A look back at some of PARIS21’s key achievements in 2022
These days, for many in the international community it’s easy to feel a sense of doom and gloom. The global picture is darkening on all fronts – economic, political and social, and existential issues like climate change and the Russian-led war in Ukraine are feeding a sense of heightened insecurity. When I flew to Dakar […]
These days, for many in the international community it’s easy to feel a sense of doom and gloom. The global picture is darkening on all fronts – economic, political and social, and existential issues like climate change and the Russian-led war in Ukraine are feeding a sense of heightened insecurity.
When I flew to Dakar in late September, the UN General Assembly had just ended. This year, a heavy air hung over the proceedings. Soaring energy and food prices, high inflation and an overall deteriorating economic environment have led to an increase in poverty and hunger, exacerbating inequalities and increasing conflicts within and between communities.
Europe, for the first time in decades, is at war. A looming hard winter in Europe is creating rifts between nations, undermining solidarity within and between countries and contributing to popular unrest.
Against this backdrop, I flew to Dakar to attend a regional meeting on the state of play of gender statistics, that brought together participants from eight African countries to collectively identify solutions to advancing gender equality through data.
Twenty years ago, I lived in the west African city. At that time, it was a city with hardly any modern infrastructure, a run-down airport and congested main roads leading to huge traffic jams in and out of the capital.
Today, the city is unrecognisable. A modern airport has been constructed that connects Senegalese to major business and tourism hubs around the world, an efficient new motorway, “Autoroute de l’Avenir”, has vastly improved traffic flows, and a fancy new football stadium, “Abdoulaye Wade”, has capacity for 50 000 visitors. Senegal is currently the African football champion making this sport part of national pride and daily conversations.
Later in downtown Dakar I discovered a similar picture: the sea front is nicely paved with picnic areas and everything looks new, with a promenade adorned by art statues and pictures. Many of Senegal’s official numbers on human progress are improving, too. Gross enrolment for secondary education increased between 1990 and 2020 from 15% to 47% (World Bank, 2022d) and gross enrolment for tertiary education increased between 1992 and 2020 from 3% to 14%. The same picture can be drawn for health outcomes and overall poverty reduction.
PARIS21 has been working with partners in Sub-Saharan Africa for more than twenty years to strengthen the role of national statistical systems to advance sustainable development. Working with dozens of countries each year, we provide a range of capacity development support – from leadership training to strategy and planning guidance to advocacy for more and better funding on the world stage. We’re used to using terms like ‘empowerment’ and ‘ownership’ in our work. But my visit to Dakar really opened my eyes to what these words mean in practice.
I was impressed by the deep level of knowledge and commitment of government officials to improving the production and use of gender data. Being able to count how many women and men live in a country sounds simple enough, yet producing gender disaggregated data on all sorts of aspects of life is essential for the development of inclusive public services. Topics such as capacity development, funding, co-ordination and the integration of national gender data plans in policymaking were discussed.
Colleagues presented a range of country-owned solutions. In Kenya the statistical office is starting to work with civil society organisations to collect more and better data on the situation of women and girls. In Senegal, the government is raising domestic resources for statistics through a small trade tax. In Madagascar work is being undertaken with parliamentarians and in Burkina Faso a donor co-ordination group was established to align national policy goals with international agendas.
Innovations on the data collection side are happening, too: countries are increasingly using mobile phones to collect data – something that has proven vital during crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. Survey instruments such as time survey tools (for example the time that women and men spend on work or leisure during the day) are also changing.
Like all countries, Senegal still has a way to go to reach gender equality and improve development outcomes for all. Yet the signs are encouraging – things are happening on the ground, slowly but steadily. Local and grassroots development is accelerating in many places in Africa, with surprising and astonishing results, largely ignored by media.
So, despite a gloomy global development picture and a relentlessly bleak news cycle, there are reasons to be optimistic. Innovation, increases in human capital and capacities, empowerment and power shifts will always be difficult to capture in numbers, yet I left Dakar with a glimmer of hope in these otherwise challenging times that progress is real.
PARIS21 Executive Head, Johannes Jütting
Following seven years of implementing the 2030 Agenda, Somalia presented its first Voluntary National Review (VNR) last month, reaffirming its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With Somalia’s Ninth National Development Plan (NDP) aligned with the SDGs indicators, the country’s first VNR provided a unique and welcomed opportunity to take stock and reflect on Somalia’s progress […]
Following seven years of implementing the 2030 Agenda, Somalia presented its first Voluntary National Review (VNR) last month, reaffirming its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With Somalia's Ninth National Development Plan (NDP) aligned with the SDGs indicators, the country's first VNR provided a unique and welcomed opportunity to take stock and reflect on Somalia's progress while gauging national capacity and gaps, particularly in policymaking. A fundamental challenge throughout the process has been the issue of data, particularly in the completeness and quality aspects.
Statistics and data form the backbone of monitoring and review of the SDGs, including the VNRs. Without complete, quality, timely and disaggregated data, meaningful reviews of the implementation of the SDGs cannot be made. Moreover, without data, one cannot be certain of where progress is being made, where gaps exist, and which vulnerable groups are being left behind. Recognising the value of data, the Somali National Bureau of Statistics (SNBS) affirmed these principles to render the VNR process as evidence-based as possible. To ensure the VNR was data-driven and evidence-based, the SNBS, with support from UNDP and Swiss Development Cooperation, developed a ground-breaking digital platform called Goal Tracker Somalia. The Goal Tracker Somalia includes the first ever visualisations of Somalia's current data gaps, linkages between the NDP-9, SDGs, and Agenda 2063. Unfortunately, despite extensive effort to collect and analyse all available data, we could only produce 39 percent for the overall SDG indicator coverage.
Insufficient data and the lack of statistical capacity to collect data in specific domains and capacity to collect disaggregated data are invariably identified by countries as a challenge in their VNR preparation process. That said, Somalia and other fragile states face additional peculiar challenges. Analysis of the current data ecosystem in Somalia has revealed significant fragmentation, with much of the country's data being held by international organisations (see the below data-producing explorer diagram). There is no shortage of data collection in Somalia—in fact, survey fatigue among respondents abound as a result of overcollection. Rather the issue is more of a lack of coordination and standardisation.
Data producing organisations in Somalia
The lack of coordination and non-involvement of the SNBS raises many poignant concerns. The first is that data collected by international partners are not usually published, and even when published, the public view it as the work of 'others' or refer to it as 'they'. The public opinion of these data is filled with scepticism. Moreover, the government and public frequently dispute humanitarian figures of affected people, accusing aid agencies of creating hype and magnifying the crisis to attract more funding. Even though humanitarian crises do occur with more regularity and intensity in fragile contexts, such as that in Somalia, mistrust among the public towards agencies lingers due to suspicion that figures of people needing assistance, especially IDPs, are deliberately inflated for funding purposes. As a result, the public, led by activists and other domestic stakeholders, demand the Bureau verify the authenticity of such numbers or denounce the data altogether – putting SNBS in a difficult situation.
The SNBS was recently compelled to intervene when a particular aid agency operating in Somalia produced outrageous figures that contradicted the official statistics relating to remittance inflows (factual figures received from banks and money transfer entities). Secondly, because the collected data is not shared among partners, there is a duplication of efforts and fatigue among respondents who are constantly being surveyed. Thirdly, data compiled by international partners lack statistical standards and rigour, causing quality and reliability issues, not to mention the lack of professional, ethical, and other transparency and accountability typically enforced by official statistics and the law.
Effective data collection, analysis and dissemination, are the cornerstones of building state resilience and capacity. The level of national statistical capacity is a good indicator of state resilience and effectiveness: the more the government is able to produce reliable data, the more likely it is to make the right decision and thereby act effectively and serve its citizens. Therefore, statistical capacity investment should be prioritised among international partners while leveraging domestic revenues—the Federal Ministry of Finance has more than quadrupled budget allocation to SNBS in the past two years. Official statistics promote government ownership and accountability and facilitate more effective government-led prevention, response, and solutions. Data and evidence can contribute to increased national commitment and political will, contributing to state capacity to address development and humanitarian priorities.
Investment in official statistics is also essential for mobilising the private sector and diaspora, specifically during a humanitarian crisis. Somalia has a thriving and generous private sector that coordinates with the government in response to drought and floods. In 2017, the public, private sector and diaspora donated more than USD 10 million to the drought in the Gedo region of southern Somalia.
Based on the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS), SNBS's short-term goal is to increase the tier 1 SDG indicator coverage to 100 per cent before Somalia's second VNR. Under the amended Statistics Act, the Bureau will initiate more coordination, reforms and regulations to improve the situation of statistics and data collection within Somalia as required by the law. However, much more effort must be put into improving coordination to attain high-quality and timely data. SNBS is presently working with the Clearinghouse for Financing Development Data (a multi-stakeholder alliance that is part of the Bern Network and created in 2019 by the Swiss Government) to strengthen collaboration with donors and development partners, and identify funding opportunities, bring projects to scale, advocate for support to data and statistics and connect to new partners.
We call on development partners to join us in this effort.
Sharmarke Farah, Director General, Somali National Bureau of Statistics
PARIS21 co-organised a regional workshop on gender statistics with AfDB, COMESA, UNECA and UN-Women in Nairobi, Kenya from 26-30 September 2022. It gathered policy analysts and gender statistics experts from line ministries, national statistical offices, civil society and international agencies from over 40 African countries to share new knowledge, tools, and guidelines, exchange best practices, […]
PARIS21 co-organised a regional workshop on gender statistics with AfDB, COMESA, UNECA and UN-Women in Nairobi, Kenya from 26-30 September 2022. It gathered policy analysts and gender statistics experts from line ministries, national statistical offices, civil society and international agencies from over 40 African countries to share new knowledge, tools, and guidelines, exchange best practices, and inform future action plans for gender statistics in Africa.
The five day workshop was the first physical gathering under the African Programme for Gender Statistics (APGS) since COVID-19, offering more than 150 gender focal points and partners a valuable peer learning experience.
The Workshop also provided an opportunity to host the first in-person Gender Data Network (GDN) meeting since 2019. With the recent addition of new African members to the GDN, it was good for new and current GDN members to connect in person to nurture more opportunities for future online connections. It also presented a platform to advertise the GDN to other countries and key regional stakeholders to gauge the interest and capacities of other African countries to join the Network and/or collaborate with PARIS21. Countries that have shown interest include the Comoros, Djibouti, Liberia, Madagascar and South Sudan.
The workshop was also an ideal opportunity for fruitful discussions with partners and donors, including potential entries to strengthen collaboration with UN Women regional programming, build on COMESA commitments to fund gender-related activities in the region, further define the role of PARIS21 and the GDN in the implementation of the APGS, and find synergies where PARIS21 could provide technical support to advance gender statistics in African countries.
The two-day virtual 2022 PARIS21 Spring Meetings focused on the topic of climate change data. The meetings introduced the concept of a climate change data ecosystem (CCDE), examined challenges that keep data from being fully leveraged for climate reporting and action, and explored best practices and opportunities at the country level. Over the two days, the meeting […]
The two-day virtual 2022 PARIS21 Spring Meetings focused on the topic of climate change data. The meetings introduced the concept of a climate change data ecosystem (CCDE), examined challenges that keep data from being fully leveraged for climate reporting and action, and explored best practices and opportunities at the country level. Over the two days, the meeting was attended by over 400 participants from 100 countries.
Background on Tanzania and the NSS In August 2016 Tanzania commenced its Sustainable Development Data Roadmap process by inviting a range of stakeholders to actively collaborate in building a national foundation to enhance availability, accessibility, use and impact of data for sustainable development. Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) as co-ordinator of the national statistical […]
In August 2016 Tanzania commenced its Sustainable Development Data Roadmap process by inviting a range of stakeholders to actively collaborate in building a national foundation to enhance availability, accessibility, use and impact of data for sustainable development. Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) as co-ordinator of the national statistical system (NSS), chaired the committee comprising stakeholders from government MDAs, CSOs, research and academic institutions, private sector and development partners.
The data roadmap process is in line with the country’s implementation of Agenda 2030 for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the country’s development visions: Tanzania Development Vision 2025, The Long-Term Perspective Plan 2011/12 – 2025/26, and Zanzibar Vision 2020. Not only global and national development agendas, the data roadmap process is also geared towards data generation for regional development plans such as Africa Development Agenda 2063 and East African Vision 2050.
Timing proved complicated, at that time Tanzania was in the last 18 months of implementation of its first National Strategy for Development of Statistics (NSDS), popularly known as Tanzania Statistical Master Plan (TSMP_I). This meant that development of the Sustainable Data Roadmap would overlap with the TSMP_I implementation as well as planning for the next Tanzania Statistical Master Plan (TSMP_II). It was not feasible to develop the Sustainable Data Roadmap and use the findings in time as input for planning for the second Tanzania Statistical Master Plan (TSMP_II).
The Sustainable Data Roadmap team led by NBS agreed on a short-term foundational roadmap process whose findings could be used as input to the second NSDS (TSMP_II) design process that was to start in eighteen months after the commencement of the roadmap process.
The short-term data roadmap team identified and implemented the following activities as potential “quick wins” with high probability of demonstrating results in the short to medium term.
The process for the foundational roadmap can be dated back to October 2015 when the first ever workshop on SDG localisation was held in Tanzania. The foundational roadmap process can be broken down to the following milestones;
In the implementation of the short-term foundational data roadmap several partnerships were formed so as to achieve the “quick wins”. Among them was the collaboration between NBS, PARIS21 and Data Collaborative for Local Impact (DCLI) partner programmes notably GPSDD and Tanzania Data Lab (dLab). The partnership was formed to support the achievement of the data gap assessment objective. It was from this partnership that the PARIS21 Advanced Data Planning Tool (ADAPT) was chosen as a tool to use for the data gap assessment and the assessment process started in December 2016 with the following objectives;
To achieve these objectives, capacity development, data gaps assessment, stakeholders workshops on data gaps findings and costing and planning for data plan activities were phased as activities.
From December 2016 to June 2018 ADAPT was used in the activities elaborated in the diagram below to achieve objectives (i) and (ii) above.
During these phases PARIS21 conducted four (4) ADAPT training workshops, NBS organised seven (7) ADAPT technical workshops and six (6) ADAPT stakeholders’ thematic workshops.
The first phase of the data gaps assessment exercise was completed in July 2017, its findings were presented in thematic workshops between December 2017 and June 2018, where stakeholders validated and enriched the assessment and discussed strategies to fill the identified data and capacity gaps in the national statistical system (NSS).
PARIS21 Advanced Data Planning Tool (ADAPT) was a cornerstone of the data gap assessment exercise. At the end of the assessment process, NBS and the Tanzanian NSS realised that:
Despite having achieved gender parity in many educational outcomes, women in the Maldives have fewer economic opportunities than men, and a lack of data has rendered women in the informal economy invisible. However, in designing the country’s 10-year National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS), the Maldives National Bureau of Statistics (MNBS) brought together partners such […]
Despite having achieved gender parity in many educational outcomes, women in the Maldives have fewer economic opportunities than men, and a lack of data has rendered women in the informal economy invisible. However, in designing the country’s 10-year National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS), the Maldives National Bureau of Statistics (MNBS) brought together partners such as the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services (MoGFSS), UN Women, PARIS21 and civil society to ensure that gender statistics will transcend national statistics to shape national debate and efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Maldives has already made significant progress towards SDG 4 on quality education, with 100% enrolment rate in primary education, gender parity between boys and girls in years of education received, and a 99% literacy rate among 15–24 year olds. But once girls leave school, the picture changes. The female employment rate is just 43%, compared to 73% for men, far from the SDG 8 goal of equal opportunities to decent work.
Where women do prevail is in a sector largely absent from official statistics: informal work. This kind of work is undocumented and unregulated, hindering workers’ access to social protection. During the COVID-19 crisis, many women in the Maldives lost earnings and many home-based workers were unaware if support was available, or if they were eligible. A rapid gender assessment by MNBS, MOGFSS and UN Women revealed that 54% of women compared to 40% of men saw their incomes drop. Having such data allowed the government to take action to ensure that income support was available to female informal workers and to simplify application requirements, which significantly increased female applications.
But, without more granular and regularly produced data on gender, the real extent of lost earnings and the wider, persisting socioeconomic consequences are unknown.
“It is challenging to understand what impact the COVID-19 crisis had on home-based workers in the Maldives because there is no … registry of home-based workers,” says Mariyam Mohamed, from the local civil society organization Uthema, which advocates for gender equality in the Maldives.
Although she says some NGOs documented the realities of home-based workers qualitatively, she highlights the importance of disaggregated statistics to understand precisely who is affected and how. “Even among home-based workers, some groups were more vulnerable to the impacts. Many women work in food processing jobs, and anecdotal evidence suggests that younger women were able to make use of social media to adapt and promote their businesses to mitigate the effects of the crisis, whereas older women had a harder time.”
The MNBS, which collects data on household income every three years, has recognized that the lack of data on the informal economy disproportionately affects the visibility of women’s work.
Shadiya Ibrahim, Head of Office for the UNFPA in Maldives, points out the perils of data gaps: “Lack of data can lead to misguided policy measures, unintended impacts or reinforcing stereotypes. Sometimes lack of data can be a useful way of keeping a debate closed and preventing new perspectives. Understanding that data and statistics are not gender-neutral and measuring the extent of gaps in information about women and girls is the key to initiate any changes.”
Collecting the right data to be able to understand how and which women are disadvantaged or excluded from opportunities is the first step to creating policies that can remove these barriers.
In 2019, when the MNBS began designing its second National Strategy for the Development of Statistics, a comprehensive assessment of gender statistics under Women Count found that 43% of priority SDG gender-related indicators were not being collected. With support from UN Women and PARIS21, a gender-sensitive perspective was integrated in the planning process for the first time.
According to MNBS Chief Statistician Aishath Hassan, gender data gaps were identified across a range of different sectors: “With these gaps across the board, we thought it important to explicitly refer to gender-sensitive data collection in the 10-year NSDS.”
The NSDS was launched in November of 2021, with gender-responsiveness as one of its guiding principles – alongside inclusiveness, trust and sustainability.
According to Fathimath Riyaza, MNBS Gender Focal Point: “It was very important for us to ensure that the NSDS design process had a multi-stakeholder and participatory character. Inviting civil society and women’s rights advocates has advantages. They brought a lot of knowledge about gender issues and were able to shed light on where key data were missing.”
Integrating gender into the data value chain implicates a wider range of actors and takes a systemic look at gender data collection – identifying where there are gaps and how these can be addressed. Thanks to a systemic view of gender data enshrined in the NSDS, including needs, uses and gaps which were highlighted in the planning stages, the Maldives is now better placed to address the gender inequalities that are hampering the achievement of the same level of success across all the SDGs.
As the climate crisis moves from hypothetical to real, the global community is only starting to discover the myriad of impacts it is having. For various reasons, traditional approaches to gathering data do not produce the data and statistics that countries and international organisations need in order to tackle climate change. PARIS21’s “ecosystem” approach provides […]
As the climate crisis moves from hypothetical to real, the global community is only starting to discover the myriad of impacts it is having. For various reasons, traditional approaches to gathering data do not produce the data and statistics that countries and international organisations need in order to tackle climate change. PARIS21’s “ecosystem” approach provides a framework that can help gather and analyse data across different entities and departments who do not have a systematic approach to collaboration. A number of Caribbean islands who are on the frontline of the climate crisis are eager to adopt this approach to data to improve their resilience and adapt to climate change.
Over the last few years, the climate crisis has begun to manifest itself and it is clearer than ever that the impacts are not felt equally the world over; developing countries who tend to be lower emitters are disproportionately affected.
Countries in the Caribbean region, for example, and particularly small island developing states (SIDS), are already experiencing extensive coastal erosion, more frequent and severe tropical cyclones, sea-level rises, increasing temperatures and changing precipitation patterns damaging the population´s well-being.
These countries need urgent action to adapt to climate change and build resilient societies. National adaptation strategies and policies will determine how countries and their international partners act and how successful they are. These adaptation strategies and policies require quality data for identifying the most affected people, designing actions that consider their needs and priorities and monitoring their effectiveness.
Lack of coordination within the national statistical system and with the broader data ecosystem, including civil society, academia, and the private sector, established data-sharing protocols, sustained resources and strategic capacity development for climate change data are among the most pressing issues in the region.
Climate change information does not come from the usual surveys an NSO would do. NSOs have to get together with all the administrative bodies of government to get this information. Strengthening the NSS is the core to improving data on climate change.
Carol Coy, Director General, Statistical Institute of Jamaica
Various countries in the Caribbean region are already working to strengthen the production and use of quality climate change data to inform their adaptation strategies and policies by developing environment and climate change statistical compendia and putting in place data platforms. Despite these efforts, development is sporadic and uneven, and critical challenges to maintain and further develop current initiatives remain.
Thanks to support from development partners, some countries have put in place national information systems that facilitate the sharing and access to environment and climate change data. However, as soon as the external financing ends, staff and the technical support in charge of keeping the system functioning start to vanish. Hence, countries end up with valuable systems that are not updated because of a lack of a long-term financing strategy: either national or other external resources or a combination of both.
In the regional seminar “Strengthening environment, climate change and disaster information in the Caribbean” organised by PARIS21 in collaboration with ECLAC, 19 participants from 13 Caribbean countries rated the collaboration among producers and users of climate change data in their country as poor or very poor.
In terms of collaboration, even within the Department of Sustainable Development itself, you find that the division that deals with climate change may not always share the information on biodiversity; and those two areas very much overlap. So, we find that there needs to be greater synergy instead of people working in siloes.
Kate Wilson, Department of Sustainable Development, Saint Lucia
In a coherent climate change data ecosystem (CCDE), policymakers, government agencies, climate experts, the private sector and other actors work across data silos and use data to report to and monitor their global commitments under the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Paris Agreement, as well as their national mitigation and adaptation plans.
Having stakeholders' buy-in and a strong support team focus on managing climate change databases is vital for building a climate change data system
Jason Williams, Department of Environment, Antigua and Barbuda
PARIS21 proposes a CCDE assessment framework that aims to help countries design a more strategic approach to capacity development by linking the national climate change data and capacity needs to financing initiatives. The climate change data action plan identifies smart objectives and concrete activities and can outline the cost to make climate change data available and usable by policymakers and other users. Participants from the regional seminar saw PARIS21´s CCDE assessment framework as a powerful mechanism for mobilising resources by linking the strategy to ongoing projects and using it to advocate for national funding.
When Brazilian journalist and filmmaker Roberta Salomone first proposed the idea of producing a documentary from the perspective of children living in situations of domestic violence, she was met with disinterest or skepticism. “I wanted to understand why we weren’t talking more about children living in situations of domestic violence, but many people told me the […]
When Brazilian journalist and filmmaker Roberta Salomone first proposed the idea of producing a documentary from the perspective of children living in situations of domestic violence, she was met with disinterest or skepticism. “I wanted to understand why we weren’t talking more about children living in situations of domestic violence, but many people told me the subject was too depressing or not interesting.”
However, one year later, Roberta’s documentary, “Os Filhos da Maria da Penha”1 was being nominated for an Emmy Award nomination, and had opened up a conversation about the impacts of domestic violence on children not only in Brazil, but also in many other countries.
Roberta was already an experienced journalist with Globo News, one of Brazil’s main news channels, when she started work on the documentary. Her initial interest in human rights led her into journalistic reporting which then developed into a focus on domestic violence, child sexual exploitation and child marriage, and sexual harassment.
When reporting on these topics, Roberta uses statistics from different official sources and databases from international organisations to enhance the accuracy of reporting.
Roberta decided to join the free online course on Communicating Statistics for Gender Equality, developed by UN Women and PARIS21, as she knew the importance of statistics to conveying facts and believed that the course would enhance her ability to communicate the issues that she cares about: “Data and statistics are important, but even more so is the ability to interpret data in the correct way. I think that’s always a challenge for us journalists. Statisticians and journalists should be best friends. … the way you interpret data can change everything: in a negative and positive way.”
Roberta continued, “When you add statistics to a story, it becomes much more compelling. But we live in an era of fake news. The course not only helped me to use data, but also how to find data that I can trust. Interpreting data is a huge responsibility.”
In Brazil, Roberta says that rising intolerance impinge on the quality of life of many people: men, women and children across different social groups, and particularly the LGBTQI community. Roberta feels that it is important for people from different genders and social backgrounds to stand up for one another: whether or not we are directly affected, this is part of a bigger human rights issue. “We have high numbers of femicide and domestic violence, and so I think people are trying to understand more about gender equality to tackle this.”
Roberta believes that technology can help to bring people together in this struggle. By volunteering on telephone helplines, apps to facilitate reporting of domestic violence or by raising difficult topics in the public sphere, there are lots of ways in which technology can unite people and start to tackle domestic violence. As part of her masters thesis, Roberta is keen on exploring the linkage between domestic violence, technology and the COVID-19 pandemic in more detail.
Costa Rica’s natural environment and progressive approach to environmental policy making have yielded a raft of inspirational success stories in recent years. Key to these policies are statistics that are comprehensive, timely and disaggregated. When the country developed its most recent national strategy for the development of statistics in 2022, ensuring that data needs were […]
Costa Rica’s natural environment and progressive approach to environmental policy making have yielded a raft of inspirational success stories in recent years. Key to these policies are statistics that are comprehensive, timely and disaggregated. When the country developed its most recent national strategy for the development of statistics in 2022, ensuring that data needs were adequately represented and that gaps were identified and addressed was paramount. The country’s National Inventory of Statistical Operations alongside PARIS21’s Advanced Data Planning Tool (ADAPT) tool provided the granular detail to inform the NSDS.
For many people, Costa Rica brings to mind a place of extraordinary natural beauty. The country’s environmental policies have been amongst the most progressive and ambitious in the world resulting, for example, in a reversal of deforestation.
This renown has come about thanks to policy making that is guided not only by economic indicators but also by human development and environmental indicators to deliver sustainable development. The country’s holistic approach to development has underpinned its progress towards the SDGs, with an SDG Index Score – a measurement of SDG progress - of 73.8.
Providing data and statistics to inform policy making is a crucial piece of the puzzle. When the INEC of Costa Rica set out to develop its most recent national strategy for the development of statistics (NSDS), ensuring that the supply of data matched the demand for policy making needs was of paramount importance.
PARIS21’s ADAPT is a web platform that identifies gaps in statistical information from different planning instruments, in addition to providing basic information on the general characteristics of statistical indicators. Information for ADAPT was readily available thanks to the National Inventory of Statistical Operations (INOE) and the metadata of the country’s planning instruments such as the SDGs, which were developed by an inter-institutional monitoring group.
INEC, together with PARIS21 and the Van Der Leer consulting company, identified that Costa Rica has a wide range of consolidated statistical information of national interest from a range of institutions that are part of the national statistics system, including on environmental protection indicators. The INOE housed this information on national indicators, disaggregation, and other variables that needed to be included in the tool for statistical supply and demand analysis.
The results from ADAPT showed that a high percentage of SDG indicators are linked to the environment sector. Figure 1 shows how a majority of indicators (29%) address the social welfare sector, which covers poverty, education, health, social protection, culture and housing, followed by the environment sector (21%), and the economy sector (18%).
|Figure 1: Distribution of the SDG indicators according to the sectors from the national statistical system|
Source: Vargas & Bermúdez, 2022.
While the exercise showed that supply of data for SDG indicators in Costa Rica largely met the demand, the availability of disaggregated data - which is vital in having information about groups of people most at risk at being left behind - was less positive: 63% of indicators did not meet the level of disaggregation required for the SDGs; and only 11% met or exceeded the disaggregation demanded. The most common gaps were identified for gender, disability status, age, age groups, activity status and area.
|Figure 2: Distribution of SDG indicators according to disaggregation gap condition|
Source: Vargas & Bermúdez, 2022
Notes: For 26% (in green) the disaggregation does not apply.
Using ADAPT to inform the planning of Costa Rica’s new NSDS allowed the country to address weaknesses in data collection that might otherwise have been invisible. INEC and its partners were then able to analyse and reflect on how to resolve its short, medium and long-term problems such as how to obtain more disaggregated data - particularly in terms of sharing the various sectoral development plans.
In 2021, the World Bank, United Nations Statistical Division (UNSD), and PARIS21 launched a survey on the implementation of the Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data (CTGAP). The survey aimed to capture long-term trends, rising challenges, and resource needs of national statistical offices (NSOs) around the world. With responses from over 100 […]
In 2021, the World Bank, United Nations Statistical Division (UNSD), and PARIS21 launched a survey on the implementation of the Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data (CTGAP). The survey aimed to capture long-term trends, rising challenges, and resource needs of national statistical offices (NSOs) around the world.
With responses from over 100 countries, the survey showed that despite the gradual progress made by NSOs, there were considerable capacity gaps in the CTGAP’s implementation, particularly in the national statistical systems in less developed regions.
By checking on the financing needs of countries, the survey results also showed that two-thirds of NSOs in International Development Association (IDA) countries experienced either moderate or severe delays in budget disbursement during the pandemic, which hampered the implementation of their work programs.
Results of the survey were featured in country profiles in the Clearinghouse for Financing Development Data. ESCAP also published a dashboard on its member countries using results from the survey. The report of the survey was launched during the UN Statistical Commission in 2022.
The World Bank, UNSD, and PARIS21 are also continuing the effort to launch an annual, global survey on the state of the NSOs, their main directions and challenges. The study will inform reporting to the UN Statistical Commission, and actions by decision makers and international partners to implement, monitor and finance CTGAP. The 2022 round of the survey will be launched in November and the results will be published in early 2023 through official report and the Clearinghouse.
Journalists exploring Rwanda’s labour force statistics discovered a surprising amount of information at a training session on using gender data. Disaggregated data shows that women are more likely to be outside of the workforce than men, often due to their work as subsistence farmers. Understanding the reasons and implications of this is where a strong […]
Journalists exploring Rwanda’s labour force statistics discovered a surprising amount of information at a training session on using gender data. Disaggregated data shows that women are more likely to be outside of the workforce than men, often due to their work as subsistence farmers. Understanding the reasons and implications of this is where a strong relationship between statisticians and media is essential.
The National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) has been a championing the importance of communicating statistics for several years, and as the country prepares to embark on its census data collection, PARIS21 is helping it strengthen its relationships with journalists to connect with the public.
At first glance a data table showing labour force participation rates disaggregated by gender incited groans of “boring”. An hour later an animated conversation was underway. First came suggestions for why women have relatively high rates of unemployment and underemployment and what impacts this has: are we educating girls to believe that they shouldn’t do certain jobs? Do women leave the workforce after marriage because of domestic duties? Are they restricted in terms of how far from the home they can take employment? Then the conversation moved to how to fix the problem: can we change our education system? How can we close the gender pay gap?
This training on gender data storytelling, organised along with PARIS21, was held in Muhanga, Rwanda from 6-10 June 2022 and brought 20 journalists together with statisticians from the NISR. With Rwanda’s census scheduled for August 2022, the NISR is strengthening its relationship with the media as an important vehicle to raise awareness of the census and foster trust and participation. Journalists are also being called on to make use of the data and communicate findings from the census. The NISR has organised workshops with the media annually for the last five years and is a champion of working together with the media in order for its data and statistics to be more widely disseminated and used in policy making.
Jean-Luc Kabera from the NISR of Rwanda explains:
“As statisticians it is our job to provide data and statistics of good quality and as far as possible in accordance with international standards to ensure comparability. We survey citizens and we collect their answers, we map the trends and we publish the data; but it is not our job to analyse and understand why things are the way they are. That’s why we need to work with journalists. Journalists have analytical skills and they can ask the why questions”
In Rwanda, widely considered a development success story, agriculture remains the backbone of the economy, employing 70% of Rwandans and accounting for 30% of the economy. Women in Rwanda have a higher rate of labour underutilisation than men 65.4% compared to 52.4% for men and are more prevalent outside of the workforce – meaning those who are of an age to work and able to work but who are not employed or registered unemployed.
As a part of its efforts to improve gender equality, paying particular attention to the underlying and often invisible reasons for lower participation in the active labour force is vital. Bringing together the analytical skills of statisticians with the persuasiveness of journalists can help bring life to real world challenges that first appear as numbers in a spreadsheet.
The workshop in Rwanda was just one example of how learning about data and statistics on the composition of Rwanda’s workforce can turn into a discussion on what the impacts are and what societal considerations needed to be addressed in order to provide better opportunities for all. For data and statistics to be used in policy making, partnerships between statisticians and the media are vital.
Parliamentarians are the highest level of decision makers in Vanuatu, and they need good quality and timely data and statistics in order to make the right decisions for their constituents. However, both MPs and the Vanuatu National Bureau of Statistics (VBOS) realised that the access and use of data and statistics by parliamentarians was poor […]
Parliamentarians are the highest level of decision makers in Vanuatu, and they need good quality and timely data and statistics in order to make the right decisions for their constituents. However, both MPs and the Vanuatu National Bureau of Statistics (VBOS) realised that the access and use of data and statistics by parliamentarians was poor and, as a result, the needs of some constituents were not being adequately addressed. PARIS21’s Trust in Data Initiative launched in 2020 presented the opportunity to Vanuatu to build capacity in the country to use and understand data, standardise processes, and improve access to data on the Sustainable Development Goals.
Together with the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Vanuatu and PARIS21 held a series of trainings for parliamentarians and forged closer ties between the NSO and parliament - for example by having the Council of Ministers review the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics. In addition VBOS developed the first ever Constituency Indicator Profiles in the country and trained MPs to use this information for the effective representation of their constituents.
Through this initiative, stakeholders such as statisticians, policy analysts, expenditure analysts in different line ministries and the Parliamentary Secretariat have participated in discussions and shared their ideas on how to use data to improve public service delivery. These include using data to track whether scholarships are aligned with current labour market needs; developing M&E frameworks to understand the impact of investments; creating core performance indicators for MPs, so communities can hold them accountable in their role of representation; and using Inland Revenue data to understand how businesses and government can develop policies and legal frameworks to support growing industries.
Two videos were developed by VBOS with the support of PARIS21 to help Ni-Vanuatu understand the importance of good data and statistics in improving their lives and providing vital information regarding impending disasters.
PARIS21, in collaboration with STATAFRIC and the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR), organised a leadership training for Directors General of national statistics offices from 15 African countries. NISR contributed by hosting the training at the NISR Training Centre. In addition, representatives of agriculture statistics services attended the training, in the context of the […]
PARIS21, in collaboration with STATAFRIC and the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR), organised a leadership training for Directors General of national statistics offices from 15 African countries. NISR contributed by hosting the training at the NISR Training Centre. In addition, representatives of agriculture statistics services attended the training, in the context of the PARIS21 collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The objective of the training workshop was to unlock participants’ potential to be effective in leadership roles and processes. The leadership context has been adapted to focus on key challenges that national statistical offices currently face; including crisis, new data sources, capacity development and modernization of the statistical system and national statistics offices including technology and change management.
The DGs had the opportunity to share their leadership experience and discuss potential good practices. The NISR DG shared success stories with peers and challenges faced throughout the journey of developing Rwanda’s National Statistical System and the NISR in particular. The DG Lesotho Bureau of Statistics, the Commissioner of Statistics Malawi, and the Deputy DG Benin also shared their experience with peers. This session was very informative and an opportunity to discuss real leadership challenges among DGs.
PARIS21 conducted interviews with some selected DGs to comment on the leadership training and the support of PARIS21 to the national statistical systems. The video will be finalised by the PARIS21 communications team and shared internally and with participants.
After the training, participants were very satisfied and committed to organize some sessions where they will share some of the frameworks and leadership concepts that they have learnt with their direct reports and within the NSO/NSS.
The participants came from the following countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tunisia, Niger, Madagascar, Senegal, Sao Tomé-et-Principe, Guinea Bissau, Lesotho, Malawi, Gambia, Mozambique, Liberia, and Rwanda. The Centre for Creative Leadership (CCL) facilitated successfully the training in two parallel groups – one in English and one in French.
PARIS21, the National Institute of Statistics (INE) of Paraguay and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) held the regional event “Modernising the Communication Capacities of National Statistical Offices (NSOs): Challenges and Opportunities” on 21, 22 and 23 June at the Paseo La Galería in Asunción, Paraguay. The regional activity brought together directors and heads of communication from 15 NSOs […]
PARIS21, the National Institute of Statistics (INE) of Paraguay and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) held the regional event "Modernising the Communication Capacities of National Statistical Offices (NSOs): Challenges and Opportunities" on 21, 22 and 23 June at the Paseo La Galería in Asunción, Paraguay.
The regional activity brought together directors and heads of communication from 15 NSOs in the Latin American and Caribbean region who highlighted good practices in the countries and worked to identify the challenges that hinder communication with users and trust in NSOs and official statistics.
At the opening, the National Director of INE Paraguay, Iván Ojeda, welcomed those present and highlighted the vital importance of statistical communication, its impact on public policy and NSOs’ relationship with the media to ensure data on topics such as population, including health, education, children, gender, disability and youth, among others, are distributed widely.
François Fonteneau, Deputy Head of PARIS21, congratulated the organisers via Zoom and stressed that leadership and communication skills are essential to ensure that data is used by all.
Geoffrey Greenwell, Regional Technical Coordinator at PARIS21, and José Antonio Mejía, Lead Specialist in State Modernisation at IDB, spoke about the importance of the congress and were confident that the learning opportunity it provides will help NSOs to improve their outreach to the media and citizens.
In a range of session on the first day of the event, journalists from Telefuturo and Grupo ABC and NSO representatives discussed their experiences working together and challenges in promoting the use of data by journalists. This was followed by sessions on the use of social media to promote statistical products, related risks and opportunities as well as NSOs' reactions to fake news. Later they exchanged lessons learned in developing communication strategies and feedback mechanisms to learn about data users' needs.
In the framework of the event, PARIS21, together with the Cepei, organised a session to present the work plan of the new Community of Practice on Data-Driven Communications in Latin America and the Caribbean launched in May 2022. PARIS21 then presented the preliminary results of a study on NSOs' communication capacities highlighting findings related to human resources, NSOs’ online communications activities, monitoring and evaluation, communication strategies as well as NSOs' key messages and audiences. In a vivid discussion, panelists from La Nación Data and the NSOs from Mexico and Ecuador exchanged knowledge on how to strengthen the communication of data for decision-making, how to create visualisations and stories and how to understand the latest trends to attract and retain audiences.
On the second day of the event, innovative video projects were presented to demonstrate the power of multimedia products to promote statistical products and events such as the census as well as to advance inclusive communication in a way all members of society feel represented. The day was rounded off by a workshop organised by PARIS21 aiming to help NSO directors strengthen their communication leadership skills through mock TV interviews and individual feedback.
On the third day, the congress concluded with a workshop tailored to the needs of communication managers. Activities included the analysis of the most and least effective communication channels to promote NSOs’ statistical products as well as a session on how to develop a strong, recognisable brand and how to turn employees into brand ambassadors.
A communications strategy provides both a strategic vision and roadmap for communications over the long term. This helps to align communications activities and messaging with national statistical office processes and frameworks, such as the national strategy for the development of statistics (NSDS). A communications strategy helps an organisation to map out a series of activities […]
A communications strategy provides both a strategic vision and roadmap for communications over the long term. This helps to align communications activities and messaging with national statistical office processes and frameworks, such as the national strategy for the development of statistics (NSDS). A communications strategy helps an organisation to map out a series of activities and programmes that not only help it engage with key stakeholders (internal and external) in an effective and streamlined way, but also help reach the organisation’s core objectives.
This handbook provides strategic guidance and outline the practical steps and resources needed for national statistics offices (NSOs) to develop an integrated communications strategy. It covers in detail each step of a five-step strategy development process: scoping, research, analysis, drafting and launch. The handbook is intended for use by communications professionals working in national statistics offices. It is meant to be practical, with a mix of instructions, tips and resources. Some NSOs will find that this is all they need to proceed with strategy development independently. Others may find it necessary or valuable to engage external support for some or a large part of the analytical work.
Digital transformations bring about fundamental changes in how institutions – from governments to businesses – operate. National statistical offices (NSOs) face growing expectations from data users and need to adapt their digital capabilities accordingly. For NSOs in low and middle-income countries, who may have had limited exposure to digitalisation to date, keeping pace with rapid […]
Digital transformations bring about fundamental changes in how institutions – from governments to businesses – operate. National statistical offices (NSOs) face growing expectations from data users and need to adapt their digital capabilities accordingly. For NSOs in low and middle-income countries, who may have had limited exposure to digitalisation to date, keeping pace with rapid technological change is challenging. This report uses examples from six NSOs to explore common barriers for NSOs in their digital transformations and identifies specific drivers. The report makes a case for digital transformations through more comprehensive institutional changes such as governance, procurement and human resources. In addition, the report outlines specific recommendations at the individual, technological, organisational and system level to guide NSOs and their partners towards a successful digital transformation.
Read the report in pdf or web book format, or download the epub here.
This report provides an overview of the activities of the Gender Data Network (GDN) since its inception in 2019. It draws upon a range of evidentiary sources, including project documents, GDN and partner publications, key informant interviews with GDN members and operating partners, as well as the transcripts of discussions. The report highlights a range […]
This report provides an overview of the activities of the Gender Data Network (GDN) since its inception in 2019. It draws upon a range of evidentiary sources, including project documents, GDN and partner publications, key informant interviews with GDN members and operating partners, as well as the transcripts of discussions. The report highlights a range of activities pursued by the GDN relating to data production and curation, as well as data communications and use. It finds that, for a network still in its comparative infancy, the GDN has had a sizeable impact in the field of gender data across Africa. Through collaboration and information-sharing, a range of innovative and experimental projects have been trialed and, where successful, replicated across countries. Furthermore, members of the GDN have gained access to a continental network of gender data practitioners, through which they have been able to develop their skills and self-confidence.
A report for the Gender Data Network, commissioned by UNECA
Learn more about the Gender Data Network: https://paris21.org/gender-data-network/
Citizen-generated data can complement official data sources and close data gaps. In Kenya, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) is building its capacity to use these alternative data sources. This report describes how partners from KNBS, the SDGs Kenya Forum, PARIS21 and Partners for Review worked together on a project to build and strengthen […]
Citizen-generated data can complement official data sources and close data gaps. In Kenya, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) is building its capacity to use these alternative data sources. This report describes how partners from KNBS, the SDGs Kenya Forum, PARIS21 and Partners for Review worked together on a project to build and strengthen capacities within the national statistical system (NSS) and actors of the extended data ecosystem in Kenya to use new and alternative data sources to improve national reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals.
By envisioning and developing an effective climate change data ecosystem (CCDE), national leaders, international organisations, and climate experts can work across data silos and leverage data to address all aspects of the climate crisis. In line with current thinking on data stewardship and on broadening national statistical systems to include diverse sources of data, this […]
By envisioning and developing an effective climate change data ecosystem (CCDE), national leaders, international organisations, and climate experts can work across data silos and leverage data to address all aspects of the climate crisis. In line with current thinking on data stewardship and on broadening national statistical systems to include diverse sources of data, this approach would ensure that official statistics, administrative data, and data from a wide range of non-governmental sources can be used for reporting, policy making, and ultimately action on climate change adaptation and mitigation.
This paper describes the rationale for developing an effective CCDE, the benefits it could bring, important challenges, principles, and best practices to consider and proposed next steps. It presents use cases from around the world that demonstrate relevant and innovative ways to put climate change data to use. Finally, it lays the groundwork for new or adapted country assessment frameworks to help low and middle-income countries understand and leverage their climate change data. The authors hope that this paper will contribute to the current urgent debate about the best ways to apply data rapidly and effectively to the greatest global challenge of our time.
The Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21) promotes the better use and production of statistics in low- and middle-income countries. Since its establishment in 1999, PARIS21 has successfully developed a worldwide network of statisticians, policy makers, analysts, and development practitioners committed to evidence-based decision making. With the main objective to achieve national and international development goals and reduce poverty in low- and middle-income countries, PARIS21 facilitates statistical capacity development, advocates for the integration of reliable data in decision making, and co-ordinates donor support to statistics.
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