The Statistical Master Plan

The Master plan for Statistical Development in Southern Sudan (MSDSS) is designed and developed through a long process, starting back in 2005 followed by a series of workshops, discussions and agreements. The document comprises three main parts: first, a presentation of general principles for a national statistical system, building upon international recommendations; second; a summary of the needs assessment, through review of policy papers and discussions with the various users (and producers) of statistics, and third; presenting the elements of a national Southern Sudan statistical system as agreed during the development process.

The work on the MSDSS started with the JAM process and the frame made by the CPA, the Interim Constitution, and the draft Statistical Act. This groundwork was followed up by a Statistical Needs Assessment activity supported by Statistics Norway followed by a Southern Sudan Commission for Censuses, Surveys and Evaluation (Commission) Brainstorming Workshop for Development of Statistical Master plan in Southern Sudan on 6th of June 2006, supported by UNDP. Based upon the discussions and agreement achieved at this workshop, a draft master plan paper presenting the various options for how to organize and prioritize the Southern Sudan national statistical system was prepared. This paper was distributed to stakeholders and served as the input for a new stakeholder workshop arranged by UNDP in cooperation with the Commission and technical assistance from Statistics Norway. The discussions and priorities made by the September and also in December workshop have then served as the base for developing a plan for the interim period and point ahead.

The master plan document addresses several issues that have been discussed during the stakeholder workshops and presents a plan accommodating the priorities and issues agreed upon during these workshops. The Master plan with cost estimates will serve as the basis for raising resources from the Government and donors.

Strategic issues include how to accommodate both the decentralization as agreed upon in the Interim constitution of the Southern Sudan and the need for common national statistical standards and methods. Both the need for decentralization of policy decisions and governance to sector level and to state level are addressed and combined with the need for common statistical standards, methods and approaches are addressed.

Even though the Commission will play a leading role in the National statistical system of the Southern Sudan, other institutions have essential roles in the system, such as the Bank of Southern Sudan and various line ministries. Hence how to organize the National Statistical system, the need for coordination and division of labor between the various elements of the system is accommodated in the master plan. Also the need for donor coordination and possible technical assistance to the management of the national statistical system in general and to the Commission in particular is discussed.

Various data sources are needed for statistical compilation, such as Censuses, sample surveys, administrative registers and records. The advantages and disadvantages of the data sources are discussed, and a summary table is presented. It is, however, concluded, that most of the administrative data in the Southern Sudan at present is of a low quality, in terms of coverage and timeliness, that the use of data collected by the Commission is preferable. This means basically sample surveys, even though the Commission also will have to carry out censuses to cover basic statistical needs for economic and agricultural data, in addition to the already planed Population census.

Needs Assessment is an important aspect of a Statistical Master plan. The needs assessment for the Southern Sudan comprises a document review and interviews. The document review is based on policy documents and plans originating from the peace process, and especially as contained in the Interim Constitution of the Southern Sudan. In addition, some statistical needs are originated from outside the Southern Sudan, such as some UN recommendations and the Millennium Development goals. The need for data to monitor poverty reduction strategies is particularly stressed. The interviews were done among some of the stakeholders using the Budget documents for 2006 and various sector plans as its point of departure.
It is obvious that not all the needs assessed can be met during the present planning period. Hence, some priorities had to be set. The priorities are based on the most urgent needs as expressed in the Interim constitution, the needs operationalized in the 2006 budget, the need for monitoring the MDG’s and poverty reduction strategies, as well as reflecting the data sources that are available. The need for user input is stressed.

A work program is then proposed, based on these principles. The work program, includes, in addition to the implementation of the Population Census, the implementation of an agricultural census and the planning of an economic enterprise census, some basic economic statistics like GDP-estimates and an urban CPI, as well as the planning of annual economic surveys, the establishment of an integrated household survey system with a core survey to be carried out annually, with various other surveys attached to it, as for instance the Household Budget Survey, the introduction of a community survey to be carried out regularly as a follow-up of the village listing form for the Census, providing data for poverty monitoring, MDG reporting, as well as on other cross cutting issues like gender and HIV/AIDS. The work program is outlined in Summary table 1.

The publications emanating from the statistics compiled are discussed. In addition to sector statistical publications, it is suggested that a Statistical yearbook be produced. A list of the proposed publications is shown in Summary table 2.

As initially stated, the document reflects discussions, priorities and agreements achieved in a series of stakeholder workshops. It is built upon the Statistical Act already prepared, but not yet legally approved.

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