National Strategies for the Development of Statistics

Visit the new NSDS guidelines at

PARIS21 focuses its efforts on encouraging and assisting all low-income and lower middle income countries to design, implement, and monitor National Strategies for the Development of Statistics (NSDS) and to have nationally owned and produced data for all MDG indicators. Countries need to have an overall vision of the development of their national statistical system which will include the national, regional, and international needs; be part of the country development and poverty reduction policy; serve as a framework for international and bilateral assistance; include all parts of the data production units and address the issues related to the analysis and use of data; follow the international standards including quality; and build on all past and existing activities and experiences.

An NSDS is expected to provide a country with a strategy for developing statistical capacity across the entire national statistical system (NSS). The NSDS will provide a vision for where the NSS should be in five to ten years and will set milestones for getting there. It will present a comprehensive and unified framework for continual assessment of evolving user needs and priorities for statistics and for building the capacity needed to meet these needs in a more coordinated, synergistic and efficient manner. It will also provide a framework for mobilising, harnessing, and leveraging resources (both national and international) and a basis for effective and results-oriented strategic management of the NSS.

Based upon a decade of experience, and building upon this success, the NSDS guidelines have been revisited in order to enhance and adapt the tool based on assessments made and the views of users and producers within the changing development context. On 2 April 2014, the new NSDS guidelines were officially launched at the PARIS21 Annual Meetings, marking the beginning of the next chapter in the NSDS story.

These new guidelines reflect several innovations that should broaden their scope and usefulness, including:

  • A dedicated website that allows for the collection of suggestions and examples of good practices on an on-going basis and includes links to documents produced by national statistical offices and international organisations
  • Translation into French, with plans in place for translation into Spanish
  • Restructuring into steps that are required when designing an NSDS (sequenced steps) and those that are also part of the regular statistical activities of a country (permanent steps); this supports the Guidelines dual nature as both a process and a product
  • Specific sections on key areas, such as implementation, fragile and small states, sectoral statistics, infra-national strategies, regional strategies, gender statistics and open data

Check out PARIS21 booklets on NSDS guidance:

NSDS in a Nutshell 2.0

NSDS 2.0 in a Nutshell

Available in English and French

NSDS in a Nuetshell

The NSDS Approach in a Nutshell

Available in English, French, and Spanish

The RSDS Approach in a Nutshell

Available in English and Spanish