COVID-19 Pandemic Reveals Importance Of Data On Vulnerable Groups – GNHR Coordinator

The Ghana National Household Registry (GNHR), a unit under the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection, has underscored the need for comprehensive data to help implement targeted interventions for vulnerable groups during pandemics.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency, the GNHR National Coordinator, Dr Prosper Laari, said this was because the COVID-19 pandemic had demonstrated the need for complete data on the poor and vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities (PWDs) and the aged.

GNHR is mandated to create a national registry from which potential beneficiaries of social protection interventions like PWDs will be selected.

The Registry seeks to promote effective targeting, increase cost-effectiveness, and prevent duplication of efforts with Ghana’s social protection system.

It is an integral part of the structures put instituted by the Government to strengthen Ghana’s social protection systems.

In line with its mandate, Dr Laari said the GNHR has successfully completed data collection in the Upper West and Upper East regions and was working towards continuing data collection activities nationwide.

“This unit is a key improvement in targeting for the sub-region,” he said, noting that most social protection interventions of Government are expected to depend on the GNHR data to identify poor or extremely poor beneficiaries.

He added, although the Ministry or government has data on some sections of the poor and vulnerable, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need for comprehensive data on all poor and vulnerable groups countrywide.

“Poverty data is dynamic and very transient and requires a multifaceted approach to be able to reach out to the vulnerable at all times,” he said.

As such, leveraging the existing software and hardware solutions at the GNHR, he noted the Registry was better placed in obtaining data that would allow different actors to use their different eligibility criteria to target.

“This will assist the government in providing any further support that will be deemed necessary as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19 and beyond for social protection programmes,” he added.

The GNHR early said this month, it had commenced an emergency data collection on poor and vulnerable persons in the Greater Accra Region as part of measures by the Gender Ministry to update its data on the poor and vulnerable.

An updated data will help the government to adequately and rapidly plan and budget towards the social welfare services to provide for vulnerable groups during emergency situations.