NSB to stream­line and strengthen sta­tis­ti­cal sys­tem

Business Bhutan - - Nation - Kr­ishna Ghal­ley from Phuentshol­ing

With di­rec­tives from the gov­ern­ment, the Na­tional Sta­tis­tics Bureau (NSB) is propos­ing to cen­tral­ize the Bhutan Sta­tis­ti­cal Sys­tem (BSS) by car­ry­ing out ma­jor na­tion­wide sur­veys and cen­suses for ef­fec­tive and ef­fi­cient pro­duc­tion and dis­sem­i­na­tion of of­fi­cial sta­tis­tics.

To pro­duce, main­tain and dis­sem­i­nate timely, re­li­able and rel­e­vant sta­tis­ti­cal in­for­ma­tion for pol­icy and de­ci­sion mak­ing in the coun­try, a need has been felt for stream­lin­ing and strength­en­ing the BSS.

Cur­rently, the sta­tis­ti­cal sys­tem in the coun­try is mostly a de­cen­tral­ized sys­tem, with in­di­vid­ual, min­istries, de­part­ments and agen­cies col­lect­ing and dis­sem­i­nat­ing their own data.

In many in­stances, there has been du­pli­ca­tion of ef­forts, whereby dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions carry out data col­lec­tion for data that al­ready ex­ist in some other or­ga­ni­za­tions, lead­ing to wastage of lim­ited re­sources. Also, due to the lack of proper co­or­di­na­tion, stan­dards, and def­i­ni­tions, many of the data col­lected are nei­ther com­pa­ra­ble na­tion­ally nor in­ter­na­tion­ally.

“The com­pre­hen­sive pro­posal to strengthen and stream­line the BSS is peer re­viewed, con­sulted and de­vel­oped with an ob­jec­tive to ad­dress the chal­lenges of data du­pli­ca­tion, re­li­a­bil­ity, in­con­sis­ten­cies, con­flict of in­ter­est, re­spon­dents’ bur­den and fa­tigue,” said NSB’s Plan­ning Of­fi­cer, Birkha Gu­rung,

He added that cen­tral­ized data pro­duc­tion and dis­sem­i­na­tion would not only en­sure in­ter­na­tional stan­dards, meth­ods, con­cepts and def­i­ni­tions but also make ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive use of lim­ited re­sources.

In the cen­tral­ized sys­tem, NSB will be the main cen­tral or­ga­ni­za­tion to carry out all the na­tional level sur­veys and cen­suses. How­ever, the re­spec­tive min­istries will con­duct the small-scale sec­tor spe­cific sur­veys and stud­ies. Agen­cies’ data upon clear­ance by NSB will be sub­mit­ted to NSB for data archival and dis­sem­i­na­tion pur­poses. NSB shall be the cus­to­dian of all sta­tis­ti­cal in­for­ma­tion col­lected through sur­veys, cen­suses and ad­min­is­tra­tive data.

The low­est level of ad­min­is­tra­tive sta­tis­ti­cal in­for­ma­tion will be com­piled and main­tained by the gewog ad­min­is­tra­tion, where a gewog data­base sys­tem will be es­tab­lished and man­aged by the Gewog Ad­min­is­tra­tive Of­fi­cer (GAO). The in­for­ma­tion from gewog ad­min­is­tra­tion shall flow to the Dzongkhag Sta­tis­ti­cal Of­fi­cers (DSOs) where they will val­i­date the data with rel­e­vant sec­tor heads and main­tain the over­all dzongkhag data­base sys­tem and will also sub­mit dzongkhag data to the NSB.

Mean­while, the GAO will co­or­di­nate with the DSO on all sta­tis­ti­cal mat­ters of the gewogs.

NSB will also co­or­di­nate di­rectly with the cen­tral gov­ern­ment or­ga­ni­za­tions, au­ton­o­mous agen­cies, cor­po­rate and pri­vate sec­tors for all data re­quire­ments for its reg­u­lar sta­tis­ti­cal pub­li­ca­tions and main­tain a data repos­i­tory for the coun­try.

The cen­tral­iza­tion of all na­tional level sur­veys will en­tail a year-round plan­ning, de­sign­ing, co­or­di­na­tion and train­ing. All ma­jor sur­veys have to be car­ried out at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals in or­der to have re­li­able and timely sta­tis­tics. In ad­di­tion to these sur­veys, there are other sur­veys that have to be car­ried out an­nu­ally to mon­i­tor the suc­cess in­di­ca­tors such as the An­nual Per­for­mance Agree­ments, Five Year Plans, and Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals.

With di­rec­tives from the Royal Civil Ser­vice Com­mis­sion, the NSB con­ducted a three-day con­sul­ta­tive work­shop from Novem­ber 21-23 in­volv­ing the rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers to re­view and fi­nal­ize the com­pre­hen­sive BSS pro­posal with fi­nan­cial and tech­ni­cal sup­port from the Part­ner­ship in Sta­tis­tics for De­vel­op­ment in the 21st Cen­tury (PARIS21).

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