Communications Minister, Dr. Omane Boamah, says more credible research endorse government's view that Ghana is making significant progress.
He has rated a United Nations Development Program (UNDP) research above a Mo-Ibrahim survey released Monday, which put Ghana 7th out of 54 African countries on overall governance. Ghana scored 63.9 out of 100.
In other areas like sustainable economic opportunity, Ghana placed 15th with a score of 39.1 but the decade trend reveals a decline of 4.2. In the area of safety and rule of law, Ghana scored of 70.0 placed the country as 6th but then again the decade trend shows there has been a decline of 2.6.
A summary of the report said that "even if Ghana and South Africa feature in the top ten performing countries in overall Governance in 2015, they are also the eighth and tenth most deteriorated over the decade". Discussing the report via telephone, the Communications Minister pointed out that the credibility of a research depends on whether the methodology is quantitative or qualitative.
He drew attention to the UNDP report which adopted a quantitative method, an approach which is "very difficult to criticise because they are measuring real numbers. The subjectivity in there is very, very marginal".
In the UNDP report on youth literacy rates, Ghana jumped from 21.9% in 1993 to 80.5% by 2013. "That is a quantum jump" he applauded progress. In other development indices, Ghana is way ahead of Kenya, Cote D'Ivoire, Nigeria, Senegal in terms of news years of schooling, he referred to a 2014 UNDP report.
"We don't need [Mo-Ibrahim] survey to actually know how we are faring as a nation. The reality is that Ghana is rising, Ghana is making significant progress....If you are to look at the peace and stability that we enjoy...do you need a Mo-Ibrahim index?"
Pointing out the weaknesses of a qualitative research, the Communications minister said an Afrobarometer report on corruption had biases like cognitive and strategic biases which takes into consideration people's perception of progress.
He said the Mo-Ibrahim survey is an aggregation of other surveys and therefore takes in the weaknesses of the CDD Afrobarometer survey. "You need to be careful in terms of the value judgement that you place on these things".
He therefore wants Ghanaians to stick to socio-economic data in areas like infant mortality, life expectancy, access to healthcare, education as a better assessment of progress. If a person does that it will be impossible to come to the conclusion that Ghana is retrogressing, he argued. "Let us rather rely more on quantitative surveys. If you are dealing with qualitative, the biases are in there, the subjectivities are in there".
"I am not going to throw it away but I am just saying we must know exactly what the Mo-Ibrahim survey is about", he said.
He wondered if the Mo-Ibrahim survey considered the Transparency International report in factoring Ghana's progress in the area of governance.
The minister praised the Transparency International report that ranked Ghana 7th in fighting corruption. That survey, he said is the "most credible body in the whole world in terms of dealing with perceptions of corruption".
He called the Mo-Ibrahim survey can be loosely described as a "mental analysis" of other research works. Omane Boamah encouraged the Mo-Ibrahim Foundation to do its own research instead of relying on other research publications.
If they do, they must try and adopt a more quantitative approach to research, he stressed.
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