Poverty levels decline marginally – GSS

Official at the Launch of the Poverty Profile Report

Poverty levels in the country have seen a marginal decline in the light of government policies on poverty over the years, Acting Government statistician, Baah Wadieh has said.

Speaking at the launch of the latest Poverty Profile Report, Wadieh noted that poverty in the country has been declining over the past 3 decades indicating that Government policies have impacted positively in poverty reduction; albeit, the reduction in the incidence of poverty between 2012/13 and 2016/17 has been minimal.

Overall poverty declined from 24.2 percent in 2012/13 to 23.4 percent in 2016/17.

The goal of the 2016/2017 Survey is to make available relevant data for informed decision-making and the formulation of policies to address the needs of the population.

Some objectives of the survey included provision of information which would serve as the basis for the construction of a new basket for rebasing of the Consumer Price index and the construction of future poverty maps for Ghana.

Wadieh said the GSS plans to reduce the periodicity for the conduct of the living standard surveys from 7 years to 3/4 years in order to produce reports and indicators more frequently to track the impact of programs and interventions.

The change in the frequency of production will require substantial resources, given the length of field work and the number of personnel involved, he said.

The target of halving poverty before 2015 as set by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) could not have been established for the country but for the conduct of the Ghana Living Standard Surveys and the production of the relevant indicators and publication of the Poverty Profile reports over the years.

Wadieh mentioned that, with the current reporting on the UN Agenda 2030, AU Agenda 2063 and the national development agenda, there is the need to produce such reports and indicators regularly to aid the tracking of progress.

The Ghana Living Standards Survey is a nationally representative household survey which has been implemented in Ghana for the past three decades.

It is the most commonly used tool in monitoring welfare systems, as well as the progress of socio-economic policies and has produced a wealth of information for understanding living

Ghana has conducted seven rounds of the living standards conditions in Ghana survey since 1987.

This 2016/17 report was conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, World Bank, UK-DFID, and the Dutch Government.

By Joshua W. Amlanu