Data and planning experts from 18 African countries recently met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for training on how to improve data planning using PARIS21’s free, cloud-based Advanced Data Planning Tool (ADAPT).
Many African countries are developing ambitious national plans to catalyse growth, tackle inequalities and advance socioeconomic development. At the same time, international frameworks like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2030 are seeking to address a wide range of global challenges, including those related to poverty, gender, climate, peace and justice. In this context, the data revolution is creating new opportunities for all countries to leverage new tools, methodologies, and sources of data to achieve sustainable development.
For this to happen, however, the capacity of national statistical offices (NSOs) to plan, use and disseminate data for development objectives must be strengthened. ADAPT, which helps NSOs adjust their data production to the priority data needs from policymakers, is a powerful tool in this respect. It brings together data stakeholders, defining the measurement context within an indicator framework for monitoring development such as the SDGs and national, sectoral and sub-national development plans.
The two workshops, organised by PARIS21 and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), focused on helping Francophone and Anglophone NSOs to use ADAPT to identify data and capacity gaps, and design, cost, and monitor the implementation of data plans, such as national strategies for the development of statistics (NSDS).
The discussions brought together expertise in SDG and national development plan indicators, NSDS and data planning in general, and thus strengthened the interface between development planning, on the one hand, and data production agencies, particularly NSOs, on the other. Further, given that many challenges in this space are common among countries, the workshops deepened regional cooperation and facilitated sharing of information, good practices and expertise within the region.
In both workshops, countries expressed their appreciation for ADAPT’s functionalities, which are designed to ease the challenges that NSOs face in data planning processes. The 35 participants, mostly from NSOs or planning commissions, will now share their insights from the workshop with their respective entities, further strengthening the capacity of countries to leverage data for sustainable development.
African countries recognise that the achievement of the SDGs, and of ambitious regional plans like Agenda 2063, require a step-change their ability to utilise data for development objectives. PARIS21, through its training, guidance and support to NSOs and its innovative tools like ADAPT, stands ready to support them.