On African Statistics Day 2013, Development Initiatives and the Uganda Bureau of Statistics announce a joint project to bring ‘data use’ capacity training to East African organisations working for poverty eradication
Development Initiatives (DI), a not-for-profit organisation working to eradicate poverty by 2030, and the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), the agency responsible for coordinating, monitoring and supervising the National Statistical System of Uganda, today announced they are in the process of entering into a partnership which will run for 5 years. The project will provide training and skills development on use of data, for civil society organisations and other stakeholders in the East Africa region. The partnership more broadly aims to drive engagement and support for East African citizens, including those leading CSOs (civil society organisations) and those who are involved in driving social change or community advocacy work, to support the use of public data and information for development and poverty eradication.
The training and mentoring programme will be delivered by UBOS in collaboration with DI. Public outreach and engagement will be supported by both organisations. Skills training aims to equip trainees with the capacity to access, understand and use data, with an emphasis on building the evidence base for advocacy and social change. The programme will begin with a workshop in Kampala with 5 CSOs in the health and education sectors, to better understand the modules available at UBOS and what role these can play in enhancing access, quality and use of data and information. The main programme will be delivered sequentially to respond to the needs and demand of the CSOs in a way that enhances and entrenches skills within the organisations from 2014.
Data on public spending and services is often released in formats which are not compatible or easy to understand. DI and UBOS are launching this partnership to put this information into the hands of individuals by ensuring trainees have the data skills necessary to turn raw statistical data into usable information. The collaboration between the two organisations will focus not only on capacity building, but also involve working jointly on quantitative and qualitative analysis, particularly on the impact of resource investments on poverty eradication. Through the partnership, DI and UBOS also aim to facilitate engagement with other East Africa Bureaus of Statistics, to encourage similar outreach with citizens and civil society leaders. The collaboration comes after discussions between DI and UBOS on how best to enhance access to data, build citizens’ capacity for data analysis, and increase public use of information about resources for poverty reduction.
Davis Adieno, Capacity Development Manager at Development Initiatives, said:
“Through our work analysing data and producing reports on resource allocation in East Africa, we see a real need for this. Many of the people we work with in civil society are working hard to advocate on problems and challenges in their communities, in sectors like education and health, but they really struggle to use complex data and information that would help them have more impact. We hope this capacity building enables them to do more good, in and for their communities.”
Johnson Kagugube, the Director in Charge of Statistical Capacity Development at the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) said:
“Statistical capacity building is needed to enable all stakeholders involved in the NSS to acquire expertise to determine their data needs and priorities. The staff handling statistics acquire knowledge to collect, interpret and disseminate information to support planning and monitoring of national development. Coordinated statistical capacity building is an important precondition for the sustainability of development initiatives.”
The importance of better data, and increasing public use of data, has been recognised by the UN ECA which aims to raise the profile of the important role that statistics play in all aspects of social and economic life in Africa. African Statistics Day is commemorated annually. This year’s African Statistics Day focuses on “Quality Data to support African Progress”. Data quality enables public engagement and use of data, and is essential if citizens and organisations are to monitor the achievement of national development plans and international development goals, such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). DI and UBOS hope to make a contribution through this project to the overarching objectives of the international community to eradicate poverty and improve lives.
About DI: Development Initiatives is a not-for profit organisation with a consultancy arm that carries out research and analysis into poverty and how to end it. We believe ending poverty by 2030 is possible, but we need better information to do so. Development Initiatives provides and analyses this information to empower people to make better decisions about how to end poverty. We have centres in the United Kingdom, Kenya and Uganda and have partners globally including governments, academic institutions, the private sector and citizen representatives. To find out more about our work visit www.devinit.org
About capacity building: DI works to enable people to gain access to and use information about aid and other poverty reduction resources, aimed at supporting efforts to hold governments, donors and service providers to account, and thereby increasing the effectiveness of those resources. Through this programme we have sought to understand the impact of increasing accessibility of information, and learning more about how stakeholders are able to use this information to improve development outcomes. Over the past few years, we have been working to increase the availability and accessibility of information, mainly through the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI).