Ghana Statistical Services (GSS), Vodafone Ghana and the Flowminder Foundation have embarked on a unique partnership to produce official statistics using de-identified telecommunications data, to strengthen humanitarian and development decision-making in the country.

This collaboration, which is first of its kind in Ghana, and one of the first in Africa, is aimed at taking advantage of technology to transform the production of official statistics. Flowminder, as part of this partnership, is also empowering the GSS with new approaches to analysing and harnessing data as well as responding to emerging opportunities and challenges.

This project relies on the use of de-identified (anonymised) and aggregated telecommunications data, provided by Vodafone Ghana, to generate population predictions for sustainable development. The data, in combination with more traditional data sources such as household surveys, provide useful information on the mobility and characteristics of the Ghanaian population, which can be used for a wide range of humanitarian and development applications such as public health, disaster preparedness, or transportation planning.

GSS and its partners recognise that the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) relies on the capability of the government, policy makers and agencies to make informed decisions and successfully deliver interventions for the wellbeing of the population.

Omar Seidu, Head of Demographic Statistics and SDGs Coordinator at GSS says:

“If we want to achieve the SDGs, we need to invest in data systems, and we are confident that our successful partnership with Vodafone Ghana and Flowminder is the way forward to leverage data for good”.

Patricia Obo-Nai, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vodafone Ghana comments:

“Today marks a very important milestone in our quest to show the world how exciting the future of technology is going to look like, with Vodafone as a partner. We are excited that our collaboration has made this possible today. This is certainly a proof that telecommunications such as ours can leverage the strengths of their core business to do good in a more consistent and sustainable way. We pledge our commitment to ensure that data is mined for the good of every Ghanaian.’’

Tracey Li, Project Manager and Data Scientist at Flowminder adds:

“Capacity strengthening is critical to support a culture where decisions are based on data. Our role is to ensure that in- country experts are provided with the latest innovations, including methods and tools such as Flowminder’s open-source software - FlowKit, alongside skills development, to make this happen securely and successfully”.

Working closely with GSS and Vodafone Ghana, Flowminder will process and analyse anonymous telecommunications data, working in line with Vodafone's global privacy principles, GSMA data protection guidelines and the Ghanaian data protection regulations. The project was showcased today at an event opened by the Minister of Planning, Prof. George Gyan Baffour. It is funded by the Vodafone Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and has the potential to save lives by providing accurate and relevant insights to the government of Ghana.

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