Malawi launches SHaSA on Governance, Peace and Security Statistics

Dec 9, 2013

Participants doing group work during the workshop. Photo: Steve kamponda, UNDP Malawi

The Malawi National Statistics Office (NSO) has launched the Strategy for the Harmonization of statistics in Africa (SHaSA) on Governance, Peace and Security (SHaSA-GPS) pilot project in Malawi.

The function was presided over by the Commissioner of NSO, Mr. Charles Machinjiri in Blantyre in the presence of several representatives from government and the civil society. UNDP, which is technically and financially supporting the project was represented by the MDGs Advisor, Mr. Patrick Kamwendo.

SHaSA is a joint initiative by the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (ADB) and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA) to harmonize statistics across the continent. One of the areas for this harmonisation is Governance, Peace and Security (GPS) which is important for Africa as the continent is generally faced with the challenges of good governance and peace and security.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Machinjiri highlighted the importance of having relevant statistics on governance in the continent.

“In the light of the challenges relating to proper management of public affairs and the concerns about peace and security within Africa, there is an absolute need for relevant statistics, in order to be able to track and report on government action.

“This launch and technical workshop draws together all the key stakeholders involved in the areas of governance, peace and security, and they illustrate an essential part of NSO’s commitment to making the SHaSA project a collaborative effort and to ensure that the results from the SHaSA in Malawi are used in improving programmes,” said Mr. Machinjiri.

Apart from the political strife in North African states in 2011, the rest of the continent has had its fair share of governance and peace issues with Malawi currently challenged to deal with unprecedented abuse public office by government officials.

These situations have put the need to implement the SHaSA on GPS into the right perspective. At least, the initiative will ensure that African countries have official monitoring systems that supply governance, peace and security data to national policymakers to create effective peace architectures across the continent.

In Malawi such data will be very useful particularly in the Democratic Governance sector which hopes to improve and harmonize all initiatives aimed at advancing democratic principals in the country.

Mr. Kamwendo reiterated the importance of this data in implementing the Democratic Governance Sector Wide Approach (DGSWAp) particularly in terms of monitoring and evaluation.

“Assessing and judging the progress made in the result areas of the Democratic Governance Sector Strategy shall require continuous availability of data. This underscores the importance of this project on Governance, Peace and Security Statistics as a critical avenue to get statistics that shall be used to monitor progress made in the sector.”

Implementation of the project will start in early 2014. Modalities for collecting the GPS data in the country will include attaching an add-on module to the annual Welfare Monitoring Survey.

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