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Population data management key to sustainable development – Chiteme

Government says it will continue to seek innovative ways of enhancing the national statistical system and strengthen the country’s digital data capacities to accelerate attainment of sustainable development of Zambia in collaboration with its development partners
Speaking at the 3rd China-Africa Conference on population and development in Accra Ghana, co-organised by the Governments of Ghana and China in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Alexander Chiteme said the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have renewed interest in the quality and availability of data for the management and monitoring progress towards sustainable development.
“Without reliable and easy to understand data on where people live, what services they can access, or how much they earn, it is impossible to respond to the populations’ needs. Critical to this is strong statistical systems that can measure and incentivise progress across the goals,” Mr. Chiteme said.
“Governments and their partners have more opportunities than ever before to collect and produce high-quality data providing the right information on the right things at the right time, and in ways that are accessible to everyone.”
Mr Chiteme said Zambia has enacted the Statistical Act that harmonises the national statistical system by creating linkages between survey/census data, administrative data and civil registration and vital statistics.
He said the Act would also enhance the capacity of the system to meet all data needs of the Government and its stakeholders in the implementation of the SDGs, Seventh National Development Plan and Zambia’s Vision 2030.
The Minister explained that the Government has undertaken the sub-national analysis of key indicators.
“In Zambia, data has been analysed at the lowest level of administration, the Ward level, which is used to inform priority setting in order to take development as close to the people as possible,” Mr. Chiteme said. “Through sub-national analysis of available data, countries are able to focus their limited resources in addressing hotspots and the most marginalized communities, thereby ensuring that no one is left behind.”
The Minister informed the delegates that Zambia will for the first time use digital means in the 2020 Census of Housing and Population.
He said this enhance efficiency, will be cost-effective and provide the country with geospatial data that will make development planning much more efficient and evidence-informed.
The Minister also announced that Zambia will host the 5th Ministerial Conference for Civil Registration in October this year.
“A well-functioning civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) system registers all births and deaths and compiles and disseminates vital statistics. This information system is critical for key national decision-making processes. Despite the well-documented benefits of CRVS most countries including Zambia do not have adequate systems in place,” said Mr. Chiteme. “The Government of Zambia in collaboration with development partners has prioritized the strengthening of the CRVS system as a key component of the national statistical system.”
The Minister said sustainable development can only be attained when it is people-centred.
The Conference has brought together Government officials, academics, experts, civil society professionals across Africa and China to exchange ideas and experiences in population data management, universal access to reproductive health and the attainment of sustainable development

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