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CSIR-STEPRI trains stakeholders on new M&E framework to advance Ghana’s Ecosystem

The Science and Technology Policy Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-STEPRI) has held a workshop for key stakeholders on Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Framework for Ghana’s Science Technology and Innovation (STI) System.  

The M&E Indicators Framework forms part of the “Strengthening STI systems for Sustainable Development in Africa” Project funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) through UNESCO.  

As part of the UNESCO-SIDA Project, a baseline study was conducted to assess the extent to which Ghana had reached with respect to the implementation of the UNESCO 2017 Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers (RS|SR).  

The Recommendation sets common standards for the whole research system, addresses the rights and responsibilities of scientific researchers and highlights the role of science in society, among others.  

The workshop, organised on behalf of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), trained the stakeholders on how to gather quality data, measure and report on the country’s STI situation using the new set of indicators framework developed. 

The training doubled as a consultative session with the stakeholders, who were drawn from various organisations in the Central Region, to solicit their inputs to help produce a robust framework.  

The organisations included the Food and Drugs Authority, Ghana Statistical Service, Ghana Tourism Authority, and the Central Regional Coordinating Council’s Planning Unit. 

The participants were also introduced to the Global Observatory of STI Policy Instrument (GO SPIN) platform, a tool for analysing STI policies and implementation which also provided key information for government institutions for decision making.  

Ghana’s STI M&E Indicators Framework focuses on four main thematic areas namely; Human Resources, Infrastructure, Organisations, and Institutions. 

The framework provides indicators for measurement in key areas with description of a baseline which indicates the current situation, a target suggesting the ideal situation, data sources, frequency, bodies responsible for gathering the data, and where the data will be reported.  

Dr Gordon Akon-Yamga, a researcher with CSIR-STEPRI, indicated that the framework would help to measure the performance of the STI ecosystem, justify investments STI and formulate effective STI policies to address major development challenges in the country. 

“To make relevant policies, you need quality data to be gathered. You cannot make a policy out of nothing. We need to have a reliable source of data that we can trust,” Dr Akon-Yamga, who is also the Head of Commercialisation and Information Division, explained. 

He noted that indicators of the framework were country-specific as well as some that could allow for international benchmarking.  

The indicators were partly informed by gaps identified in the STI ecosystem after a Capacity and Needs Assessment was conducted under the UNESCO-SIDA Project, he stated.  

Mr Roland Asare, who is also a researcher with CSIR-STEPRI and Head of Industry and Service Division, observed that STI was the main driver of development in most countries across the world.  

Many countries  he noted had launched projects to advance their STI to expedite development which made it incumbent on Ghana to develop a robust system to monitor and evaluate its STI ecosystem to enable it make progress.  

Dr Mavis Akuffobea-Essilfie, a researcher with CSIR-STEPRI, stressed that M&E was an important tool for strengthening Ghana’s STI system to effectively address the nation’s socio-economic challenges for the achievements of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

Sharing some recommendations so far gathered from stakeholder engagements, she said the M&E Indicators Framework should be widely disseminated to all relevant stakeholders in the STI ecosystem upon conclusion of preparation.  

She added that it was important to set up an STI information centre to coordinate all activities relating to STI data in Ghana. 

“Ghana needs more M&E officials and there is also the need to source funding to support STI activities,” she advocated.   

Dr Akuffobea-Essilfie also recommended that “there should be mainstreaming of M&E indicators in the national data collection system with the Ghana Statistical Service playing the lead role.” 

Source: GNA


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