Following a request by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), PARIS21 evaluated the implementation of the COMESA Statistical Strategy 2017-2020 (CSS 2017-2020). The activity, conducted from September to October 2020, was successfully concluded despite constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the adoption of the report by the COMESA Committee on Statistical Matters in October, the findings and recommendations will be used to improve the development of the organisation’s new Regional Strategy for the Development of Statistics (RSDS) 2021-2025.
While this remote exercise may be the first of its kind, PARIS21 can draw on a long history as a facilitator in RSDS processes, supporting regional bodies in their statistical strategy design, implementation and monitoring. Adapting to the new working conditions imposed by the pandemic, PARIS21 swiftly turned to digital tools and virtual activities. By doing so, representatives of the COMESA statistical unit (CSU), national statistical systems from member states and statistical institutions of the region were equally included in the evaluation process.
To achieve their common mission, PARIS21 and CSU organised remote working sessions in addition to an online survey among national statistics offices and central banks in COMESA member states. Failing to meet in person with the country officials, their opinions on the implementation of the CSS 2017-20 and recommendations for the new CSS 2021-2025 were collected in an online survey.
Drawing on this success, PARIS21 will continue to offer remote support to regional economic communities and countries to ensure the development and evaluation of RSDSs and National Strategies for the Development of Statistics (NSDSs) during this pandemic period.