Statistics is recognized by many countries as the light needed to see the landscape so as to carve the best way forward towards an improved economy and lives of the people.
This words were echoed by the Director of Socio Demographic Statistics, Mr Tapologo Baakile at the NDP 11 workshop on National Performance Data Management support for line ministries at Grand Aria hotel, Gaborone on 11th February, 2020.
“A country with no viable national infrastructure for data/information generation, analysis, dissemination, and archiving will find itself severely constrained in undertaking planning, monitoring and evaluation of its development programmes and projects”, he said.
Mr Baakile further said that it is crucial for countries to invest in such infrastructure both in terms of hardware and systems as well as human capacity.
On NDP 11, Mr Baakile said almost 40% of the statistics required to inform the Performance Indicators is expected to be obtained from censuses and surveys conducted by SB, while the rest are to be produced by Ministries from their administrative records and other international data sources.
Mr Baakile also outlined that in 2018 only 34.8% of data was readily available for monitoring the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework.
“This is a clear manifestation of the urgency for extended production of data. This means that enhanced robust statistical functionality is needed across all Ministries to effect improvements to their own administrative data production and management so as to meet the increasing demand for data” he said.
Mr Baakile emphasized that what is required, is high quality statistics which are accessible, timely, and reliable; and disaggregated to the extent possible as appropriate.
On challenges that affect the production of quality statistics, Mr Baakile said these include production of data which is not compliant to international standards and best practices due to a variety of factors such as lack of statistical capacity and structures including Statistics Units and statisticians in the sectors.
“Other challenges are lack of standardized tools for data collection in some sectors; inadequate training in data collection and compilation; and inadequate supervision of some data collectors and processors”, he said.
Mr Baakile further appealed to relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies that they should take more action-oriented approaches to bridge the data gaps, adding that Statistics Botswana is ready to provide guidance and support as possible.
“It is critical that as we work to expand the production of data in the NSS Sectors/Ministries we should adopt a collaborative and open approach to automation of data management processes so that we may maximize the benefits and minimize duplications of data production within the NSS” he said.
This project will focus on the review of data collection tools and information management systems across the NSS, including formats, standards and transferability bearing in mind different operating conditions across sectors. The project intends to connect silos of information across sectors and drive insight through data production. The project is a priority not only to the piloting Ministries but to the entire NSS.
During the workshop the following ministries gave a status update of sectors on NDP 11 Key performance indicators (KPIs):
• Ministry of Basic Education
• Ministry of Health and Wellness
• Ministry of Sport and Culture Development
• Ministry of Investment Trade and Industry
• Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security and
• Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development