PS Opening remarks

 

 

Opening Remarks

on the

National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS II) Validation Workshop

 

PS – Ministry of Development Planning

 

Date: 8th April 2021

Venue: Avani Lesotho, Maseru

 

 

 

 

Allow me to start my opening remarks by paying respects to:

HIS MAJESTY KING LETSIE III;

The Right Honourable the Prime Minister;

Honourable President of Senate;

Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly;

President of the Court of Appeal;

Her Ladyship the Chief Justice;

Honourable Deputy Prime Minister;

Honourable Ministers;

Honourable Judges of the High Court;

Exellencies Heads of Diplomatic Missions and international Organisations;

Senior Government Officials;

Heads of UN Agencies and Deputy Heads of Missions;

Heads of Parastatals, Private Sector, Civil Society Organisations, Non- Governmental Organisation and the Media;

Ladies and Gentlemen

It gives me great pleasure to officiate at this very important workshop on the validation of National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS II) Assessment exercise that was undertaken a few months ago. I am also very grateful to all of you to have taken time to participate in this validation workshop despite your busy schedules and the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic situation.

Ladies and Gentleman

Let me emphasize the importance of data for reporting, monitoring and evaluation of development agenda, in particular the NSDP II and other international frameworks such as Agenda 2030 (SDGs), Agenda 2063 and the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP).  According to the 2017 Diagnostic report of the Lesotho Data for sustainable Development project, data is available to monitor 53 per cent of the SDGs; this means therefore that close to half of the data required is not available.  You will then agree with me that we are still a long way from our destination.

Ladies and Gentleman

Users’ demand for statistics varies greatly in use of statistics according to their purpose, their literacy capacity and data typology. User needs cannot be properly met unless these have been properly identified, synthesized, understood and prioritized. It is important to emphasize that users invariably have a long list of statistical needs, and that every effort should be made to guide them to identify their priorities. Therefore, a review of both current and potential data demand should be undertaken, to establish the link between user needs to statistical outputs to prioritize.

Ladies and Gentleman

It is upon this backdrop that the Government of Lesotho (GoL) through the Ministry of Development Planning has embarked on the development of a National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS II) towards the strengthening of the National Statistical System (NSS) that will efficiently provide comprehensive, reliable and timely statistics for the effective management of development outcomes and sound decision making. The NSDS covers the entire NSS within Lesotho.

You may recall, Ladies and Gentleman, that NSDS was initiated in 2004 by Marrackech Action Plan for Statistics (MAPS) for all low-income countries to develop and implement NSDS in time to produce better statistics for national and international use and for the 2010 Millennium review.

NSDS is a framework for strengthening statistical capacity across the entire NSS for result-based management. It is a 5 – year plan covering all sectors, presenting priorities for statistics and building capacity required to meet the priorities in a more coordinated and effective manner.

Ladies and Gentleman

As you may all be aware, implementing the NSDS is expected to improve the coordination and production of quality statistical information in the country. The strengthening of the statistical production and dissemination of information goes in harmony with transparency and good governance.

Ladies and Gentleman

The NSS, particularly Bureau of Statistics (BOS), has been overwhelmed by requests for data, statistical services and information.  The development of NSDS II will enable the NSS to  modernize  by  using  new  technologies  and  new  data  sources(administrative data, big data and Geospatial data)  in an effort to  maximize  efficiency,  so  as  to  provide  the  data  and statistics for monitoring national priorities.

Ladies and Gentleman

Lesotho started the development and implementation of NSDS I between 2006/07 and 2016/17. We are glad to mention that through implementation of NSDS I the stakeholder’s relationships and coordination we have been longing for improved. This implies that all players (providers, producers and users) are now aware of their roles in ensuring availability and use of relevant, timely and quality data. Also important is availability of disaggregated data by special groups of women and children, people living with disability and the youth to mention a few.

I should also mention that as part of the NSDS design process Sectors will develop their own Sector Statistics Strategic Plans, prepare implementation plans, work plans and budget for statistical activities with the guidance of the National and International Consultants and the NSDS Team from BOS.

Ladies and Gentleman

The value of statistical data is greatly enhanced if indicators and other statistics can be compared, for example, between sources, overtime, or between locations. This requires considerable coordination and harmonization in the way these data are collected, compiled and disseminated.

Ladies and Gentleman

Allow me now to thank our development partners, particularly PARIS21 for the support in the development of the NSDS II. Their efforts can never go unnoticed and we hope for the same if not better, collaboration in the near future.

It is my hope that this validation workshop will yield results that will assist in the development and implementation of the NSDS II for the betterment of the country.

With these few words it is my singular honour to declare this workshop officially opened.

Thank you

KHOTSO!                     PULA!                   NALA!

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