SBís capacity boosting strategy to cost P187m

From left, Letsema Motsemme of Statistics Botswana, Kenneth Matambo and Annah Majelante at the launch of new strategy. PIC: KAGISO ONKATSWITSE
From left, Letsema Motsemme of Statistics Botswana, Kenneth Matambo and Annah Majelante at the launch of new strategy. PIC: KAGISO ONKATSWITSE

Statistics Botswana (SB) has announced a new strategy as it attempts to tackle the declining capacity to compile and disseminate accurate statistics timely.

Known as the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS), the strategy aims to address data limitations, mobilise and prioritise use of resources for statistics as well as integrate statistics within the national policy.

The total budget for implementing the NSDS is estimated at P187 million over a period of five years. Individual sectors will be budgeting for the implementation of their own sector statistical plans.

Statistician general, Anna Majelantle said the NSDS is a robust, comprehensive and coherent framework that facilitates the development of statistics and enhance their utility.

“It is an internationally recognised approach that enables effective coordination of the national statistical system,” she said.

The national statistical system is the ensemble of statistical organisations and units within a country that jointly collects, processes and disseminates official statistics on behalf of national government.

An earlier assessment carried out by the national statistical system showed that there was low and declining statistical capacity in Botswana, mainly because of lack of statistical structures and programmes, limited human resources as well as inadequate ICT infrastructure and financial resources.

The assessment showed that data development, management and dissemination were inadequate across sectors.

Further, the assessment showed that data quality in some sectors was low because of lack of a National Data Quality Assurance Framework and weak coordination of the national statistical system.

This is said to have resulted in compromised quality of statistics in terms of relevance, accuracy, timeliness, accessibility, clarity, comparability and coherence.

In a recent report, the World Bank said Botswana is hamstrung in implementing evidence-based policymaking as its statistical capacity not only trails behind peers but also experienced major deterioration over the past decade.

According to SB, the non-existence of a Data Quality Assurance Framework and weak coordination of the national statistical system is mainly due to inadequate assessment of user needs, lack of mechanisms for assessing user needs in sectors, non-compliance with international standards and guidelines in data collection and lack of a comprehensive statistical programme.

It is against this backdrop that the strategy also seeks to address planning and budget processes to generate performance indicators, and look across the whole national statistical system and provide a coherent framework for all national and international statistical programmes and for donor support to those programmes, provides an action plan for statistical capacity building and act as a catalyst for change.

Officially launching the strategy on Tuesday, the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Kenneth Matambo said the NSDS was designed at a time when his ministry was preparing National Development Plan 11.

He said his ministry was designing a National Monitoring and Evaluation Framework to enhance monitoring and evaluation of development programmes and projects.

He added that the government was reviewing the current Vision 2016 and preparing for the next national Vision, adding that inter-governmental negotiations were taking place to finalise the goals for post-2015 sustainable development.

“A data revolution to support the sustainable development agenda is being elaborated at international and continental level, the roadmap for Africa’s Agenda 2063 is being articulated. These factors underscore the national, regional and global importance of this strategy,” said Matambo.

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