Somali National Bureau of statistics is preparing for transformation into a world-class institution that will ensure the high quality of data provided to decision-makers.
February 8, 2022. In 2020 The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), through the Somalia National Bureau of Statistics (SNBS), received grants from the International Development Association (IDA) to undertake the Somali Integrated Statistics and Economic Capacity Building (SISEPCB) Project.
The SISEPCB Project aims at strengthening the country’s national statistical system, the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system, and improving programing and analytical capacity of the government’s macroeconomics and fiscal programming agencies to enable them to regularly assess, analyze and improve public policies, programs’ performance and results.
The funding will enable the recently established SNBS to improve information technology environment across the NSS and develop an ICT strategy that will: (i) improve statistical data quality, (ii) reduce data collection and processing time; (iii) use of a standard software package for statistical data analysis; (iv) a central integrated statistical database for data dissemination; (v) extension of SNBS data network to statistics units in the selected federal MDAs
The SNBS Director General, Sharmarke Farah observed, ‘high-quality data is critical for measuring progress in economic growth, enhance public policy formulation, help reduce poverty and ultimately foster shared prosperity’.
Mr Farah further underpinned how critical and timely the funding is in assuaging Somalia’s data gaps, through improvement of the quality of key official statistical products and processes, enhance dissemination practices and make data more accessible. “Somalia’s urgent need for high-quality economic statistics to inform and attract investments, as well as help expand and improve decision-making, cannot be gainsaid”, emphasized the DG.
Statistics is a vital tool in governing the state as well as planning any country-wide multi-sectoral initiatives. For example, it allows more deliberate budget allocation for infrastructure, social security, healthcare, environment, education and more. Prudent application of official statistics enhances inclusivity, equitable distribution of resources, and overall accountability of the State to its citizenry.
“Relevant, reliable, and accessible statistical data is the basis for proper governance and essential for efficient political and economic decisions. SNBS has clearly defined strategic objectives to become a fully digitalized, world-class center of statistical excellence that will significantly contribute to Somalia’s development goals,” Mr. Sharmarke Farah, the Director-General of SNBS said.
Improved statistical data provided by SNBS will bring immense benefits for Somalia’s local businesses as well. Being able to provide reliable information concerning the country’s current market state helps international investors to accurately evaluate possible return on investment, thus attracting more foreign capital.
It is also key to improving the life of each citizen, as data is used globally to help prevent disease outbreaks, better distribute social benefits, plan and monitor labor market needs and changes, among other aspects that directly affect people on a day-to-day basis.
Robust analysis of data by SNBS continues to also improve the quality of the decisions needed to alleviate problems related to extreme situations, such as the current drought in Somalia. The capacity to collect, collate and manage relevant, reliable and accurate official statistical information will empower responsible institutions to analyze the humanitarian needs of affected people based on reliable data, as well as to plan for the necessary infrastructural investments that will help lessen the impact of future droughts occasioned by unpredictable climate shocks.
A 4-month long project to evaluate the current institutional status of SNBS and provide a roadmap for its transformation is being undertaken by an international provider of gov-tech services, IT solutions and consulting, NRD Companies, which has experience in leading digitization projects in 50 countries. For this particular project, NRD Companies have partnered with ASAL Solutions Ltd. that is based in Mogadishu, Somalia.
“Our task is to determine weak points in the current pipeline of statistical data usage in Somalia and provide guidelines that will help refine SNBS. Our consulting services will address every aspect of the institution, from infrastructure, hardware, and software to legal, educational, and cultural issues,” says Mindaugas Glodas, CEO at NRD Companies.
NRD Companies will also prepare the technical requirement documents for the establishment of hardware, software and human capacity required to see SNBS through its digital transformation.3259