This article was last updated on May 27, 2022
South Sudan National Bureau of Statistics today joined the rest of the world in the commemoration of the African Statistic Day in an effort to improve the data system in the country.
Addressing reporters at New Sudan Hotel in Juba, Deputy Chairperson of the National Bureau of Statistics, Mr John Machiek Achuoth, explained that the NBS was a data centre based in Rumbek during the war.
Achuoth said it was a data collection centre but after the CPA, it was transformed into South Sudan Centre for Statistics and Evaluation in Juba; but later on the name was changed from South Sudan Centre for Statistics and Evaluation into National Bureau of Statistics.
“From the start; the Bureau, which was from 2006 to 2008 was not really for collection of data as such but was meant to conduct the first census, which was conducted in Southern Sudan by then. Concurrently though, it was carrying out some small statistical survey to support the government of Southern Sudan,” he explained.
“The importance of the open data for today’s occasion is that we should have credible data in order to be able to make credible decisions intended to improve the livelihood of the people. For example, if the ministry of education wants to open schools, it cannot randomly do so unless they get some information about the population breakdown, such as school age amongst others. Data can help for proper planning for areas which need schools,” said Achuoth.
He added that the NBS has publications which are available and distributed free of charge. “We also have a website called South Sudan National Bureau of Statistics Website which can be access to get information.”
“This occasion is to make people aware of the availability of data in order for planners to make decisions. Whether you are an undersecretary, minister, private business person, you need some reliable information which we are here for”
Johnny Saverio, the deputy Chairman of South Sudan Anti Corruption Commission commented: “There can be no proper planning or development or policy making institution which can make policies without having appropriate data. We have to work very hard to avail the information and the necessary data,” he said.
“You cannot have a good system of governance unless you have reliable data collected and made available to the planners,” said Johnny.
Ismail Suleman, a representative of the funding organization, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFP), told Gurtong in an exclusive interview, that they made the day possible because it is a day Africa draws attention to the importance of statistics in planning. “It is the day celebrated in the whole of Africa to serve as an advocacy platform for public awareness and to make decision-makers aware of availability and accessibility of data.”