The 2020 Trust Initiative launched during the 2019 Cross Regional Forum as a way to seek out and support innovative projects that enhance trust in data and statistics in low- and middle-income countries. Each of the selected projects are highly collaborative and will foster the implementation of innovative solutions to statistical, structural and/or reputational aspects of trust in the national statistical system.
The selected projects will strengthen trust between both public and private stakeholders, and will target timely, critical issues such as statistics for decision making, refugee statistics and local statistics.
Learn more about each project by reading the summaries below, and visit here for more information on the 2020 Trust Initiative.
Congratulations to the selected projects!
Delivering trusted statistics for better data use and policy impact
Government institutions in Vanuatu have struggled to systematically track progress of national and global development goals and indicators, hindering national sustainable development efforts. In part, this is due to a lack of data and skills in understanding and using data to inform policy-making. Limited links between parliament and the national statistical system, which the Vanuatu National Statistics Office (VNSO) coordinates, exacerbates the problem. This project seeks to address this by developing the capacity for data and evidence use within parliament, and leveraging the role of VNSO as a trust enabler in the national data ecosystem.
This project will be the first conscious effort to bring statistics to the doorstep of the Parliament of Vanuatu through direct engagement with VNSO. The project will utilise the 2020 housing and population census along with administrative data to develop country constituency indicator profiles. These profiles (including key statistics such as school enrollment, employment, agriculture, infrastructure status etc.) will in turn improve the capacity of members of parliament to generate and use local information for effective representation. In addition, they will support information dissemination and monitoring of governments commitments to the NSDP.
Enhancing trust in local statistics
Senegal is plagued with limited use of sub-national statistics in the formulation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programs implemented at local levels of governance and administration. Underlying this issue is a lack of institutional coordination between national and local agencies in terms of the production, processing and dissemination of local-level data. To reconcile inconsistencies, interventions to strengthen data governance and institutional mechanisms for data integration and quality assurance are required.
The proposed pilot seeks to remedy this by leveraging the role of the Senegal National Agency of Statistics and Demography (ANSD) -- an institution that enjoys independence and trusted reputation in the national statistical system -- as a trust broker, and extending its presence to the local level. This will be primarily achieved by developing a centralised open data platform to disseminate local statistics, backed by the ANSD. To actively facilitate user access to this local data, training for local policy makers and planning/development agencies will be conducted.
Production and use of quality, trustworthy local statistics is key for good governance and effective monitoring at the subnational, national and global levels. Supporting local statistics also enables transparent accountability to citizens and is closely linked to the goal of representing people’s lives at a granular level, and accurately for targeted decision-making. Leveraging ANSD’s role as a trusted data steward and central coordinator of the national data ecosystem will be a key ingredient to achieve this.
Building trust in refugee statistics
This project aims to enhance the reliability of refugee statistics in Uganda. The Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) has not previously included enumeration in refugee settlements in past censuses. Instead, the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), a government agency responsible for the coordination of all refugee matters in Uganda, has carried out household and population counts at their own discretion and provided these statistics to UBOS to streamline into national statistics. This process of integration for separate data collection exercises introduces complexity and uncertainty. Trust in the accuracy of these numbers was further undermined when news broke in early 2018 that the number of refugees in Uganda was being incorrectly over reported by 300,000 people.
The proposed project leverages UBOS as a trust creator to align enumeration and dissemination methodologies, data quality and communication around these particularly critical statistics and to put vulnerable people "on the map." It has multidimensional implications on trust: trust in data quality and statistical methodology, trust in technology and trust in institutions. Given the lack of knowledge and clarity about the methodology undertaken to conduct household listings in refugee settlements, this project aims to create more transparency and openness around what census activities consist of and how statistics are generated and reported between government agencies. This is particularly important in this context since refugees are a population that are commonly underrepresented in official statistics.
UBOS will partner with Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) to produce trusted refugee statistics, drawing on their extensive field mapping programs in refugee and refugee-hosting contexts in Uganda. This would draw on HOTOSM’s expertise to design, manage and implement data collection activities without compromising quality assurance, data privacy and timeliness. HOT will be able to support UBOS and OPM with technical support and hands-on training on digital mapping and open-source technology.