Analysis: Data-Driven Social Safety Net Response to the COVID-19 Crisis in Ghana
Strong data systems can play a crucial role in helping governments monitor, manage, and mitigate the impacts of adverse shocks. However, the COVID-19 crisis has exposed serious gaps in the data systems in many countries. As the pandemic continues to evolve and threaten the lives and livelihoods of the most vulnerable, governments around the world are ramping up efforts to collect and utilize timely data about their citizens and policy responses.
Ghana is among the countries pursuing such data initiatives. The government’s social protection authorities augmented and adjusted existing data systems to help inform the design, implementation, and monitoring of the country’s social safety net response to the pandemic.
In this blog, we showcase three specific data sources used by the Ghanaian government: a special high-frequency survey of social safety net program beneficiaries; a special survey of selected poor and vulnerable populations in Accra, Ghana’s largest city; and a citizen engagement and grievance-redress system operated by the social protection authorities. The World Bank and other international organizations provided financial and technical support for the development and utilization of these data sources and systems, in large part through the Ghana Social Opportunities Project which ended in 2018 and the ongoing Ghana Productive Safety Net Project.