Published on 5 November 2020
The workshop which was officiated by the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Finance and Planning Doto James was organised jointly by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and UK Department for International Development (DFID).
The UN Resident coordinator said Tanzania like other countries has started the journey to 2030 and beyond and that the workshop has come at the time where the world is confronted by ever increasing data demand to address many pressing development challenges.
He added that integrating non-traditional data sources in production of official statistics can face some legal challenges in many countries but all must reckon the importance of comparability of data as one of the fundamental principles of official statistics.
"Countries may have varied legal framework regarding non-traditional data sources but on the other hand there are fundamental principles of official statistics which highlight comparability across countries and societies of statistics we produce" He noted.
He added that the workshop was not just a technical discussion but also a gathering which is very critical in embracing non-traditional data sources which makes a big part of today’s data stories.
He noted that "those who control data control the story" and emphasised that the statement was profound because people trust stories with data and the messages they carry.
Mr Rodriguez added that it is the statistics which show how the country is progressing or otherwise therefore making statistics available for monitoring and evaluating development plans and programs is so important.
Meanwhile acting Director of Social Statistics directorate at NBS Ms. Ruth Minja said the 2019 SDGs booklet provides key SDG’s updates regarding Tanzania’s implementation of agenda 2030.
She told workshop participants that the booklet contains statistical information for monitoring SDGs progress which is also in line with the implementation of Second National Five-Year Development plan.
The acting director said the report was due to be presented to the United Nations as the country was expecting to join other countries to make voluntary reporting of implementation of SDGs.
Meanwhile, Neil Jackson from DFID told workshop that challenges are many in the process of integrating non-traditional data sources in the production of official statistics but it is a reality which every country has to address.
He said the workshop which acted as a national platform for stakeholders to exchange ideas and exchange experience on this subject was grounding step towards making the process a success.
He emphasised that stakeholders need to think loud about the challenges in terms of building capacities, quality, technical, legal framework and the like.
He was optimistic that by addressing those challenges the world including Tanzania can shape data systems that will work for everyone and realise national, regional and global development goals.
Mr. Neil Jackson noted that thinking about how official statistics can help non-official statistics is important because the former can add value in the statistical system.
He cited example in United Kingdom where code of practice of statistician is on trust, quality and value with minimum set of standards to be followed.
He however informed the workshop participants that adherence to that standard is voluntary but one on releasing data is supposed to declare in statement that it has whether it followed the minimum set standards or not.