Development policies must be data driven – Prof Luguterah
Bishop Professor Albert Luguterah, the Pro Vice Chancellor, C.K. Tedam University of Technology and Applied Science, has advocated Ghana’s development policies and implementation to be data driven.
This, he said, would optimise resources for sustained socio-economic growth and poverty reduction.
Bishop Prof Luguterah said the world was being ruled by science, technology, and data, but over the years the country had built its development programmes and policies on theories and principles which had contributed to misapplication of scarce resources leading to development challenges and economic crisis.
He said the gap between the rich and the poor continued to widen because politicians continued to implement development policies according to their whims and caprices without the application of data.
“When you take a complete data perspective of what you have, it informs policies, decisions and everything, so data is everything and when we know who needs what, gradually we can be lifting the poor people of this nation,” he added.
The Pro Vice Chancellor, who is also a Professor of Statistics, was speaking at his second inaugural lecture at Navrongo on the theme “The Statistics, the Noise and the Cacophony-Applying Statistics in a Contemporary World.”
Professor Luguterah noted that it was about time leadership made a change in thinking from aiming at winning power to employing targeted approach to strategically addressing the development needs of the vulnerable.
“What we are led by is the next election, so everything that we seem to be doing seems to be geared towards the next election, but we need to be doing things geared towards the next generation, so data need to speak in every situation,” he stressed.
The Pro Vice Chancellor noted that Ghana must learn from developed countries, where their development was driven by statistics including opinion polls and had a national orientation on importance of data and their application.
“Taking the E-Levy for instance, Ghana has implemented it, the question is, is it good or bad? But if we have an independent data people doing it, we will get to know what the Ghanaian people are thinking about the E-Levy but in the absence of collecting the data and doing real research, we leave it to the politicians,” he added.
He said many presidents in Ghana had been misled over the years due to little attention paid to research and data collection and analysis and therefore called for strong institutions devoid of political interest to collect data to advice government to implement policies to achieve the needed development.
On the current economic crisis, high inflation and depreciation of the Ghanaian Cedi, the Pro Vice Chancellor explained that if Ghana had accurate data on key factors that drive the economy, it would inform policies to address the challenges.
“A lot of the problems we have in Ghana is because we a lot of economists and few econometricians. The economists will look it from the principles of theories, but the econometrician will look at the point of metrics, data because everything has its good and bad including the level of your Cedi, so you need to look at the factors that drive your economy, whether the economy is import or export driven,” he said.