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A delegation from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) led by the Government Statistician, Prof. Kobina Annim visited Statistics Denmark in August 2019
as part of the Strategic Sector Cooperation programme between Statistics Denmark and Ghana Statistical Services.


The purpose of the trip was to exchange knowledge with experts in Statistics Denmark and explore best practices in statistics management. During the visit the two statistical institutions exchanged ideas on how to collect and process accurate statistics for decision-making and dissemination. In addition, the visit provided insight in the work processes at Statistics Denmark, which enable the institution to produce a high level of statistical quality. Officials from other key institutions involved in collecting data in Ghana - the Births and Deaths Registry, the National Identification Authority, the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Immigration Service, were also part of the delegation. The visit stretched over 4 days with full programme.

 “We expect this collaboration to be of mutual benefit for Denmark and Ghana. Exchange of knowledge and experience will generate mutual inspiration and is likely to yield significant results. This is what we have seen in other sectors such as the maritime sector and the water sector, and we are confident that we will see the same with this collaboration”, said Ambassador Tove Degnbol.

As much as the team observed many similarities in the way things were done, there were also differences and the main one was the use of administrative data.

Government Statistician of Ghana Prof Kobina Annim on his part expressed that “the aims of the collaboration between Ghana Statistical Service and Statistics Denmark are the landmark transition to reliance on administrative sources of data to complement the use of surveys and censuses in the production of statistics and the provision of a benchmarking mechanism for quality-assuring the production of key economic statistics. This trip envisions finalising the modes of engagement for the three-year life span of the collaboration to ensure the achievement of the set targets”.

The study visit focused on a number of topical issues such as

  • Organisational structure of Statistics Denmark,
  • The register model and the strategic aspects on administrative data,
  • Using administrative data for population statistics,
  • The Pros and Cons on using administrative data,
  • The Business register,
  • Data collection,
  • The Danish Central Population Register (CPR) system, (This is similar to the Ghana Card system)
  • Quality systems used in Statistics Denmark,
  • Communication and dissemination strategy and social media,
  • Database infrastructure and data security/Back-up systems,
  • Economic statistics in Denmark and
  • Statistics Denmark’s methodology work.

The National Statistician of Denmark Jørgen Elmeskov during his presentation on the topic “The register model and strategic aspects on administrative data” as part of the visit said “ We as Statistics Denmark are very happy about this collaboration and always ready to support Ghana Statistical Service technically to build and establish a strong statistical system”

 The GSS team stayed in Denmark from 18th to 22nd August 2019. The 19th was a full day session on the use of Administrative data and related subjects. One key lesson learnt was that building up such a system takes a while and cannot be achieved over night. Also, setting up a similar administrative system is a decision that must come from the highest political level.

Thus, it is a vision that GSS can achieve through close cooperation with other Ministries, Departments and Agencies and highest state level support. Determination is key. It took Denmark more than 15 years to develop a national system where the same keys identified are used by all public institutions. This lowers the burden on citizens, improves the information policy-makers have for decision-making. Also, it makes it possible that around 95% official statistics are produced using these administrative sources. This includes the census as well, which means it is less costly and time-consuming than the traditional surveys and censuses.