BY WALLACE MAWIRE : HARARE-A National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS) is being formulated in Zimbabwe to ensure an integrated framework for developing national statistics in a holistic,comprehensive and synergic manner, according to Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency.
(ZIMSTAT) Board Chair Mr Douglas Hoto.
According to him, this has resulted in the ZIMSTAT strategic plan being produced in parallel with sector plans for statistics that are being prepared by sectoral ministries and institutions as building blocks in the design of a national strategy.
Mr Hoto says that the design of the national strategy and its component parts has been inclusive,consultative and participatory,involving all types of stakeholders in the National Statistical System (NSS) comprising data suppliers,data producers and data users as well as research and training institutions involved with statistics.
“key stakeholders have made essential inputs into the strategic planning processes,” Mr Hoto says.
ZIMSTAT is a corporate body that was established through the Census and Statistics Act of 2007.lt is the main source of official statistics in Zimbabwe and is mandated to play a coordination and supervisory role within the National Statistical System.
Mr Hoto adds that the responsibility for the production of good quality statistics does not rest in the hands of ZIMSTAT alone.He says that statistical production must be the combined effort of all stakeholders in the National Statistical System.
“While ZIMSTAT will be conducting national censuses and surveys, other players like line ministries will be producing administrative data.Research and training institutions as well as NGOs will be producing a variety of other essential statistics covering a wide range of subjects,” Mr Hoto says.
He added that by implementing the ZIMSTAT strategic plan and sector plans for statistics as part of the National Strategy for Statistics Development, the National Statistical System will provide statistical information needed for evidence-based policy and decision making to both government and private sector.
Mr Moffat Nyoni, ZIMSTAT Acting Director General says that the government of Zimbabwe intends to improve statistical production,quality,dissemination and access to meet the unprecedented increase in demand for statistics.
He added that the ZIMSTAT strategic plan outlines how statistical capacity will evolve over the five year period to address the current and emerging data needs.
lt is also noted that the strategic plan for ZIMSTAT is in response to the critical need for statistics in the design and implementation of national economic and social programmes and to also monitor progress towards internationally agreed goals such as the MDGs.
ZIMSTAT”s strategic plan is for the period 2011 to 2015.The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF),African Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank have assisted ZIMSTAT in its initiatives.
ADB is reported to be pumping US$2 million to capacitate ZIMSTAT.Finance Minister, Tendai Biti is reported to have said that Zimbabwe needs a competent statistics organization that allows an overall, up to date view of the socio-economic situation and facilitates the use of data for analysis by policy makers and others.