APHRC marks the ratification of the African Charter on Statistics by 16 countries on May 21. The Charter is a legal instrument to regulate statistical activity and also as a tool for advocacy and the development of statistics in Africa. Its ratification represents positive momentum towards initial recommendations of APHRC and the Center for Global Development, who teamed up to address major data challenges facing Africa through the Data for African Development (DFAD) Working Group.
The working group is working to identify the underlying political economy issues related to the collection, analysis and use of data for policy-making. Their final report and recommendations for improving data for development in Africa will be available in July 2014 at http://aphrc.org/publications/.
The APHRC-CGD Data for African Development Working Group has focused on three strategies to align incentives and accountability system-wide (covering all statistics producers) in support of core statistical functions with quality, timeliness and openness; enhancing independence and budget stability of NSOs; bringing data quality checks and balances into play for performance and sectoral administrative data; and encouraging the adoption of open data policies.
In addition to the ratification by the 16 countries, the National Parliaments of Burundi, Ethiopia, Togo and the Kingdom of Lesotho have also recently adopted the charter. The ratification of the African Charter on Statistics is both a great milestone and a major direct policy impact from the DFAD Working Group.