Households urged to register under the GNHR programme

Households in the Upper East Region have been entreated to register when the Ghana National Household Registration starts its data collection exercise in the region, scheduled from February 26 to March 31 this year. The exercise, meant to enable easy identification of the poor and vulnerable in the society would be preceded by a field test, to be carried out by enumerators in some selected communities in all the thirteen districts of the region from February 18 to 24 this year. 

The first phase of the nationwide registration exercise begun in the Upper West Region in August 2016 while the second phase which comprised data collection was done in the Upper East and Northern Regions in 2017. The third phase would be rolled out in the remaining seven regions. At a training session for Regional, Municipal and District officers of the Information Services Department (ISD) in Bolgatanga, Ms Bertha Dzeble, the Operations Specialist of the Ghana National Household Registry (GNHR), said it was a United Nations programme that Ghana government had signed onto, aimed at eliminating poverty. 

She said government had over the years spent monies to minimise the incidence of poverty across the country using several criteria to target households which did not solve the problem because there were still some incidences of poverty. Ms Dzeble said best practices across the world showed that if all the social intervention programmes came under one store to identify beneficiaries, the nation would be able to eradicate or minimise poverty faster and better than the use of various criteria in targeting beneficiaries. She said the World Bank was supporting Ghana through the Ghana Social Opportunity Project to establish a single household registry, which would provide a very good data base for all social intervention programmes such as the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), the free category of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and the Ghana School Feeding Programme among others for easy accessibility of data for beneficiaries. 

Ms Dzeble said information such as household composition and location among others would determine whether the household was poor, extremely poor or not poor, using a proxy means test for classification. She encouraged the officers to educate households on the benefits of the exercises and emphasised that “every household is eligible to register; nobody decides who to register, there is no committee anywhere to decide which community or household to register.”


Mr Rockson Ayine Bukari, the Upper East Regional Minister, said community education and sensitisation were vital for the success of the exercise, and urged all officers to apply themselves to the day’s training in order to galvanise families and communities for the exercise. “You have the track record of executing such assignments and we trust that the vast experience of staff of the department would be brought to bear in this task,” he said.

Mr Issifu Bennin, the Upper West Regional Director of the ISD, who shared his experience with officers in the region, said his region adopted certain innovations which included appeals to all municipal and District Chief Executives to give the campaign team the needed support for the success of the programme. Also religious organisations were involved to assist in the dissemination of information through their various platforms, he said. He said the exercise was a new beginning for the ISD to prove itself worthy of being an integral part of the country’s development as it was a force to reckon with in providing relevant information on government policies and programmes.


Godfred Polkuu, GNA