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General News Tue, 2 Sep 1997

Statistitcal Service To Survey Poverty Levels Next Month

Accra, Aug. 29, - The Ghana Statistical Service in collaboration with the World Bank will start a survey to monitor poverty levels in the country from September 1. The survey to be completed in 12 weeks is on a pilot basis and is aimed at testing the Core Welfare Indicator Questionnaire (CWIQ) launched in Accra today by Daasebre (Dr) Oti Boateng, Government Statistician. The CWIQ uses a simplified data collection mechanism and new technology for data entry for rapid data collection for policy decisions. Dr Oti Boateng said it is expected that the CWIQ will be part of an overall national monitoring package. It includes focus-group interviews and qualitative studies and periodic five-year nationwide integrated survey such as the Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS). Explaining the CWIQ, Dr Oti Boateng said it consists of a short set of questions to be administered to a large random sample of households. It also focuses on the collection of indicators that measure, assess, utilize and satisfy at the household level for a limited number of key social and economic services. Dr Oti Boateng said the CWIQ can be used on a yearly basis, with a minimum disruption to other surveys and activities of the statistical Service unlike the traditonal method which was completed in a time frame of between three to four years. The government stastitician appealed to all Regional Ministers, District Chief Executivess, Traditonal Rulers, Assemblymen and the general public to give maximum co-operation to the field personnel who would undertake the assignment. He urged the supervisors and the interviewers who have just completed a two-week training programme towards the execution of this excercise, to put all that they had learnt to good use. Dr Oti Boateng said for some time now, the need for statistical agencies to come out with an objective and reliable data to measure and monitor poverty and the effects of development policies, programmes and projects on the standard of living of the population has been a challenging national task. He said the task becomes more difficult when such measures or indicators are required to be on a regular time-saving and less expensive basis. "It becomes much more challenging when users require such indicators and measures to be provided not only at the level of national aggregates but also to reflect the effects on the different population subgroups". Dr K. A. Twum-Baah, who chaired the occassion, urged government to sustain this programme, even after the donors withdraw the funding. He also urged District Assemblies to set aside at least one per cent of their common fund to sustain the survey and the proposed census project.

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