The Ghana National Household Registry (GNHR), a unit under Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection with the mandate to compile a register of the poor and vulnerable for social protection programmes to select their beneficiaries, has commenced an emergency data collection on poor and vulnerable persons in the Greater Accra region.
Speaking at a press briefing to announce the commencement of the exercise in Accra, Dr Prosper Laari, the National Coordinator of the GNHR, said the exercise is part of the measures the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection is putting in place to update its data on the poor and vulnerable in Accra.
Dr. Laari indicated that the current pandemic has rendered many people vulnerable. This, he noted, called for the need for the data on the vulnerable groups to be upgraded to reflect the present status of the target beneficiaries for social protection programmes in the country.
“An updated data will help government to adequately and rapidly plan and budget towards the social welfare services to provide for vulnerable groups during emergency situations and beyond”, he added.
Touching on the approach to be used for the data collection, Dr Laari said the exercise will adopt the census approach which will allow GNHR enumerators to visit various households and use a well-structured data intake questionnaire to collect socio-economic data on the household members.
He explained that, upon completion of the data collection exercise, the Registry will categorize the households and individuals into poor and non-poor, after which social interventions can use their own eligibility criteria to determine the beneficiaries to include their programmes.
Dr. Laari further explained that the Ministry will continue to provide the field staff with needed Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and regularly brief them on the need to observe social distancing protocols so as not to put themselves and the respondents at risk of contracting the coronavirus.
The GNHR data collection exercise is being funded by the World Bank and Department of International Development, UK. Since its establishment, the GNHR has successfully completed data collection in the Upper West and Upper East regions which are among the poorest regions in the country.
According to the National Coordinator, the two regions presently have comprehensive data on the poor and vulnerable which can be used to identify beneficiaries for social protection interventions, and to provide relief services during an emergency like the current COVID 19 pandemic.
Dr. Laari said similar exercise would be carried out in the Northern, North East, and Savannah regions and in the Central and Volta regions by the end of 2020