With the aim of meeting new and rising data demands, more than 60 senior managers of regional economic communities, national statistical offices and national planning agencies from 23 African countries gathered from 15-18 June 2021 for a virtual training in strategic planning for data and statistical development.

PARIS21 in collaboration with the African Union Institute for Statistics (STATAFRIC) developed the unique training course on using PARIS21-developed tools and methods to help statistical systems better respond to the increased demand for statistical information.

A second training course for French-speaking participants was held from 21-24 June.

The course trained participants in

  • undertaking strategic planning for statistical development and preparing data plans;
  • using new tools to aid in the coordination of the national statistical system (NSS) and to identify data and funding gaps;
  • designing and implementing responsive national strategies for the development of statistics (NSDS), taking into consideration the Agenda 2063, 2030 Agenda 2030 and national development priorities;
  • updating the guidelines on mainstreaming the Strategy for the Harmonization of Statistics in Africa 2017-2026 (SHaSA 2) in the NSDS/RSDS

With these common endeavours in mind, the attendees familiarised themselves with the lifecycle of the National Strategies for the Development of Statistics (NSDS), a long-term action plan for the production and dissemination of national statistics, Capacity Development 4.0, a new approach to capacity development, and the Advanced Data Planning Tool (ADAPT), a free web-based tool to adapt the data production to data needs for policy making, planning and monitoring.

In addition, the four-day training featured dedicated sessions on gender statistics in the NSDS as well as fragility and resilience in crisis context with first-hand experiences shared by participants from Libya, Liberia, Sierra Leone and South Sudan. Moreover, representatives from Cameroon and Uganda described typical barriers to an effective NSDS design and implementation, such as the need to update legal frameworks, to strengthen governance structures and to address financing needs.

The training activity directly responds to the reinforced need for regional cooperation to produce quality, comparable and harmonized data and put them at the heart of regional and national policies and programmes.

“This training is the beginning of a long journey together. PARIS21, STATAFRIC, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the African Development Bank are committed to supporting the efforts of countries in advancing statistical planning for better data and, ultimately, better lives,” emphasised François Fonteneau, Deputy Head of PARIS21 in his opening remarks.

The recordings and presentations of the 4-day long training course are available here.

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