The Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ghana, Angela Lusigi, has called on journalists to use their platforms to advocate for data-driven policies to position Ghana on the path to sustainable development.
Dr. Angela Lusigi underscored the critical role of the media in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and urged the media to advocate and cause more social and developmental changes with evidence-based reportage.
“As we race towards the 2030 deadline for the attainment of the SDGs, you must play your part in helping us to transform complex data into actionable outcomes through evidence-based storytelling, for the good of our people,” Dr. Lusigi added.
She made the call at the graduation ceremony of the first cohort of the maiden data storytelling certification course for journalists at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).
The course, which is an initiative of UNDP in partnership with the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), sought to equip journalists with the needed skills to interpret and report statistical data accurately for more impact on policy actions.
This is to increase media advocacy to ensure that public policies and interventions are data-driven and implemented towards development.
The Rector of GIJ, Prof. Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo, urged the graduands to use the knowledge acquired to transform and make journalism even more impactful.
“The media’s role in promoting development cannot be over-emphasized and now this training has positioned you to have a greater influence on development efforts with stories informed by data,” noted Prof Kwansah-Aidoo.
In her remarks, the Deputy Government Statistician, Dr. Faustina Frempong-Ainguah, highlighted the importance of data in development planning and called on journalists to become active partners in disseminating data in a more impactful way.
“Data will not benefit our people if it is not accurately interpreted and leveraged by policymakers and the public to cause a change. This training has now equipped you with the needed skills to drive the change we all desire through your stories,” she stated.
The three-month course witnessed 40 journalists participating.