REMARKS BY ENG. PETER O. MANGITI, PRINCIPAL SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF DEVOLUTION AND PLANNING DURING THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF THE KENYA NATIONAL BUREAU OF STATISTICS/STATISTICS SWEDEN STATISTICAL COOPERATION PROJECT, ON 23RD JUNE, 2015 AT THE HILTON HOTEL
Swedish Ambassador to Kenya,
Director General, Statistics Sweden,
KNBS Board Members;
Director General, KNBS;
Senior Government Officers;
Development Partners and Members of the Diplomatic corps;
Members of Press;
All Protocols observed;
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to be here this morning with you in this important day of launching the KNBS/SCB statistical cooperation project whose main objective is to strengthen the capacity of the KNBS and the National Statistical System (NSS) in Kenya to deliver relevant, reliable and timely statistical information.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Government is very much aware that statistics is a powerful and irreplaceable tool for decision making and the need for quality statistics to inform the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of various development programmes. Towards this end, the Government has developed a comprehensive Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework as a key component of the strategy. The effectiveness of the M&E process depends on availability of timely, reliable and accurate data which in turn aids transparency and accountability.
These statistics will, no doubt, come from different sources within the National Statistical System including Government Ministries and Departments, Public Sector Institutions and the KNBS being the main agency responsible for Official Statistics. The Bureau is expected to play a greater role than before in the development of official statistics in line with the UN Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics. It will have to develop standards, promote best practices and coordinate the entire National Statistical System to ensure that reliable statistics are produced for better planning, policy formulation, and monitoring and evaluation activities.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Government is well aware that for the Bureau to respond to these challenges the institution needs to be strengthened, thus with the support of our development partners the Government is currently investing heavily in the development of our National Statistical System. This is to enable the system to respond to the unprecedented increases in demand for quality statistics in the country.
We are well aware that Official Statistics is a “public good” provided by the government and prudent management of a modern state is not possible without reliable statistics. No country can have quality statistics unless it has a well functional National Statistical System and robust National Statistics Office, with skilled staff and well resourced. It is, therefore, the intention of my Ministry to ensure that the reform agenda outlined in the KNBS Strategic Plan is fully implemented. This will enable the Bureau to be efficient and responsive to user needs, and the profile of statistics is raised in government. While the status of the Bureau is crucial, internal efficiency and effective management will remain key feature of our NSS.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Inadequate resources restrain output and undermine the quality, efforts therefore must be made to mobilize adequate resources to finance identified statistics programmes and maintaining statistical infrastructure and routine data collection activities. Human resource development is crucial to the development of statistics capacity in the country, continuous training and re-training as part of skills development will need to undertaken to enhance the technical capacity of the officers to undertake certain crucial activities. On data quality, available international frameworks such as the United Nations Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics and IMF’s Special Data Dissemination System framework can be used to improve the quality of our national statistics and use of “best practices” and appropriate methods in data production and dissemination processes must be encouraged. I am happy to note that through this project, all these issues will be addressed.
This project that we are launching today, will enable KNBS and other Kenyan statistics producers improve their institutional capacity to deliver relevant, reliable and timely statistical information to meet the needs of Kenyan users within public and private sector. Furthermore, this will ensure that the KNBS and the NSS are working according to sound statistical methods and practices in line with international standards. I would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to SIDA and Statistics Sweden (SCB) for the support in this project. I assure you of Government’s total commitment to enable this project succeed.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our expectation is that with a sound Bureau in place and a reinvigorated National Statistical System that is properly coordinated, the government and other stakeholders will have access to quality statistics (accurate, consistent, timely) to track progress being made towards meeting our development goals and targets on poverty reduction, job creation, housing, agricultural production, health, education, transport and communication among others. It will also be possible to monitor the emerging trends and to ascertain what are the causes responsible for any deviations and remedial measures put in place.
On behalf of Government of Kenya and my Ministry I would like to take this opportunity once again to express our appreciation to all the other development partners for supporting the development of statistical capacity in Kenya, the private sector and Kenyans on their role in our National Statistical System as users and suppliers of information.
Lastly, I and my entire Ministry have a firm commitment that new opportunities for cooperation in statistical development shall continue to evolve and strengthen. This is in particular reference to collaborative arrangements with research institutions, public universities, development partners and other stakeholders to widen frontiers towards assimilation of statistics and information technology in economic planning and development
It is now my singular honour and pleasure to officially launch the KNBS and Statistics Sweden (SCB) statistical cooperation project.