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By Veronica Kazimoto, Dar es Salaam

Tanzania has been ranked second, behind South Africa in statistical capacity among Sub-Saharan African nations. This is according to the World Bank (WB) 2016 Statistical Capacity Indicator (SCI).

WB has been assessing national statistical capacity in developing countries since 2004 and has produced overall SCI score as well as scores for three categories, Methodology, Source Data and Periodicity. Regional overall and specific category SCI are also produced to allow for comparison.

For every dimension, a country is scored against specific criteria, using information available from the WB, IMF, UN, UNESCO, and WHO.

A composite score for each dimension and an overall score combining all three dimensions are derived for each country on a scale of 0 - 100. A score of 100 indicates that the country meets all the criteria.

The statistical methodology aspect measures a country’s ability to adhere to internationally recommended standards and methods, by assessing guidelines and procedures used to compile macroeconomic statistics and social data reporting and estimation practices by looking at an updated national accounts base year, use of the latest Balance of payment, external debt reporting and IMF’s Special Data Dissemination Standard and enrolment data reporting to UNESCO.

On source data, this measures data collection activities in line with internationally recommended periodicity, and whether data from administrative systems are available and reliable for statistical estimation purposes and periodicity of population and agricultural censuses, the periodicity of poverty and health related surveys, and completeness of vital registration system coverage.

The third aspect concerned with the periodicity and timeliness looks at the availability and periodicity of key socio-economic indicators of which nine are MDG indicators.

Tanzania scored 90 percent for periodicity, 80 percent for source data and 50 percent for methodology which, contributed to an overall SCI of 73.3 percent. Although this overall score ranks Tanzania as second behind South Africa (82.2%) there is still room for improvements, especially in methodology.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is committed to continuing strengthening of the National Statistical System.
A graph showing Tanzania as a second country among Sub - Saharan countries in better statistical capacity. According to the World Bank report, Tanzania scored 90 percent for periodicity, 80 percent for source data and 50 percent for methodology which contributed to an overall of 73.3 percent.