Ghana’s Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has said the work of the Ministry of Monitoring & Evaluation, headed by Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, is keeping Cabinet ministers on their toes in order to avoid queries from the President over their failures.
In his keynote address at the Evidence to Action Conference and Exhibition 2019 at the University of Ghana, a conference organised by the International Centre for Evaluation and Development and hosted by the Ministry of Monitoring & Evaluation and the Institute of Statistical Studies & Economic Research (ISSER) under the theme: "Responsibility and Accountability: Strengthening Evidence Generation and use in Support of Policy Reform and Development Agenda," Dr Bawumia said many governments across Africa, including the government of Ghana, are increasingly becoming aware of the critical role that research and evaluation can play in informing and shaping the development of effective policymaking, programme designing, implementation and governance at the national, regional and global levels.
“The Ministry's annual colour-coded progress report to Cabinet is studied with keen interest. I know that the Minister of Monitoring and Evaluation is not keenly admired in Cabinet, especially when he puts a red under one of your programmes”, Dr Bawumia said.
He further observed that: “The colour-coding allows us in Cabinet to know how we are doing. If he evaluates you and gives you a green for a project, it means you are doing well and we are on track. If it is an amber, it means we are not doing as well as we should but if it is a red, then you may be looking for a potential reshuffling”. He, however, emphasised that Cabinet go on to evaluate why a particular project is amber, how it can be moved to green and why the other is on red and what are the next steps that can be taken to move same to green.
“I can vouch for the Ministry of Monitoring and Evaluation headed by Anthony Akoto Osei that it is really contributing to deepening evaluation practice and evidence-based decision making in our current policy making and governance”, the Vice-President noted.
The Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei in his remarks, indicated that there has been a misconception that when a Minister loses his job, then it is as a result of his recommendation. This, he said is not the case.
"Let me correct a public impression that when ministers are fired, it is me. It is not true. The President himself does his own evaluation including myself. So, when you hear that people are being changed, don't take it that it is because of the work I have done," Dr Akoto Osei pointed out.
The Conference, according to its official website, will "offer an exciting forum to identify and discuss accountability and responsibilities of stakeholders in the use of evidence to address developmental needs. Participants will explore how they can contribute to development and sustainability in their own roles".
Dr Bawumia urged the conference attendees to table fresh ideas that can be implemented by governments across the African continent.
"Let this convening here change the landscape of how evidence is being used in African countries and in Ghana in particular to inform policy making and development," the Vice-President noted.