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NSS Newsletter by gyvwpsjkko


									                                                  Towards a common goal: integration of national statistics

                                                NSS Newsletter
   January 2005             The National Statistics System in South Africa        Volume 4        Number 1

  “During the course of this year we will speed up the implementation of the comprehensive plan to
  improve the capacity of the National Statistics System, including Statistics SA.”

  Extract from Address of the President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, at the Second Joint sitting of the third
  Democratic Parliament, Cape Town, 11 February 2005

Colleagues,                                                   made towards producing Millennium
Welcome to                                                                            Goals Country
                                             NSS MILESTONES
2005 even if you                                                                      Report. Finally, we
have back at                                                                          highlight some of
                            Acknowledgement during the President’s speech at the
work for a while.                                                                     the challenges
                            Opening of Parliament on 11 February 2005
In this our first                                                                     impacting on the
edition in 2005                                                                       implementation of
                            Raised the profile of official statistics in South Africa
we report on the                                                                      the NSS and the
development of                                                                        way forward for
                            Partneships – 5 formal members: Department of
a strategic                                                                           2005.
                            Education, Department of Science and Technology,
three-year plan
                        CSIR, Province of KwaZulu-Natal, and Statistics South
for the NSS for                                                                             Please feel free to
the period 2005-                                                                            raise issues
06. Leo                                                                                     regarding the
                        Policy documents – (a) Institutional Framework for
Goldstone led                                                                               contents of this
                        Policy, Information and Planning, and (b) Certification             newsletter. The NSS
the construction
                        Framework for Official Statistics                                   stands to benefit
of the plan
during the                                                                                  from your ideas.
second half of          Development of a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework
                        to measure programme performance in the public service              We wish you a
January 2005.
                                                                                            productive 2005.
Secondly, we
include the             Framework documents on assessment of statistical
                                                                                            Yours in partnership,
views of the            capacity in selected departments, statistical capacity
NSS family              building, governance of the NSS, and a strategy for
                                                                                            J Akiiki Kahimbaara,
members in the          implementing the NSS                                                NSSD
Partners’                                                                                   Anisha Maharaj,
Corner. Thirdly,        Implementation of the Millennium Development Goals in               NSSD
we report on            South Africa
Stats SA’s
relations with other departments and                     Development of the                NSS Strategic
agencies, especially with regard to technical            Plan for 2005/7
support. Fourthly, we report on progress
                                                             The system of national statistics in South Africa is
                                                             characteristically fragmented irrespective of
                                                             institutional or geographical level. The NSS,

   NSS Newsletter, Vol. 4, No.1, January 2005           1                  National Statistics System
                                                          Towards a common goal: integration of national statistics

which is a process of integrating national                      (POA), the national Monitoring and Evaluation
statistics, has been put in place to address the                Framework, the government’s Medium Term
resulting challenges of inadequate coverage and                 Strategic Framework (MTEF), the priority themes
incoherence of data in the system. Stats SA has a               of the five FOSAD1 Clusters, the Strategic Plans
primary responsibility for producing statistics for             of Stats SA, Department of Home Affairs,
the state (economic statistics as well as censuses              Department of Education and Department of
of population), but much of the data needed to                  Health.
monitor development programmes by government
are compiled by the various departments and                     The report will outline specifically how the rest of
agencies according to their mandates. This is                   the departments should be included over time.
recognized in the Statistics Act (Act No. 6 of                  The strategy will take into account all national,
1999) that provides the mandate for statistical                 provincial, municipal and international data needs,
activities. The Act establishes the post of the                 including possible sources for such data. In the
Statistician General with a dual responsibility for             case of international data needs, the plan should
the management and operations of Stats SA, but                  give special consideration to Millennium
also for official statistics more broadly. It also lays         Development Goals. The strategy will include
the groundwork for the development of a national                capacity     development,      especially     human
statistics system.                                              resources including statistical skills and literacy,
                                                                as well as the financial resources that would be
The World Bank, through its Trust Fund for                      needed for its execution. In addition the
Statistical Capacity Building (TCSCB) grant, has                compliance to international good practice,
continued to support the development and                        especially on issues concerning data quality will
implementation of the NSS with technical                        be documented. The strategy will address the
assistance. So far there have been six missions                 important issues of data accessibility, noting that
to provide guidance on various aspects of the                   data are available in several different institutions,
NSS. The first mission developed a framework for                may be restricted for use, may have formats that
a statistical capacity audit of selected                        discourage access and coherence, may lack
departments. It recommended working with a few                  metadata, etc. In addition, the consultant should
departments. The second mission carried out an                  advise on scenarios for repository of data.
assessment of capacity according to the
recommendations of the first mission. However,                  Leo is an innovator in both statistical
the mission recommended even a fewer number                     measurement       and      classification systems.
of departments to work with. These were Home                    Regarding statistical measurement, he pioneered
Affairs, Education and Health. The third mission                UNESCO's World Culture Indicators (being
addressed issues of governance within the NSS.                  responsible for the statistics in its two World
The fourth mission proposed a framework for                     Culture Reports, 1998 and 2000); UNDP's Human
statistical training or capacity building in the                Development Indicators (being responsible for the
selected departments. The fifth mission advised                 statistics in its first five Human Development
the Statistician-General on governance issues                   Reports, 1990-94); the Under Five Mortality
although the mission report has not yet been                    Rate and Child Survival Index for UNICEF; and a
released. The sixth mission, by Leo Goldstone,                  series of disparity analysis approaches to
was completed very recently. The mission                        highlight inequities, like the Health for Wealth
focused on developing a three-year strategic plan               League, Female Disparity Index, Income
for the NSS. As might be expected, the mission                  Inequality Ratio, etc. With regard to classification
report is yet to be released.                                   systems, Leo designed the first International
                                                                Standard Classification of Education for
Leo Goldstone’s mission in the second and third                 UNESCO, which resulted in the development of
weeks of January 2005 was in part aimed to                      the now standard method of analysing
achieve mainstreaming of strategic plans of the                 educational wastage using an input-output ratio
policy areas of government, taking into account
particularly the government’s Plan of Action                    1
                                                                    Forum of South Africa’s Directors-General

NSS Newsletter, Vol. 4, No.1, January 2005                 2                 National Statistics System
                                                      Towards a common goal: integration of national statistics

approach. In addition, he developed a cohort                official statistics. Such statistics should be of high
coding system to generate the data.                         quality. Producers of statistics wishing to have it
                                                            designated as official statistics must belong to the
Leo has exceptional wealth of experience,                   NSS. In order to ensure the high quality statistics,
ranging from heading UNESCO’s Division of                   Stats SA, through HCD, will provide statistical
Statistics on Education, UNESCO, Paris, to being            capacity and support to these NSS partners.
a Senior Adviser to UNSD’s Director in New York,
among several other responsibilities. He has had            As the NSS family grows, there will be a need to
sufficient experience with statistics in developing         provide training for government departments at
countries to add value to the NSS. He was Senior            the national and provincial level. HCD has started
Statistics Adviser to Pakistan’s Ministry of                discussions with tertiary institutions with the
Education, and lives in Chile.                              possibility of providing such training.

                                                             Stats SA is required to develop statistical training
                                                            and development material and courses and it is
                                                            also required to coordinate training initiatives
                                                            across government. HCD will play a bigger role in
                                                            these initiatives.

                                                            Stats SA has just initiated an Internship
                                                            programme which is run by HCD and the Quality
                                                            and Methodology (Q&M) Division. As the number
                                                            of intakes grows, it is envisaged that some of
                                                            these interns will be utilized to build statistical
                                                            capacity in the government departments and
                                                            other NSS partners.

                                                            The year ahead 2005, by Charles Mokonoto,
Leo Goldstone                                               Statistical and Databases, Department of
                                                            Science and Technology
Partners’ Corner
                                                            In 2004 the then Minister of Science and
The role of HCD in the NSS by Professor                     Technology, the Honorable Dr B Ngubane
Mbhulaheni Nthangeni, Executive Manager,                    launched the results of the 2001-02 Research and
Human Capacity Development, Statistics                      Development (R&D) Survey that was conducted
South Africa                                                on behalf of the Department of Science and
                                                            Technology (DST) by the Human Sciences
The Human Capacity Development Division is                  Research Council (HSRC). The R&D Survey
responsible for developing capacity at Stats SA.            comprised surveys of resources (both human and
Stats SA has been mandated by government to                 financial) allocated to research and development.
establish the National Statistics System (NSS),             This particular survey was a first step in
through the NSSD. The NSSD has conducted an                 establishing a Science, Technology and
audit of some government departments in order to            Innovation Indicator System (ST&IIS) as
determine levels of statistical capacity. Building          envisioned by DST. In order to strengthen the
capacity in these departments will be the                   time series data, R&D surveys are now conducted
responsibility of HCD.                                      on an annual basis, with the questionnaire detail
                                                            varying in successive years from “R&D Lite” to
The Statistics Act (No. 6 of 1999) empowers the             “R&D Full-bodied”.
Statistician-General to designate any statistics
collected by Stats SA or other organs of state as

NSS Newsletter, Vol. 4, No.1, January 2005             3              National Statistics System
                                                         Towards a common goal: integration of national statistics

The 2003-04 R&D lite survey has been in                        processes. The NSS brings together data and
circulation since May 2004. It has taken only six              expertise from several government departments
months to complete the fieldwork as opposed to                 to produce these statistics and the indicators
eight in the previous survey. This is attributed to            generated from them, such as those for the
the improvement in respondents understanding of                Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
surveys of this nature and also to the field
workers’ acquisition of more experience over                   One of the strategic themes guiding Stats SA is
time. The Minister will launch the results of the              enhancing the quality of products and services,
survey in April 2005.                                          which explicitly calls for the development and
                                                               application of world-class quality standards,
We look forward to an improvement on Gross                     classifications, methods and systems, within Stats
Expenditure on R&D (GERD) when the results                     SA and across the NSS.
are released. According to the National R&D
Strategy, there is an aim to increase the                      Stats SA has initiated the Data Management and
GERD/GDP ratio to 1%. During the launch, a                     Information Delivery (DMID) project to build a
publication on “High Level Key Results” will be                data warehouse as a single repository for all of
distributed to all stakeholders.                               the statistical data and products of Stats SA. For
                                                               such a data warehouse to be viable, it is crucial
A Website on the National R&D Survey is                        that the products and their underlying data adhere
currently in operation as a link from the NACI                 to relevant standards; and to address this, one of
homepage. Interested parties are able to                       the five DMID sub-projects is Standards
download and manipulate data for their own                     Development.
specific needs. A report on the 2001-02 survey
can also be found on this site. The link can be                In terms of the Memorandum of Understanding
accessed                                   from                signed between Stats SA and the CSIR in                     September 2004, the CSIR’s Antony Cooper has
                                                               been assisting the DMID project team with this
Standards development by Antony Cooper,                        sub-project. The project team has been
Centre for Logistics and Decision Support,                     conducting interviews across Stats SA with the
CSIR, Consultant to the DMID Project                           Originating Components (the parts of Stats SA
                                                               that produce official statistics) to assess the
Common standards, definitions, classifications,                status of standards use within Stats SA. We found
indicators and methodologies enable statistical                that there are many standards being used within
data and information to be comparable, and                     Stats SA, some are formal standards adopted
hence facilitate sophisticated analysis (exploiting            from outside the organisation, but there are those
the integration of disparate data sets). These are             that need to be formally codified and recognised,
necessary preconditions for analysis, data                     and we are writing the methodology for standards
conflation,      quality     assessment,          and          development and implementation in Stats SA.
methodological evaluation, leading to better                   Hopefully, the methodology will be of use to other
quality statistical products. Using standards                  organisations within the NSS.
should also eliminate rework, enhance data
security and integrity and facilitate the retention of         Many of Stats SA’s products reflect the situation
old data sets – and especially the ability to still            in the country (economically, socially and/or
read them!                                                     demographically), and are then used for
                                                               comparing South Africa to other countries. For the
Similarly, standards are essential for the success             comparisons to be valid, such products need to
of the National Statistics System (NSS) in South               adhere to common standards produced by
Africa, which is providing official statistics to              international organisations such as the United
measure the performance of government and to                   Nations and its agencies. Examples are the
inform its planning and decision-making                        International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) General Data
                                                               Dissemination System (GDDS) and Special Data

NSS Newsletter, Vol. 4, No.1, January 2005                4              National Statistics System
                                                      Towards a common goal: integration of national statistics

Dissemination Standard (SDDS), used by                      The province seeks to consolidate the provincial
countries to provide economic and financial data            monitoring and evaluation system, including the
to the public. SDDS is used by countries wanting            identification of provincial development indicators.
access to international capital markets, and                A Geographical Information System will underpin
includes data such as the Gross Domestic                    data collection. To that end Stats SA is in a
Product (GDP), government debt, interest rates,             position to provide for the methodological
and exports and imports. GDDS is less                       expertise and data to improve capacity to inform
prescriptive than SDDS and in addition to the data          evidence based decision-making.
covered by SDDS, includes socio-demographic
data (population, health, education and poverty).           The identified areas for collaboration include:
Needless to say, both GDDS and SDDS are very                   • Data collection;
important to the NSS, because of the inputs                    • Geographical Information System; and
required for them from a range of government                   • Provision of a system of Addresses for the
departments.                                                       province

Unfortunately, these competing external demands             The above-mentioned areas will serve to
on Stats SA mean that Stats SA sometimes has                capacitate the roll-out of the Provincial Growth
to support multiple standards that duplicate or             and Development Strategy (PGDS). The province
overlap one another, often requiring the same               is currently involved in initiatives including the
data fields to be structured differently. For               Provincial GIS and the e-Government projects,
example, there are several standards for                    respectively. These projects are aimed at
metadata that Stats SA has to support, with some            improving the lives of the citizens in the province
containing mainly free-text fields and others               through the provision of data provided via the
mainly encoded fields. We anticipate that the data          implementation of science and technology
warehouse being developed by the DMID project               methods. The Province of KwaZulu-Natal has
will store the metadata using a highly codified             anticipated a mutually beneficial relationship with
metadata standard (such as ISO 19115,                       Stats SA.
Geographic information – Metadata, or its South
African implementation, SANS 1878, South                    Technical Support offered by Stats SA
African spatial metadata standard), because it will
be far easier to generate free-text metadata fields
                                                            Stats SA, through the NSSD, continues to provide
from encoded data, than the other way round.
                                                            technical support to national and provincial
Encoded metadata will also facilitate the support
                                                            government departments and organisations.
of multiple languages.
                                                            Trade and Investment Limpopo
MoU Between STATS SA and the Province                       A Stats SA task team continues to support Trade
of KZN: Agreement Set to Improve the                        and Investment Limpopo’s (TIL) provincial survey
Lives of Citizens in the Province by Shaun                  of businesses with project co-ordination and
Emslie, Office of the Premier: KwaZulu-Natal                project management. The project secretariat is at
                                                            Stats SA within the NSSD.
The formalizing of the Memorandum of
Understanding between Stats SA and the                      Department of Agriculture, KwaZulu-Natal
Province of KwaZulu-Natal will give rise to a new           Within the context of the recent MoU signed
level of co-operative governance between the                between Stats SA and the Office of the Premier in
state agency and the provincial government. The             KwaZulu-Natal, the provincial Department of
agreement serves to foster a deep sense of                  Agriculture has requested Stats SA for technical
synergy in terms of knowledge sharing to attain             assistance, which will be co-ordinated through the
best    practice    models     for     addressing           provincial Stats SA Office in Durban.
developmental and organizational challenges.

NSS Newsletter, Vol. 4, No.1, January 2005             5              National Statistics System
                                                       Towards a common goal: integration of national statistics

The National Youth Commission                                Department of Education
The NSSD has also provided technical support to              Final draft reports, one national and another on
the National Youth Commission and the                        KwaZulu-Natal, from the Educator Qualifications
Interdepartmental Task Team on Disability. The               Survey 2003 were submitted to the national
support has been in the form of data reviews,                Department of Education.
attendance to issues of data management and
setting up monitoring and evaluation (M&E)                   Stats SA is supporting the national Department of
systems. The support is to be continued in 2005.             Education with developing a model and providing
                                                             data on a poverty rates ranking of school feeder
Disability Sports South Africa                               areas. Stats SA (NSSD, Geography Division and
Disability Sports South Africa has approached the            the Poverty Unit in the Social Statistics Division)
NSSD for support with regards to data availability           and the Department of Education are
and has shown keen interest in and support for               collaborating with the Education Foundation on
the NSS. This project is still tentative.                    the project.
South African Cities Network                                 Due to the confidentiality clause in the Statistics
The NSSD has been very active in the work                    Act (No. 6 of 1999) data for the project cannot be
processes of the South African Cities Network                provided at enumerator area (EA) level.
(SACN). The NSSD has provided support at                     Accordingly, the Education Foundation is
workshops on issues relating to data, M&E and                grouping EAs into feeder areas for which Stats
indicator development. SACN covers six metro                 SA is generating data.
areas. A board, comprising representatives from
DPLG, SALGA and other organisations, has been
created to oversee the functioning of SACN. This             Millennium Development Goals
is a forum that maintains contact with the Local
government structures and allows Stats SA an                 In the previous edition of this newsletter we
opportunity to understand the data problems,                 indicated that South Africa’s Millennium
dynamics and needs of the Local Government                   Development Goals (MDG) Country Report
structures.                                                  (MDGCR) is to be nationally owned; which is to
                                                             say that the various interest groups in the country
National Treasury                                            are to participate in the report’s production. We
The National Treasury is working closely with the            also reported that, towards this end, Stats SA (the
JCPS Cluster regarding overcrowding in prisons.              lead agency) in collaboration with UNDP
National Treasury asked Stats SA to support the              (providing      technical     support)    contracted
project with statistics together with the                    consultants to produce a report on each of the 8
methodology used to produce the estimates. In                goals. First drafts of seven of the eight reports
addition, statisticians from both Stats SA and the           have been completed. Consequently a first draft
State Information Technology Agency have been                MDG Baseline Report (MDGBR) has been
tasked with examining potential problematic areas            compiled. The MDGBR has been distributed to
of definition arising between the Departments of             the first round of stakeholders for comments, after
Correctional Services, Justice and the South                 which the reports will be revised in preparation for
African Police Service.                                      a Technical Seminar sometime in March. The
                                                             report will be revised again to incorporate
                                                             recommendations from the Technical seminar,
Gauteng Premier’s Office
                                                             after which it will be submitted to a National
During December 2004 the NSS Division agreed
                                                             conference sometime in May. Another editing of
with the Gauteng Premier’s Office to collaborate
                                                             the report will follow, after which the report will be
on the process of identifying indicators in specific
                                                             submitted to the Social cluster for review. The
areas such as disability and governance. A
                                                             MDGBR will become a draft MDGCR once it has
technical workshop on these issues is scheduled
                                                             been revised, incorporating the recommendations
for the first quarter of 2005.
                                                             of the Social Cluster. The draft MDGCR will be

NSS Newsletter, Vol. 4, No.1, January 2005              6              National Statistics System
                                                       Towards a common goal: integration of national statistics

submitted to the July Cabinet Lekgotla for review            standards and sampling skills, as well as work
and final recommendations, after which the final             jointly with consultants and staff from the target
country report will be produced.                             departments to get the registers sorted out.
                                                             Goodwill requires a spirit of cooperation and
Challenges in 2005                                           willingness to support the NSS, whereby
                                                             managers need to release staff to support specific
In the January 2004 edition of this newsletter we            tasks within the NSS. There still is a genre of
identified as a challenge advocacy for the NSS               managers that appear to believe that they ‘own’
within Stats SA. The concept of a NSS has                    staff that report to them. The third challenge
gradually made some inroads in most of the                   concerns a business plan for the NSS. The
Deputy Director-General (DDG) Clusters. The                  challenge involves aligning the unique business
second challenge concerns consolidating the                  plans of stakeholders to address national needs.
gains the NSS has made so far. Excluding Stats               However, the biggest challenge is setting up
SA, the NSS family consists of 4 signed up                   governance structures for implementing the NSS.
members (as indicated on the front page of this              This is an issue we have begun to address but
edition). In addition to the four there are 2                will ultimately require a political solution.
potential members – Home Affairs and Health –
that are important elements in the NSS Strategic
Plan that need support with transforming or                  Contact:
restructuring their registers to appropriate frames.         Queries, comments or suggestions maybe
Consolidation requires capacity and goodwill at              directed to Khuli Kunene. E-mail address:
Stats SA. In terms of capacity we need senior      
statisticians for a given period dedicated to
provide technical support, especially with

NSS Newsletter, Vol. 4, No.1, January 2005              7              National Statistics System

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