A Regional Workshop on the Harmonization of Statistics in Southern Africa
At the core of any development effort is the need for governments and other key stakeholders to measure and benchmark progress towards regionally and internationally agreed development goals such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).There are standard development indicators and targets set and also comparison tools developed for countries and regions to track progress. All the measurement tools and indicators would be meaningless without appropriate and reliable statistical data and information . Across Africa many sub-regions and indeed countries lack the very basic source of statistical information flow that should have been available on annual basis as well as down to the lowest administrative level that is critical in tracking development targets and outcomes.
It is generally noted that many African countries particularly in the sub-region face increasing challenges in the generation, analysis, usage and dissemination of statistics thus impairing decision making processes. There is also the problem of lack of comparability and credibility among data sets due to different methodologies employed to collect data. In order to address some of these challenges at the continental level, the United Nations African Centre for Statistics was established. Its overall objective is to strengthen capacities for statistical development at national, sub regional and regional levels, including the promotion of the development of improved and integrated statistical databases in support of decision-making and policy formulation, monitoring and evaluation.