Patience Gbeze/Grace Princess Tarwo, GNA
Accra, Aug. 9, GNA – A day’s open data education workshop for data users and producers to facilitate learning and discuss range of new technologies and approaches and relevance of open data in development has opened in Accra.
It is being organised by the Africa open data and Internet Research Foundation (AODIRF) on behalf of the UNDP and the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) to engage the participants to discuss the importance of aid data and why it is important for decision making.
Similar workshops will be held in Kumasi and Ho and will be climaxed with a Hackathon in Accra.
The overall objective of the awareness creation and a Hackathon is to create a more relevant citizen-centric web and mobile applications from around IATI data and build the capacity of stakeholders’ in Ghana on the use of IATI data, analysis and visualising the data.
The workshop will also focus on enabling, priorities, standards and potential institutional collaboration as well as identify and address specific data needs for improved data quality, resource or capacity constraint to promoting greater use of data in Ghana.
Professor Nii Narku Quaynor, a Data Scientist and Engineer, said data, information and intelligence were inter-related, yet, at a point they were bias due to ethics and discipline associated with handling data.
He said value of data could be high depending on quality, accuracy and how it was used, adding, value of data under development could not be over emphasised.
He, however, added that development data could be useful only if it was in open form so that people could use it to enhance economic benefits.
Prof Quaynor said data should be more refined, more accurate to help to make meaning to users and in data collection field, it was unprofessional to do things for others, but it was better to seed and grow in the soft data collection field in order to protect data.
Mr Eric Akumiah, E-Transform Data Expert, Ministry of Communications, emphasised the need for Ghana to have some standards in place to guide data collection saying: “For now what we have is a scattered data being collected by different organisations”.
He said a programme was on-going to address the challenges, revamp the open data portal and to bring uniformity to the sector to improve public service, government efficiency, economic development, transparency and accountability and must be made accessible and readable for re-use.
Mr William Addo, a Representative from Ghana Statistical Service, said the Ghana Statistical Service do not only produce reports but put data set in the public domain to play with.
Speaking on the role of data in development, he said country’s level commitment to the SDGs would not be feasible without fast tracking the data revolution.
To that end, he said, the GSS provided right information at the right time and made universally accessible to all with the mind-set that the SDGs could only be achieved through accurate data.