UN Resident Coordinator visits Statistics Botswana
The new United Nations Resident Coordinator, Ms Jacinta Barrins paid courtesy call to Statistician General on 1 June, 2017. Ms Barrins was accompanied by Mr. Bame Mannathoko the Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at UNDP.
During the visit, Ms Barrins discussed a wide range of issues which she said the two organizations should collaborate on. She highlighted that during her tenure she will make sure that all the eleven UN agencies in the country support government.
She said as the UN family in Botswana they have completed a five year program which they use to deal with the government.
“Statistics Botswana is pivotal in that five year program”, she said.
She also reiterated that the five year program is divided in 3 pillars which are
• Policy development
• Monitoring and Evaluation
She further mentioned that last year there was a lot of consultations to develop the programme and pillar 3 was proposed by SB.
On SDGs, she said Botswana was one of the 44 countries which have volunteered to give support in July conference and that they already met Ministry of Finance and Economic Development which are finalizing the report that will be submitted.
“I will be contacting the team today and will request them to contact SB for guidance on data. The report should be of the highest quality” she said.
For her part Statistician General, Ms Anna Majelantle also emphasized that there is a need that statistics should be linked with monitoring and evaluation for the success of SDGs.
The SG also highlighted that the UN coordinator touched on very critical things such as the SDGs and other national priorities covered by SDGs.
“SB was trying to map SDGs with national priorities so that we provide information at once” she said.
For his part the Deputy Statistician General (STO), Mr Dabilani Buthali said he is excited by the pillar 3 as it resonates with Statistics Botswana `s area of work.
“As part of the NSS steering committee, we want to see how we can fit in the 5 year programme. Still to deal with operational policy and implementation. It was a welcome development in terms of facilitating the statistical system’, he said.
For his part Deputy Statistician General (ECOSOC), Dr Burton Mguni said the national Indicator framework will be developed to measure all the Botswana indicators.
“All sectors will provide data with coordination from SB. Expectation is that certain indicators will be provided by sectors and we are looking for a start in terms of the baseline”, he said.
Commenting on the strategy for the development of stats (BSDS) Dr Mguni said it was meant to strengthen the sectors in order to produce data and that is rolled into the strategy currently.
In her final submission, Ms Majelantle pointed out that advantage with the SDGs was that people have now converted into knowing the importance of statistics.
She further said statistics should not be separated from M& E.
“Sectors have units doing M& E but they are lacking statistical aspects into their own operations” she reiterated.
In her parting shot Ms Barrins advised Statistics Botswana that they should feel free to tell the UN family what they need, adding that the UNDP will soon attach a full time advisor to the NSO to ensure an integrated system.
She also promised that she will continue to advocate for on behalf of SB and she advised SB to let her know if they want assistance.