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    Relevant, timely and accurate statistical information is essential for effective planning, policy formulation, protocol monitoring and decision-making in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

    The overall aim of the SADC Regional Statistical Programme is to bring together comparable and current data and information focusing on economic, social and other cross-cutting issues pertaining to the SADC region.  A Regional Strategy for Development of Statistics has been developed to serve as a tool for the coordination, harmonisation and dissemination of statistics using best practice and for mobilisation of requisite resources.  

    In order to gather statistics on important themes at the desired level of accuracy the following initiatives are in place through the Regional Statistical Programme:

    • The harmonisation of statistical concepts, definitions and methods among Member States;
    • Coordination of regional statistics development programmes and projects on themes such as National Accounts, Trade, Population, Prices, Gender, Agriculture, Education, and Employment;
    • Customisation of international and other regional statistical classifications, definitions and standards in SADC;
    • Capacity building and training for National Statistical Systems; and
    • Collection, processing, storage and dissemination of National statistical data and collation into relevant and reliable regional statistics;
    • Development of regional statistical databases.

    The implementation of the SADC Statistics Programme is generally overseen and guided by the SADC Statistics Committee. The Committee is comprised of Heads of National Statistical Offices of the Member States and is responsible for the provision of policy and strategic guidance regarding development of statistics in the region.

    The SADC Statistics Programme is implemented under the Policy, Planning and Resource Mobilisation Directorate.

    Taking Action on Statistics Training

    Statistics are critical in monitoring and evaluating the SADC Programme of Action and the Regional Integration process. The critical functions of statistics in these programmes and processes are being realised through a number of projects including the Regional Statistics Training Project. This project is the main vehicle for statistical capacity building and harmonisation of statistics in SADC. The Regional Statistics Training strategy which has been developed under the project spells out priority areas for training in official statistics including key aspects for harmonisation of statistics within the region. For information on other projects visit the SADC Statistics Committee site.

    Planning for Improved Regional Statistics

    The SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) identifies Statistics as one of the Cross-Cutting Issues. The Plan also stipulates the critical four key “intervention areas” in statistics that need to be focused on in the 15 years implementation framework:

    • Development of a legal framework in statistics – consider the development of the SADC statistics Protocol and/or development of relevant Memoranda of Understanding. These instruments can facilitate compliance regarding the production, processing, analysis, dissemination, accessing and archiving of regional statistical data and information.
    • Harmonisation of Statistics in the SADC region – includes 
    1. Definition of subject matter areas for statistics at the SADC regional level;
    2. Standards including concepts and definitions, classifications and methodology development for statistics at the SADC regional level; and 
    3. Formulation of an implementation strategy for harmonisation of regional statistics.
    • Provision of relevant statistics for regional integration – includes 
    1. Development of information exchange mechanisms between SADC Secretariat and producers in Member States;
    2. Development of relevant indicators for monitoring and evaluation of regional integration;
    3. Development of an integrated regional statistical database; and
    4. Accessibility to quality statistics.

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