Building Statistical Capacity in the Countries



Transparency is a prime component in taking ownership of and ensuring effectiveness in poverty reduction policies. Clearly visible today is demand from all development players for easier access to helpful information about the state of the economy and the impact of public policies. The dissemination of macro-economic, social and environmental statistics to the economic parties in donor and partner countries now appears vital to understanding needs, framing APSFs macro-economically and implementing and assessing anti-poverty policies. Civil society also needs to be better informed so that it can play its part in the democratic process.

In order to help partner countries respond to those demands, French cooperation implements comprehensive statistical capacity-building initiatives: initial and continuing training for statisticians and demographers, in particular in partnership with INSEE, support for the institution of administrative information systems, statistical tools, support for methodological development and analysis of the resulting statistics.

Afristat, the watchtower for economic and statistical data in Sub-Saharan Africa, is the main instrument for this. Founded in 1996, this international organisation, which encompasses 19 Member States, is unanimously deemed an African hub in the field of statistical development and is therefore entrusted with implementing the projects of major multilateral donors. It helps member countries devise the statistical development strategies they need, in particular, to track the APSFs and achieve the MDGs (harmonised consumer-indexed pricing, national accounts in compliance with the United Nations’ standards, 1-2-3 surveys on employment, the informal sector and living conditions, the creation of Web sites disseminating the resulting statistics, etc.)

DIAL (Development, Institutions and Long-Term Analyses), an economic interest grouping supported by French cooperation, has developed a statistical approach based on perception surveys carried out as part of 1-2-3 surveys. The aim was to assess household perception of governance through the way institutions function, the quality of public service, the impact of corruption in everyday life and formal freedoms (press, political parties and unions). This participatory approach, based on exacting methodology, makes it possible to take into account, for instance, internal perception criteria that are vital to dialogue with donor countries and democratic debate.