Statistics Sierra Leone, in collaboration with its partners on Wednesday 24th July 2019, hosted Data Producers and Data Users at the Miatta Conference Centre, Freetown on the theme ‘’Together for Credible Data for National Development’’.
In his opening remarks, the Deputy Minister, Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, MoPED), Dr. Robert Chakanda said that the National Statistical System (NSS) has the mandate to support development initiatives which require good statistics through evidence-based planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of national and international development programmes, adding that the system puts statistics at the fingertips of every planner and decision maker.
He said they were confident to say that Statistics Sierra Leone is today rightly placed and strongly positioned at the heart of the National Development Plan that was recently launched President Bio.
Dr Robert Chakanda noted that credible data is the vehicle with great potential to improve or accelerate the development process of any nation.
He furthered that Statistics Sierra Leone could not do it alone and hence endorsed the recognition of collaborative efforts with other credible institutions to ensure effectiveness.
The Deputy Development Minister reiterated that his ministry will continue to provide support to Statistics Sierra Leone to make sure that NGOs who publish statistics do so in collaboration with the institution and assured that the ministry will encourage the centralization of data through Stats -SL for effective delivery.
He concluded by commending the Statistician General and his staff who had embarked on series of restructuring and rebranding processes at national level.
In his keynote address, the Statistician General, Statistics Sierra Leone (Stats-SL), Prof. Osman Sankoh said the vision of Stats-SL is to create a viable National Statistical System (NSS) with Stats SL at the centre for the coordination, production, dissemination and accreditation of official statistics to support evidence-based decision-making processes at both policy and planning levels, disclosing that Sierra Leone is the first country that has an Electronics Surveillance System in place.
He explained his winner vision that Stats SL will be widely-known in and out of the country for capacity to generate credible data for national development. We have to be innovative, interactive and impartial in performing its professional mandate. “We want to improve National Statistics with efficient data production at district and national levels and in MDAs, network and coordinate well to produce official statistics and contribute to Africa’s Data Revolution and Open Data era, provide efficiency in everything we do, including mobilizing funding and the use of E-technologies to be more effective in data production, to be responsive to national needs and implement research projects and surveys across disciplines that are key to measuring Sierra Leone’s progress toward achieving SDGs,” he said adding that Stats SL going forward, would be a winner not only in the sub-region but in Africa as a whole.
He said Stats SL is the principal data institution that produces credible data for government and other institutions to provide proper planning, noting they don’t want the state to decide in the dark.
Professor Sankoh noted that Stats SL is a different institution ready to change the landscape of producing credible data in Sierra Leone.
In her statement, the Director of Research, Ministry of Finance, Dr. Yakama Manty Jones said effective policy design and implementation require evidence -based.
She said data provides validity for the existence of policy issues and if properly used informs the design and choice of policies including resource allocation, noting that data generation process also includes the monitoring and evaluation of policy implementation which help to measure impact and forecast future interventions.
The National Economist, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Milton Korseh-Hindowa said benchmarking and tracking of the country’s development strides and progress depend on the provision of high-quality data on the right indicators at the right time.
He furthered that the provision of quality data requires many things which include the management of associated capabilities and challenges in order to meet the varying needs of users, with varying levels of interest and influence.
Korseh-Hindowa pointed out that data users require and expect reliable, timely, consistent and comparable data and users have their own ideas on how to meet their expectations as well as contribute to building an effective National Statistical System.