Strengthening dialogue between those who produce and those who use statistics has been at the heart of the PARIS21 mandate since its inception in 1999. Today, in the context of the new agenda for 2015 and following the call for a data revolution from the UN high-level panel, there is even more of a need to stimulate this dialogue. This exchange is a fundamental step in the NSDS design process and is used to advocate, as widely as possible, for statistical capacity building. In this framework, PARIS21 recently organized several events to promote this dialogue.
At the regional level, the workshop on “Better dialogue on statistics for better development results in the SADC region” took place in Maputo, Mozambique from 14 to 15 October 2013. The meeting made concrete commitments to strengthen coordination with users of statistics and engage more in the post-2015 debate; the full list of recommendations can be read in the report. The meeting further agreed to find means of sustainable funding for the NSS and engage the private sector more in the production and dissemination of statistics.
In Cambodia, the first National Forum on Advocacy for Statistics held on 24 October was attended by more than 100 users and producers of statistics from government, private sector, academia, civil society and media. Some of the major recommendations from the forum included: conduct of training for data users to strengthen capacity to utilize statistics in policy making, research, and program monitoring and evaluation ; increase government financial resources for the implementation of the statistical masterplan; ; and conduct more user-producer dialogue to encourage commitment and ownership in developing the Cambodia national statistical system by all stakeholders. In parallel, the ADP also supported Cambodia through a Microdata Outreach Workshop during which the National Institute of Statistics (NIS) introduced the latest addition of surveys to the National Data Archive and solicited feedback on the draft Microdata Dissemination Policy from users including NGOs, international organizations, private companies and line ministries.
In Sri Lanka, the Microdata Outreach Workshop brought together users from 9 different organizations and producers representing each division from the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) to engage in lively exchanges on microdata availability, access and quality. Users applauded the efforts of DCS in making microdata more accessible. Producers from DCS appreciated the user feedback and wished for more regular dialogues.
In Côte d’Ivoire, in close collaboration with the National Statistical Institute (NSI) , we organized a training workshop for statisticians and journalists. The aim of this workshop was to help statisticians better communicate on data and figures as well as to help journalists better understand statistics and the work of statisticians. At the end of the seminar, concrete recommendations were proposed: actions to improve the regular provision of statistics to journalists, establishment of a network of journalists, launching of a regular statistical bulletin, and organization of conferences and regular meetings with the press. The PARIS21 Secretariat is helping the NSI to implement these recommendations.