Our Mandate

The Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research(ISSER) is a semi-autonomous research institution within the Faculty of Social Studies at the University of Ghana. ISSER is committed to carrying out research and training that is geared towards promoting the socio-economic development of Ghana in particular and Africa in general. The Institute strives to maintain its reputation for solid social science research, paying close attention to exploratory, and evaluative aspects of the dynamics of development. Special emphasis is placed on the following:

  • Ensuring that our research has immediate bearing on the development problems and needs of Ghana and the rest of Africa.
  • Responding to the direct demands of government and other stakeholders for information and guidance, in selecting priorities and strategies for improving the well-being of Ghanaians and Africans.
  • Maintaining a focus on the academic purpose of ISSER, and our commitment to add to the existing knowledge about society and development in Ghana and Africa.

Our Approach to Development Research and Training

ISSER primarily seeks to inform the Ghanaian and international development policy makers and practitioners about the socio-economic status of Ghanaians and the opportunities for improvement, using state of the art policy research tools. To contribute towards capacity for this process in the country ISSER undertakes training in statistics and development studies.


Our general research strategy is multidisciplinary, bringing together expertise from different social science backgrounds, as well as social and natural scientists. This is expected to promote holistic analysis of development problems and solutions.


Based on our commitment to social democratic principles our research is guided by analytical frameworks that promote the values of equity and participation.

Poverty Alleviation

ISSER is fully committed to conducting research that brings Ghana closer to her goal of alleviating poverty as a human rights issue, and developmental objective of becoming a middle income country.

Capacity  Building

Through our collaboration with local and international agencies the ISSER research team is able to provide policy advice and participate in policy analysis and decision-making. As part of this the ISSER research team is constantly learning and exchanging ideas with other groups engaged in socio-economic research. We offer a Masters degree programme in Development Studies, which attracts public sector and private sector development practitioners. In addition, ISSER offers a sub-degree course in statistical methods for middle level technicians involved in data management and monitoring and evaluation exercises. Besides these, ISSER offers short courses on data management and proposal writing.

Impact Analysis

We undertake impact assessment of major policy action programmes on behalf of the Ghana Government, as well as donor agencies and non-governmental agencies.

Increasingly ISSER is working with research partners at home and abroad, to promote the application of state of the art techniques in research, and to forge wide-scale commitment to poverty reduction in developing countries like Ghana.

Regions We Work In

We collaborate with many institutions and individual researchers in the West African Sub-Region, the rest of Africa, Asia, America and European countries. Our publications are also sent to libraries in these places.

Output of ISSER

In the medium term, ISSER research is geared towards the micro foundations of development policy reforms. Areas in which ISSER has been focusing its attention include the following:

  • Public expenditure and household behaviour.
  • Finance for small-scale investment.
  • Rural production and household incomes.
  • Food Security.
  • Health and nutrition of households.
  • Social reforms and social security.
  • Gender issues and policy reforms

ISSER has two flagship publications: the State of the Ghanaian Economy Report and the Ghana Human Development Report which are produced annually.

Research Skills We Provide

We provide quantitative survey skills, qualitative case study skills, and participatory community study skills for baseline, monitoring and evaluation studies.


The outcomes of ISSER activities are published in the Institute Technical Publication Series, Discussion Papers, Workshop/Conference Proceedings and Policy Briefs, which are available as local and international goods to be used for the improvement of the society. In addition, ISSER staff members publish in academic journals.


Through its publications, workshops and conferences on the State of the Economy, and on Human Development, ISSER strives to promote advocacy for support for local entrepreneurship and, an enabling environment as tools for poverty reduction in Ghana. In addition, ISSER seeks to promote good governance institutions as the foundation upon which sound economies are built. 

How the Development Community Benefits 

In addition to high level academic training, the ISSER research staff members have gained considerable experience in decision making and implementation of projects and programmes by serving on boards and committees of various public and private sector organizations. ISSER is thus able to serve a wide range of actors  government, policy makers and implementers at all levels, the private sector, civil society organizations such as NGOs and other development agents  as a source of accurate and reliable data.