Incorporating the MPI into data collection in Ghana: An interview with Francis Mensah

4 October, 2022

Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) launched the first official national Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) of Ghana in 2020 and has since focused on regular data updates to keep the MPI relevant for informing policymaking. In this interview, Francis Bright Mensah, Head of National Accounts and Economic Indicators at GSS, shares the process of introducing a new poverty measure with Kelly-Ann Fonderson.


Francis Bright Mensah, Head of National Accounts and Economic Indicators at Ghana Statistical Service

Which stakeholders were involved in creating the national MPI in Ghana?

Two committees were set up to create the national MPI in Ghana: The Steering Committee and the Technical Committee. The Technical Committee had representation from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), academia (University of Cape Coast), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI).

The Steering Committee had members from the Ghana Statistical Service, academia (University for Development Studies, Ghana), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the National Development Planning Commission, the Local Government Authority, the German Federal Government through Agenda 2030, GIZ Ghana and the Ministry of Finance.

How were dimensions, indicators and weights chosen for Ghana’s national MPI?

Guided by the policies of the Ghanaian government, the Technical Committee presented nine options of candidate dimensions, indicators, and weights to the Steering Committee for approval. After several deliberations and meetings, the Steering Committee approved one of the nine options for computing the Ghana national MPI.

The dimensions and indicators were chosen because they reflect the Ghanaian situation and are appropriate for measuring poverty levels. Moreover, they were guided by the policies of the government aimed at reducing poverty.

You launched Ghana’s MPI in 2020, how regularly are you planning to update the MPI, and which sources of data will be used?

Following the MPI launch, the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has instituted that every major survey and census undertaken by GSS should have a section on MPI.

The MPI was incorporated into the 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC). In 2022 the MPI will be incorporated into the Annual Household and Income Expenditure Survey (AHIES), which is ongoing [and generates quarterly results].

In September 2022, the Ghana Demographic and Health Survey will be conducted, and all MPI indicators will be incorporated into the questionnaire.

How is the MPI being used to engage with local stakeholders and inform district budget allocation?

GSS has produced the tables of the district-level MPI from the 2021 Population and Housing Census and will be engaging the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDA) to train them on the MPI and guide them through the MPI estimates or tables generated to prepare the district MPI. 30 districts will be engaged in this activity. Local stakeholders will further be engaged in validating and disseminating the MPI report.

Currently, GSS is preparing to release the 2022 Q1 and Q2 MPI report from an Annual Income and Expenditure Survey. The same dimensions and indicators from the census were used for the quarterly report to be releases.

Ultimately, it is hoped that the MPI will inform the allocation of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), which according to the Ghanian constitution requires that the Central Government allocate at least five per cent of national revenue into the DACF, which is distributed among all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies and forms a core part of their revenue.


Ghana MPI



This article was published in Dimensions 14



Dimensions Ghana Multidimensional Poverty National MPI