The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) in collaboration with the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has organized a two-day workshop on “Policy Conflicts, Audits, Data and the National Public Policy Formulation Guidelines” to enhance Evidence-Based Decisions among policymakers in the country.
The coordination workshop, the third in a series in 2023, sought to improve the quality of public policies by relying more on official data and soliciting important input for the National Coordination Strategy Guidelines.
Other objectives were to strengthen consensus in the policy formulation process, enhance policy development efficiency through the utilization of the guideline and augment networking and collaboration between NDPC, GSS Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Mr Jonathan Azasoo, a Senior Technical Advisor at the NDPC, emphasized the relevance of tackling these policy concerns for Ghana’s sustainable development.
He acknowledged the complexities and intricacies of the policy landscape in the country, highlighting that these challenges have hindered the effective implementation of national development policies and plans.
“Our ability to make informed, evidence-based decisions is central to the success of our nation’s development agenda.
“Without a well-structured and coordinated approach to policy formulation, we risk inefficiencies, conflicting objectives and ultimately, falling short of our development goals,” he added.
Highlighting the role of the National Public Policy Formulation Guidelines in enhancing policy development efficiency, Mr Azasoo explained that the guidelines would provide a structured and systematic approach to policy formulation.
“By following a standardized process, we can reduce redundancy and streamline our efforts, ultimately saving time and resources,” he added.
Regarding collaboration between the NDPC, GSS and MDAs, Mr Azasoo stated, “Strong collaboration among these key actors is essential for policy coherence and successful implementation. We must work together seamlessly to align our efforts and avoid the pitfalls of overlapping policies.”
He called on stakeholders to use the guidelines in future to formulate policies to improve the coordination of development policies and programmes.
“This will help to ensure that policies are implemented effectively and that their impact is assessed,” he stated.
On his part, the Government Statistician, Prof Samuel Kobina Anim, called for a strengthened capacity for policy analysis and evaluation, saying, “We need to make more data available to policymakers.”
He called on stakeholders to support the government’s efforts to improve the quality of public policies through policy audits and the use of data for evidence-based decision-making.
The workshop was necessitated by the challenges involved in coordinating development policies, programmes and projects and ensuring the effective implementation, monitoring and evaluation of approved national development policies and plans over the years.
These challenges largely emanate from public policy overlaps and duplications, with no standard format for the formulation of policy development.
There is also weak collaboration among key actors in policy making; inadequate stakeholder consultations, the absence of a well-thought-out implementation strategy and inadequate clarity by MDAs in the policy approval processes.
Even more worrying are some conflicting policies between some sector MDAs and consequential conflict in legal statutes that give effect to these policies.
Joyce Adwoa Animia Ocran, ISD