Call for a rigorous data system to promote evidence-based development

02 Jul 2013

image A participants asks questions to the panel during the seminar. Photo: UNDP Nepal

Kathmandu -- Experts and government officials have demanded an effective strategy to develop data system to support evidence-based policy-making and development in Nepal.

At a National Seminar on National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS) held in Kathmandu this week, officials said that having a well thought-out statistical strategy would overcome the present weakness in the system. They said that production and analysis of good quality and timely data will also help Nepal achieve its goal to transform itself into 'a developing country' from 'least development country' by 2022.

The Seminar was jointly organized by Central Bureau of Statistics, United Nations Development Programme and Department for International Development (DFID) to discuss a new national strategy on data collection.

The main foundation for a good policy is well collected data. Hence, the upcoming strategy has to assign responsible government body the authority to vet veracity of the data before it goes for publication, said Chief Secretary Lila Mani Poudel.

Director General at the Central Bureau of Statistics, Uttam Narayan Malla was hopeful that the new NSDS would provide a roadmap to position Nepal in the frontline of statistics development in the SAARC region.

Andy Murray, Statistics Adviser and Results Lead of DFID, Nepal highlighted the importance of NSDS to build a reliable statistical system that produces the data necessary to design, implement, and monitor national development policies and programmes.

From their side, donors have also put together a donor statistics group to ensure coherent and coordinated support to build Nepal’s statistical capacity.

Rabindra Kumar Shakya, Vice Chairman of National Planning Commission said many components of Comprehensive National Statistical Plan is still valid and has to be implemented fully for a better outcome.

Shakya urged the amendment of the Statistical act formulated in 1958 to make it relevant in today's changing world.

Many participants called for the establishment of statistical office and demanded restructuring of the CBS, while developing the capacity of CBS staff and other statistical officers in various line ministries.