Exploration of Best-Practice Schemes in the Financing of National Statistical Agencies in Regions from which African Countries can Draw Beneficial Lessons

Poverty alleviation is at the forefront of the global development agenda. However, in its quest for sustainable development, Africa is lagging behind the rest of the world, with increasing numbers of poor people, a lack of schools, and inadequate access to water and basic health care. As a result, there is an increased demand for quality statistics to evaluate and monitor progress towards internationally and nationally agreed development agendas: the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) the Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRSs) and ongoing programmes, such as NEPAD. Information is the basis of knowledge and therefore enhances wisdom in taking appropriate actions and correct decisions on issues of development and human progress. Sound and transparent statistics are essential for evidence-based policy-making. This implies that decision-makers have the capacity to identify those in need and to direct investments in infrastructure and services where they could have the greatest impact. It is now recognized internationally that better statistics are an essential part of an enabling environment for development.