IOM / The European Union - Development of Computer-based Data Processing System for Ghana Immigration Service
To address the challenges of migration the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) with funding from the European Union, worked on the Ghana Integrated Migration Management Approach (GIMMA) project with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), to establish a system to make disaggregated migration data available for better policy planning. The GIS, like in many developing countries, lacked a joint data management platform. Therefore, migration data were scattered across agencies and ministries, hampering the sharing of data for policy development.
Also, referral procedures between stakeholders were unclear and data collection and sharing were neither coherent nor coordinated. Migration cards which are also called Embarkation/Disembarkation (E/D) cards were given to migrants to track migration data generated at all the entry/exit points in Ghana. However, the data on the cards generated at the entry/exit points in Ghana were not fully captured electronically, thus there was an important backlog of cards and piles of paper-based records from 2000.
To enhance migration data management for better policy planning, the development of a functional electronic system was needed to strengthen coordination for proper migration trend analysis and forecast migration patterns to devise strategies to manage migration in a more humane and safe way.
The design and development of the data processing and sharing system were contracted to Bewsys by International Organization for Migration (IOM). In providing the website design and development services for the system, the Bewsys consulting team assessed the needs of the stakeholders involved in the project which formed the basis for the features and functionalities considered for the design of the system.
The system was designed to retrieve the information on migration cards through scanning. The technical team in collaboration with the GIS staff scanned about 1.8 million migration cards from the 2015 migration data. The system was tailored based on the registration, report generation, system administration, integrated content management, and the document library modules of the Bewsys Regulatory MIS. The online-based data processing system was designed to ensure data security, data integrity, the establishment of defaults to facilitate data entry, safeguards against accidental erasing, provide data backup and recovery procedures and enhance report formats.
Also, the data processing system was designed to support a multi-user environment of an unlimited number of inputs, processing, and data verification sections. To ensure that the Bewsys technical team delivered the envisioned functionalities of the system, a prototype was developed and a pilot was conducted using open source web development tools. Immigration officers at the GIC Headquarters, Kotoka International Airport, Aflao, Elubo, and Paga borders were trained on the usage of the electronic data system. This accessed the usability of the system before it was handed over to the programmatic team.
Developing an electronic data processing system that provides disaggregated and timely migration data, is helping the GIS to support the Government of Ghana to make analysis for better policy planning. Now, the wealth of information collated on migration will not be lost with the passage of time due to inadequate and inappropriate storage space and facilities or the effect of the weather.
The data processing system is helping disaggregate data faster and contributing to accurate migration statistics to measure progress towards the targets of sustainable development goals (SDGs). The Government of Ghana can effectively contribute to gradually achieving the SDGs by promoting institutional development and public service delivery.