Use of Socio-Demographic Data in Development Discourse: Which Direction in African Countries? Case of Ghana

Kofi Awusabo-Asare, University of Cape Coast

Recent emphasis on improved development in Sub Saharan African countries has highlighted the need for good data and its use in development practice and discourse. The view is that when more people have access to primary data, more analysis will be generated, more ideas will emerge, and the quality of debate on development options will improve. The paper analyses the use of socio-demographic data in the reportage of four selected newspapers in Ghana over a three-month period and interactions with selected editors. It noted where there were opportunities for data use and whether the opportunities were utilized or not. Results showed paucity in data use which was a reflection of the general state of availability of, access to, understanding and use of data. Improving the access to and understanding of journalists in the use of socio-demographic data in national developmental discourse can enhance access to and availability of data.

Presented in Session 26: Demography, Development and Democracy