The design of the Zanzibar Strategy for the Development of Statistics (ZSDS) aimed to respond to concerns raised by key stakeholders and especially data users about the scope, quality, timeliness, access to and gaps on data and statistics. All these concerns have constrained their work of policy making, planning and decision-making. It also aimed to address weaknesses in the Zanzibar Statistical System (ZSS) including inadequate statistical legislation, coordination, infrastructure and capacity to meet the ever-increasing data needs in Zanzibar. Therefore, the overarching objective of the ZSDS is to modernize, transform and further professionalize the ZSS so that it can better respond to current and future data needs and also better coordinate and develop the ZSS.
The specific objectives of the strategy are to:
i. Set strategies and priorities that guide ZSS operations in line with the Statistics Act and increasing demand for statistics;
ii. Provide a framework for coordination and supervision of various actors in the ZSS as enshrined in the Statistics Act;
iii. Provide a basis for supporting budgetary processes, resource mobilization and allocation for ZSS operations in the next five years;
iv. Provide a basis for ZSS organizational policies, guidelines, and framework for statistical development;
v. provide for infrastructure development and capacity building including staff training;
vi. improve data production, infrastructure and access and use of the statistics;
vii. set benchmarks for performance management by producing indicators for monitoring progress and impact of national policies, strategies, and programs in the next five years; and
This ZSDS builds on the ongoing data initiatives and aims to consolidate the existing ZSS data/statistical production efforts with the aim of improving data quality, uptake and use.
The process of designing the strategy took into account the internal strengths and weaknesses plus the external opportunities and threats to the ZSS as well as the challenges that impede the day-to-day operations of the system and highlights key interventions for its implementation. The design of the strategy has taken place at a critical time when the statistical landscape is changing in many ways including the following, among others:
i. Changing nature of the economy: movement towards digital economy and greener economy (socio-economic and environmental);
ii. Unprecedented increase in demand for development data: scope, quantity, quality and disaggregation;
iii. An emerging data ecosystem: involving expanding and diversifying ZSS to include new data users, data producers and sources of data;
iv. Emergence of new and non-traditional data sources: (e.g. Big Data and data analytics, data from civil society);
v. Enhancing partnerships for development data;
vi. Ascendancy of new innovative and data technologies: Data Science, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML);
vii. Leaving no one behind: adoption of the “Data revolution” for sustainable development,
viii. Open data: movement that aims to advance government data transparency, and
All these call for innovation, modernization and transformation of the ZSS in line with international trends, recommendations and guidelines including the “Data Revolution” and the Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data (CTGAP).
The ZSDS is a comprehensive framework for building statistical capacity across the ZSS and meeting data needs in a comprehensive and robust manner. In particular, it is a framework to:
i. better coordinate the ZSS;
ii. address statistical challenges;
iii. mobilize and prioritise the use of resources;
iv. integrate (mainstreaming) statistics within national policy and planning processes;
v. introduce and manage change (no longer business as usual);
vi. herald the “data revolution” into the country.
In order to achieve the national vision and mission on statistics and to address the weaknesses and threats to ZSS, the following four strategic goals have been identified to by achieved by the Zanzibar Strategy for the Development of Statistics.
Goal 1: Institutional and organizational development with the expected outcome of having more effective and responsive Zanzibar Statistical System
Goal 2: Strengthened capacity for statistical production with the expected outcome of producing high quality and accessible statistics
Goal 3: Improved statistical production and data management with the expected outcome of building more efficient and effective data systems
Goal 4: Enhanced data dissemination, communication and use with the expected outcome of creating greater access to and use of statistics.