Using statistics to attain MDGs

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Participants who took part in a regional workshop in Maputo.

MAPUTO – Close to 50 people from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries attended a regional workshop to discuss issues hampering the process of providing data needed to foster development and insert national strategies for the development of statistics (NSDS) into national expansion strategies and as a tool to realise the Millennium Development Goals.

The two-day SADC regional workshop took place in Maputo, Mozambique, on October 14 and 15, organised by the Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century and the SADC secretariat. The meeting brought together senior statisticians, policy makers and media from the SADC countries, including Namibia.

The NSDS is about strengthening statistical capacity, focusing on a system-wide approach to statistical system, and currently about 94 percent of developing countries are using the NSDS approach.

Some of the burning issues discussed were the strengthening of dialogue between producers and users of statistics and mobilise funding for the implementation of the NSDS. Discussions also touched on how to advocate for a better commitment of policy makers and development partners for the development of statistic.

“We identified key action items that participants agreed to implement in their respective countries such as doing more tailored events on poverty, health and agriculture to make it attractive for people to contribute,” said Dr Johannes Jutting one of the organisers.

The workshop also presented the regional initiatives for statistical development and their role in the adaptation and promotion of the national statistical systems (NSS) so that they can face the challenges that come with realising the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

In May 2013, a United Nations high-level panel of eminent persons on the post-2015 development agenda outlined five “transformative shifts” needed to forge a new paradigm for development.

To measure progress on these shifts, the high level panel calls for a “data revolution” with a global partnership to improve the quality, availability and comparability of statistics and information available to citizens, governments, international agencies, civil society organisations and businesses.

Jutting urged national statistic agencies to produce quality and reflective data which can be used by policy makers and ultimately benefit the local people. Moreover, statistician of the SADC secretariat, Dr Ackim Jere, highlighted the need to continue to build robust national statistical systems in member states to support the SADC regional development agenda.

 

By Albertina Nakale

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