Making Gender Statistics a Top Priority in the Senegalese National Strategy for Development of Statistics

Following an 8-months-long process, Senegal adopted its third national strategy for development of statistics (NSDS III) for 2019-2023 with the support of the African Development Bank and PARIS21. One of the most remarkable features of this strategy is the plan to expand the production and dissemination of gender statistics at the national level. This goal constitutes the first strategic pillar of the NSDS III, and aims to make official gender statistics more responsive to increasing demand.

Ms. Mam Siga Ndiaye, NSDS Coordinator at l'Agence nationale de la statistique et de la démographie (ANSD), presenting the NSDS process during a UN Women-PARIS21 workshop on “Conducting a National Assessment of Gender Statistics” (Dakar, Senegal, 28 November 2019)

Senegal is the pilot country of a PARIS21-UN Women joint project to support countries in integrating gender statistics in the national statistical system (NSS) through the NSDS. As a so-called pathfinder country in UN Women's Women Count programme, Senegal has made great strides to improve the collection and dissemination of sex-disaggregated data. However, the national databases still present significant data gaps in terms of measuring economic opportunities, political participation and health indicators.

A series of workshops, national consultations and a comprehensive assessment conducted by l'Agence nationale de la statistique et de la démographie (ANSD) in collaboration with PARIS21 in 2019 revealed a strong need for an improved coordination mechanism to guide the production and dissemination of gender statistics. ANSD, which was in charge of developing this NSDS, has been supported in this endeavour by PARIS21’s data planning tool, ADAPT. The ADAPT data gaps report prepared by ANSD revealed a mixed picture of national reporting on priority gender indicators. ANSD defined their key gender-specific indicators based on the national development plan (Plan Sénégal Emergent, or PSE), Agenda 2030 and the National Strategy for Gender Equality and Equity (SNEEG). The SNEEG was developed with the support of UN Women's Senegal Programme to run from 2005-2015, and was updated in 2016 to align with the PSE.

The aim of the PSE was to "contribute to making Senegal an emerging country in 2035 with a society of solidarity in a state of law, without discrimination, where men and women will have the same opportunities to participate in its development and to enjoy the benefits of its growth." Gender-sensitive monitoring and evaluation mechanisms have been developed by the Ministry of Women, Family and Gender to produce and collect indicators and gender variables at both the administrative level and the NSS level. However, PARIS21’s assessment of data and capacity gaps for gender statistics revealed that none of the SNEEG indicators have been produced by the country. Nevertheless, all gender-related indicators introduced by the PSE -- and 67% of gender-specific SDG indicators -- are currently reported on by the NSS. This provides a solid basis for further improvements in measuring progress towards gender equality in Senegal.

The monitoring of SNEEG indicators, as well as those of the PSE and SDGs, requires a significant investment in methodologies, production and dissemination of official statistics. The amount of resources, rate of production and dissemination of gender statistics must increase along with improvements in dialogue with users. To work towards this, the forthcoming action plan for the NSDS III will include the development and implementation of specific gender-based statistics based on survey and administrative data. Several studies are also scheduled to serve as a basis for the design, monitoring and evaluation of such strategies, policies and programs.

Senegal's NSDS III highlights the need to extend the coverage of current statistics production to areas that are not covered sufficiently, including youth, climate change, governance, peace, security and culture. Significant capacity development activities are planned in Senegal to improve civil registration and vital statistics, which are particularly beneficial in ensuring better policies for and upholding the fundamental rights of women and girls.

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