensure fair and just treatment for all. The survey presented paired-options to the respondents to select from in the manner as frontline and other health workers in that order. 11% of the 1776 respondents who indicated that the decision is not fair were of the view that government give flat 50% pay increment to all health workers, 21% indicated 30% for frontline health workers and 20% for others, 27% proposed 50% and 30% for frontline and others respectively, whole majority (41%) of the respondents indicated that 50% for frontline workers and 20% for the other workers will let peace prevail.
This shows that about 89% of the public believe that frontline health workers ahould receive more than other health workers. The result also reveals that 21% of the believes that the 50% announced should be shared between frontline health workers and other health workers. Also 68% of those who consider the announcement as discriminatory want the government to maintain the 50% to frontline health workers and consider between 20% and 30% allowance to other health workers.
Figure 2: Rate of Pay Increment as Incentive for Health Workers
Electricity and Telecommunication Tariff for the Citizens
The survey thought it necessary to look at the proposals placed before the president by the Former President and the Flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress, H.E. John Dramani Maham to absorb the cost of electricity and internet data of the citizens during the period that the state fight to eliminate this pandemic. Citizens were asked to indicate whether the proposal is necessary and needs government`s attention or not. From Figure 3, the result indicates that an overwhelming 95% of respondents believed the proposal of the NDC flagbearer is most relevant for the government to look at now as far as the fight against the novel pandemic and the citizens` wellbeing are concerned while an insignificant five percent feels it is not necessary. This is shown in Figure 3. This is self-explanatory and straight forward, that this, Mr. Mahama`s proposal is very necessary and must be considered.
Figure 3: The need for Government to consider absorbing Electricity and Mobile Data cost of Citizens.
So far, the citizens have rated the performance of the government poor as far as the fight against the novel Covid-19 in respect of livelihood measures. and advised that the government look critically at the proposals submitted by the opposition National Democratic Congress, especially the one requesting government to take up the cost of electricity and mobile data of the citizens. We wish to extend our token of appreciation to the government and pray it double up efforts in the coming days as we continue to monitor the views of the citizens.
As we indicated in our previous study, we wish to reiterate that indeed the good people of Ghana are monitoring every activity in this trying time.
ALLIANCE FOR CONTINUOUS DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE(ACDG)
THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2020
LEAD RESEARCHER: MERCY AFUMWAA M. BOATENG
Email: [email protected]