African statisticians, dev planners must collaborate - ECA’s Chinganya

APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

“We often allow statisticians to sit on their own and make decisions on required data without the involvement of development planners,” said Oliver Chinganya, Director of the Africa Centre for Statistics (ACS) at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) on Friday.

“This has always created problems with setting up national development plans because the two don’t talk to each other,” he added, arguing that national planning systems will be more effective and efficient if the two institutions dialogue and collaborate more.

Mr. Chinganya was speaking on 31 January in Addis Ababa at the end of a two-day intergovernmental peer review meeting, which brought together representatives of national planning and statistics institutions to enhance their ability to integrate accountability frameworks in their national development planning process.

The meeting was organized by ECA under the auspices of the10th UN Development Account (DA10) project on “Strengthening the Capacities of African Governments for Integration of Accountability in National Development Planning.”

After two days of intense deliberations, it was highlighted, amongst other things, that national statisticians and planners are partner of the DA10 project and need to collaborate more, “beginning with the elaboration of a performance plan.”

It was also recommended that adequate financial resources be raised to support the production and timely dissemination of high-quality data and that national systems of development policy monitoring and evaluation should be improved by integrating accountability aspects.

Stakeholders suggested that ECA develops a manual for integrating accountability in development planning. This will facilitate a continent-wide scaling up of the DA10 project, which currently involves only five pilot countries (Cameroon, Zambia, Egypt, Benin, and Kenya).

In this regard, Mr Chinganya said “it might also be worthwhile developing an e-learning tool that’s accessible to development planners across the continent.”

A representative from the Africa Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), Thomas Munthali, thanked ECA for “this very important initiative.”

Mr. Munthali said ACBF has been working on a similar project as mandated by the African Union.

He expressed hope that his organization will collaborate with ECA “to see how we can synergize efforts.”

In his closing remarks, ECA’s Principal regional Advisor, Sylvain Boko, urged participants to convey ECA’s gratitude to their respective governments for green-lighting the collaboration.

He noted that ACBF’s presence as partner on the project was “crucial, as it’s a special agency of the African Union.

Mr. Chinganya expressed optimism that “other African countries will soon use the lessons and best practices developed by this project to enhance their national planning systems so as to fulfill the promises and aspirations of Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063.”


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