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Importance of statistics two

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Importance of statistics two

  1. 1. IMPORTANCE OF STATISTICS –by Richard Mudyazvivi- rheemudya@gmail.com Statistics is an indispensable tool for national development, growth and planning and a government without viable infrastructure for information generation, dissemination and usage is severely handicapped in doing proper planning, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes and projects and also in arriving at good decision with respect to their government policy formation. Governments at all levels should embark on building a very viable information system in order to have adequate statistical information for designing a formidable social and economic policy. It has been advocated that the National statistical system in any country should get more attention if the country is to have an orderly and definite development programme (United Nations Resolution on World Statistics Day, 2010) (Ward, M, 2004). The last decade has witnessed the worst economic meltdown coupled with social challenges in Zimbabwe. Though the demand for statistics has increased, as a result of the need to turn the economy around, and to plan and execute Zimbabwe’s national development plans like the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio Economic Transformation(ZIMASSET) and other development programmes on the basis of evidence, there are, however, fewer resources available for statistical production or capacity building. Developing countries and development partners need to recognize the need for better statistics, not only as a tool for evidence-based policy design and planning but also to better support policy implementation, monitor progress and evaluate outcomes and impact of development initiatives such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), International Conference on Population Development (ICPD) and international conventions such as the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) etcetera. Other prominent issues raised in recent years within the context of sustainable development interventions include the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness declared that any developmental intervention should ensure that ownership, harmonization, alignment, results, and mutual accountability are incorporated in the programming, implementation, and management of projects/programs (February 28 – 2 March 2005). Therefore, there is need for a systematic way of generating and updating community level data for sustainable community development interventions.
  2. 2. Better use of better national statistics leads to better policies and better development progress which benefits people. The role of statistics is critical in the design and implementation of national policy frameworks such as ZIMASSET and internationally agreed goals such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Statistics facilitate the analysis of complex social and economic issues; and enable both government and the private sector to make appropriate policy choices and to monitor and adjust policies in order to achieve their maximum impact. By under- pinning evidence-based policy-making, good statistics do enhance the transparency and accountability of policy decisions for sustainable development. The likely success of Government policies achieving their aims is greatly increased by the use of statistics. Perhaps the most valuable contribution that statistics can make is to help ensure that our limited resources are used in the best way, by showing where resources are needed and what impact those resources make With the formulation of the Millennium Development Goals and the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, the last decade has experienced an increase in focus on measuring outcomes and results to guide policy development and poverty reduction. Increasing appreciation of the role, power and importance of statistics has led to a higher priority attached to statistical capacity building in many developing countries. However, despite increased consensus on the importance of reliable national statistics, many developing countries do not have the sound and sustainable national statistical systems needed to underpin development processes. Donor support to these countries is essential to help partner countries and agencies to develop sustainable statistical capacity and a national commitment to enhance evidence based policy making. There is a need to mainstream statistics into national development agenda and process. The role of statistics and indeed of statisticians in national development is very critical

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