Mmegi Online :: Statistics Botswana hamstrung to produce quality data
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Last Updated
Monday 17 December 2018, 16:18 pm.
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Statistics Botswana hamstrung to produce quality data

Statistics Botswana’s (SB) quest to produce relevant and quality data is being hindered by a litany of challenges, a high-ranking statistician has said.
By Isaac Pinielo Thu 01 Jun 2017, 18:00 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Statistics Botswana hamstrung to produce quality data








At a workshop for data producers and users in Gaborone this week, the deputy statistician general, Dabilani Buthali said there are low levels of coordination and information sharing in the National Statistical System (NSS).

He said this is reflected in the fact that within sectors, there are no mechanisms for user-producer dialogue.

“While some sectors have statistical programmes, they are not widely shared with stakeholders,” he said.

Buthali added that statistical work and statistical programme, where they exist in the sectors, are not coordinated and that information sharing amongst sectors is generally unsatisfactory.

He also said system-wide coordination amongst data producers is not adequate, and that there are no mechanisms for data producers to meet on a regular basis to share their programmes and jointly identify gaps in data required by users.

Buthali also decried the lack of national statistical programme that is prepared each year, noting that coordination between sectors and SB is weak and does not meet the sector expectations.

Furthermore, the deputy statistician general acknowledged that there is low and declining statistical capacity in the country mainly due to lack of statistical structures and programmes, limited human resources, inadequate information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, and inadequate financial resources.

“This inadequate statistical capacity is reflected in the low World Bank statistical capacity indicator for the country,” Buthali said.

He also said the NSS assessment showed that little and impactful statistical advocacy takes place in sectors and across the NSS especially at high policy and political level.

“This has

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had negative consequences for statistical development in sectors including inadequate commitment to statistical development, lack of prioritisation for statistics, and lack of a statistical structure in most sectors,” he said.

Data development, management and dissemination were also said to be inadequate across sectors while data quality in some sectors is said to be low due to inadequate assessment of user needs.

With all the challenges faced by SB, Buthali said there is the desire for a strong and stakeholder-driven NSS in place.

“There is need for comprehensive, credible, impartial and objective statistics produced to effectively respond to the user needs,” he said.

He also suggested existence of open data platforms and systems to enable data accessibility by all, as well as empowerment of data users to interpret and use data correctly for various purposes.

Buthali also proposed that sector plan activities should be made part of performance plans in order to strengthen internal monitoring.

Statistician general, Anna Majelantle said the implementation of the Botswana Strategy for the Development of Statistics (BSDS) and sector policies will usher in significant additional data demands on SB to provide quality data for facilitating, monitoring and evaluation processes.

She stated that such demands call for concerted efforts of not only from the SB, but also from other players throughout the NSS including sector ministries and the public at large. “The demands also call for high innovation and use of information technology to automate data provision and access to information,” Majelantle said.

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