Rolling out the StaTact in Africa

Rolling out the StaTact in Africa4 April 2018, Geneva, Switzerland - The StaTact came to Africa last week when 10 countries participated in its roll-out during dedicated regional workshops. UNITAR and UN Statistics Division teamed up with UNECA African Centre for Statistics and UNDP to deliver two two-day workshops - one in English and one in French – with a focus on the governance of data ecosystems for the SDGs. The first workshop brought together government officials from Ethiopia, Liberia, Malawi, Sudan, and Uganda representing National Statistical Offices, Planning Ministries, selected line Ministries and non-traditional data sources. The second workshop used a similar format with participants from Cote d’Ivoire, DRC, Madagascar, Mauritania, and Togo.

These workshops follow the successful launch of the zero version of the StaTact tool in Bangkok during a regional workshop for four Asian Least Developed Countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Nepal. Following this first workshop, the tool and related guidance have been revised to improve the users’ experience. The objective of the tool is to enable countries and their National Statistical Offices to have a multi-stakeholder discussion around institutional arrangements and the issues of coordination, partnerships and governance to strengthen collaboration between data producers, holders and users, as well as between official and non-traditional data communities.

Rolling out the StaTact in AfricaThe StaTact toolkit consists of the analytical tool, a quick reference guide and several other supporting documents that could be used by NSOs for organizing meetings and workshops to address pressing data needs by using a short-term, tactical – as opposed to longer-term, strategic – approach, and tackling governance-related impediments and opportunities such as those related to institutional coordination, leadership, legal aspects, management, partnerships, capacities, IT infrastructure, etc.  The tool takes discussions through several stages starting with the specific measurement problem statement and building the business case and going all the way to discussing data ecosystems and governance using the established General Statistical Business Process Model (GSBPM) and its extension covering institutional aspects GAMSO. By the end of the exercise, participating stakeholders are able to draw up a detailed, short-term action plan transforming their analysis into a set of realistic, actionable points to be pursued by NSO and other key partners.

Rolling out the StaTact in AfricaSome may ask: Why do we need the StaTact? Strategies require long-term timeframe and significant investments while some of the needs may be urgent. In some cases, there exist quick fixes to such problems. The role of the StaTact is to help countries identify such quick fixes as well as address bottlenecks they are facing in implementing long-term plans such as National Strategies for the Development of Statistics or others. The StaTact toolkit is all about strengthening data availability and utilization by policy-makers through a better dialogue and collaboration within the National Statistical System and by leveraging administrative data and other data sources such as Big Data, NGOs, geospatial, etc.

The workshops also featured panel discussions bringing in perspectives from the producers of official statistics, data users and non-traditional data sources from the participating countries. In addition, PARIS21 and UNDP colleagues presented the available tools and resources such as the ADAPT tool and African Data Revolution Report respectively.

The workshops also provided a space for an integrated planning exercise using the Learning Environment for integrated Planning (LEiP) simulation game developed by the Millennium Institute and UNITAR. The game and related software were inspired by a powerful iSDG model designed by the Millennium Institute.

It is envisaged that the Statact toolkit will be shortly published online and further updated after the next series of workshops – using the national format - and related follow-up activities. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact elena.proden@unitar.org