Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) will host another annual user-producer workshop, in order to keep emphasising on the role of statistics in the development of the policies.
NSA Deputy Director Quality Assurance, Dr Isak Neema told The Villager that a user-producer workshop planned at the end of July is vital as it allows NSA to discuss with various stakeholders towards the advancement of usage of statistics in the various institutions.
“The workshop will gather various statisticians, regional and council officers, delegates from ministries as well as various Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and workers union in order to discuss about our strategic plan review, the importance of statistics and the challenges pertaining to the collection of data as well as the way forward,” he said
This annual user –producer workshop has become a vital process in the past two years aimed at assessing the needs of statistics.
Under the statistics Act the NSA is the central statistical authority and the central repository for all statistics produced in Namibia. It inter alia, collects and disseminates statistics and spatial data, educates the public on the use of statistics and spatial data, and designates statistics as official statistics.
Furthermore, consistent with its legal mandate stipulated in the Statistics Act, the Mission of the NSA is that: “In a coordinated manner we produce and disseminate relevant, quality and timely statistics that are fit for purpose in accordance with international standards and best practice.”
Dr Neema also stressed that in line of their mandate, they need keep up with the various trends related with production of statistics, and therefore in order to adopt any changes, they need input from the various stakeholders that will be present.
He added that they need to present their appreciation to the stakeholders who are always present and offer their support.
He stressed that collecting data does not come easy as it takes a lot of convincing for people to understand.
He however, noted that with time the various regional leaders have learned to appreciate the benefits of statistics usage in decision making.
Dr Neema emphasised on the necessity of quality assurance in the collection of data as it insure quality data.
“Quality assurance is primordial from the day go in the planning process until the completion of the process; there have to be extensive quality check throughout the process,” he said.
To ensure quality data collection, the enumerators and all people involved in the collection have to be all trained beforehand.
Dr Neema hopes that in the next three years, one can actually see the results and changes prompted by the use of statistics in development agendas.
“We should look at statistics as a way out in terms of planning purposes. We need to understand things holistically in need to address issues, which is where statistics come in giving a clear view of how to tackle issues, “he added.