Govt looks to Shs160b UN programme for quality, timely data

Data collection is an important aspect when it comes to planning. Photo / File 

What you need to know:

  • The three-year programme is envisaged to produce timely and quality data to support national budgeting and planning 

The Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos) in partnership with 11 United Nations agencies have launched a joint programme for collecting and analysing data and statistics in Uganda.

The three-year programme, which will cost $41.8m (about Shs160b), is envisaged to produce timely and quality data and statistics that will support national budgeting and planning as well as fast track the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals. 

Speaking at the launch in Kampala yesterday Ubos Executive Director Chris N Mukiza, said the programme, which started last year and runs up to 2025, was conceived to close several gaps that have persistently affected Uganda’s data ecosystem, among which include limited technical skills for compilation of new SDG indicators, inadequate financial resources to procure requisite equipment for data collection and analysis, and inadequate human resources to support MDAs.

“Quality data is a key prerequisite for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets. Similarly, the National Development Plan is reliant on quality statistics to inform government of its performance and where necessary to inform policy review or redirection of resources to achieve maximum economic gains. These efforts will hugely gain from the roll out of an implementation plan of this joint programme,” Dr Mukiza said.

Participating UN organisations include UNDP, UN Women, UNICEF, UNAIDS, WHO, UNCDF, UNGP,  FAO,  UNEP and IOM.

UN Resident Coordinator Susan Ngongi Namondo, said it took three years for the partner agencies to come up with the programme themed: ‘Timely and high-quality disaggregated data for efficient and effective development financing in Uganda.’

She, therefore, challenged the government to take a new approach towards data collection and utilisation through building synergies across its different ministries and departments for effective development.

State Minister for Finance (Planning) Amos Lugoloobi, said the initiative will revolutionise the national statistical system to tap into mainstreaming administrative and citizen generated data into the realm of official statistics.

“This initiative comes at a time when we are planning to conduct our 11th National Population and Housing Census. The results and outcomes from the Census undertaking should provide a firm baseline on which the monitoring of all major statistical indicators should be anchored,” Mr Lugoloobi said.

Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, in her speech read by First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Affairs Rebecca Kadaga, said the programme comes at a time when  government is implementing SDGs and various wealth creation projects that require data for effective planning and resource allocation.

“We, therefore, cannot wait longer to have the outcomes of this programme to support us manage the equitable allocation of resources and informing evidence based policy and decision making,” she said.

Ms Nabbanja, however, appealed to technocrats to make the programme user-friendly for various stakeholders such as local governments and the general public. “... in dealing with the phenomenon of statistical data, it is important that the data to be managed ... meets the basic tenets of good data,” she said.