Sunday, January 27, 2013

GhanaPolitics101: Could trend analysis in ministerial nominations be possible?

When I am not too busy procrastinating, I am an epidemiologist or more like an epidemiologist in training. Big word but what it basically means is that I am most likely to be knee-deep in some dataset analyzing trends, patterns and associations between variables/factors related to health or diseases.

But I digress. What has this got to do with Ghanaian politics anyway? Speaking of Ghanaian politics, the entertainment never ends there is:

1. Continual drama at the Supreme Court
2. A minority in parliament quizzically boycotting the vetting of ministerial nominations and
3. The newest Ghanaian president on the block busy with the business of forming a new government.

Well, given the speed of the wheels of justice, I am predicting that the Supreme Court petition(s) and drama will probably conclude around 2018 so nothing can be said about that. 

On the other hand, the new ministerial appointments are looking quite interesting. So far, five batches of names have been released with one group having gone through vetting by the appointments committee of parliament.
PeaceFM Online has some up-to-date information on the New ministerial appointments

Aside from some new ministerial designations, there are also completely fresh faces on the list. In Ghanaian politics, there are always the questions as to whether the ministerial list fulfills unspoken quotas. One such question is whether there is gender balance. Attempts to supposedly ensure gender balance always makes me laugh because if we were to really go according to actual population figures wouldn't 50%+ of ministerial appointments be women?

Other questions include whether there is regional balance and sometimes what the religious affiliation of the minister designate is. This is where my epidemiological mind starts kicking in. Wouldn't it be handy to have a database with all this information? Something like this: 
Data analysis could then be used to get a good descriptive analysis of the characteristics of the ministerial nomination list and allow one to answer some of these questions about balance. Sadly, I do not have time to put together such a database. Now, if someone could compile this list in excel, I would gladly analyze it! Anyone?


Jerome said...

Now I know what you do, I knew it had to be something about health and research.

Prez Mahama had started with activists and civil servants as ministers, but he's now filling the party quotas.

It might be tough getting details of all the ministers. There's hardly a dedicated website for that sort of information. Not even the government's website.

Abena Serwaa said...

Hey Jerome
Thanks for stopping by! I totally agree with you that it would be tough getting details of all the ministers but I think their CVs should be available via some public platform since they were vetted publicly by parliament. Several references were made that got me thinking that a lot of CVs had to be vetted themselves!