NDPC and Copenhagen Consensus Centre call for evidence-based policies

By Iddi Yire, GNA

Accra, Oct. 9,
GNA – The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and the Copenhagen
Consensus Centre (CCC), a United States non-profit think tank, have underscored
the need to have a set of concrete logical basis towards Ghana’s policy
choices.

At a
Stakeholders Roundtable on the Ghana Priorities Project, Dr Kodjo
Mensah-Abrampah, the Director-General (DG) of the NDPC, said every single
policy that would be proposed would have to go through a cost-benefit analysis.

“So if we get
new resources (income) coming into the national budget, we will know where
exactly to put these resources so we can make most gains,” he added.

The Ghana
Priorities Project offered researchers the opportunity to present their
preliminary work and receive inputs from senior officials and technical experts
of the various ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) and other
stakeholders.

It is being
championed by the CCC in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning, NDPC and
the Ghana Statistical Service.

The Project
uses cost-benefit analysis to provide data-driven decision support for Ghana to
choose the most effective and impactful policy interventions across the
country’s development agenda, covering areas such as health, education,
agriculture, environment and infrastructure.

It is in this
vein that the CCC commissioned researchers (Ghanaians and international
researchers) to present papers on the costs and benefits of 80–90 policy
interventions that cut across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Dr
Mensah-Abrampah said practically that would enable stakeholders to know how
such policies were going to affect people’s lives; the social the environmental
and more cogently economic implications.

He said the
essence of a policy was to reduce risk and “be able to say there is a higher
probability of a success in pursuing these policies”.

Dr Lomborg, on
his part, said the Roundtable was a technical meeting that targets Ghanaian
economists and specialists, with much emphasis on actions that could be taken
in the near future.

He noted that
the objective was to get everyone to make inputs from across Ghana, which could
be captured in the research, an information that would be useful for Ghana.

Ghana spent
about GH¢11 billion or more every year on various interventions and there was
the need to give the politicians all the information available to make informed
choices in the best interest of the people, he said.

Dr Anthony
Nsiah-Asare, the DG of Ghana Health Service, said the health sector had
prioritised its activities, particularly in investing in prevention and
promotion of healthy living, as this would help cut down on non-communicable
diseases.

He said
healthcare was all not about building hospitals but the need to sensitise
community members to become responsible in their actions.

“The health of
any individual is the person’s own responsibility as much as the health
worker’s responsibility, and that, to me, is how we will set the priority for
this nation so far as the health sector is concerned.”

GNA