The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has launched the Annual Household and Income Expenditure Survey (AHIES 2022) today which preceded the release of the provisional 2021 third quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates by the Government Statistician. The survey was launched following a 2-day virtual and 17-day face-to-face training of 280 prospective Field Officers.
The AHIES 2022 is a survey whose main objective is to obtain data to estimate quarterly and annual household final consumption expenditure to support the compilation of quarterly and annual GDP by the expenditure approach. Outcomes from the AHIES exercise include the rebasing of the GDP, the generation of data to support monitoring of targets under 12 out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and continuous provision of indicators on the welfare of persons in Ghana.
Some of the key macroeconomic indicators to be generated from the AHIES include quarterly GDP, regional GDP, quarterly unemployment, graduate unemployment, underemployment, inequality, growth elasticity of poverty, consumption expenditure poverty and multidimensional poverty. Further, the AHIES as the first such panel survey will provide important data on labour mobility and welfare mobility to better understand some of the dynamics in the labour market and how households move in and out of poverty.
The AHIES Coordinator and Head of National Accounts at the Ghana Statistical Service, Mr. Francis Mensah in his opening remarks reminded participants on the importance of the AHIES which would enhance the sources of data for GDP computation. He stressed the importance of collecting quality data and the mechanisms put in place for quality assurance such as the constitution of Data Quality Monitoring Teams and a dashboard for real-time data quality monitoring. He stated that the survey would have to produce reports at the end of each quarter as such it was necessary that the data collected would be of high quality to facilitate timely release of results. He concluded by informing the trainees that 200 persons would be selected for the field work on the basis of their performance on assessments and field practice, and their class participation.
Mr. Emmanuel Cobbinah, Director of the Coordination and Programme Management Directorate in his remarks urged trainees to see their participation in the first AHIES as an opportunity and a challenge to be overcomed. He encouraged them to commit to doing a great job and to have pride in the results, cautioned them against cutting corners and concluded by appealing for accountability. He reminded trainees that funding for survey was a World Bank loan to the Government of Ghana and as such they should be responsible and work diligently to ensure the purpose of the loan is achieved.
The Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, briefed the participants by highlighting the key reasons for which GSS launches surveys before discussing the importance of the AHIES for the regular computation of GDP using both the expenditure and production approaches. He touched on the soft skills required for Field Officers to succeed in the dispensation of their duties by highlighting on the 5 Ps – passion, preparedness, psychology, perseverance and professionalism. He stressed that professional solidarity that is a collective effort was required by all to collect data in the flawless manner required to generate relevant and accurate statistics for decision-making. He appealed to all trainers to strictly observe all the COVID-19 protocols and reminded them that GSS was able to conduct the census at the height of the pandemic due to the adherence to the safety protocols. He concluded by re-echoing the earlier statement on seeing the value of participation in the first AHIES and reminded trainees that data quality will be the basis of quarterly renewal of contracts for the AHIES and recruitment for other surveys and censuses to be conducted by the Statistical Services in the next few years.
The Representative of the World Bank, Paul Andres Corral Rodas gave brief remarks on the benefits of the AHIES. This includes the generation of regional data to understand the contribution of regions to national GDP and inequality, the release of quarterly labour force indicators and the panel component which will provide insight on vulnerability and movements in and out of poverty.
In attendance at the launch were Directors and Deputy Directors from the Statistical Service, AHIES Project Implementation Team, media, trainers and trainees.