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World Bank Supports Strengthening National Statistics in Kazakhstan

July 12, 2012

New project will help generate reliable, relevant, and timely statistical data to monitor fast country development and support efficient decision making.

ASTANA, July 12, 2012 – Today, the World Bank jointly with the Agency of Statistics of the Republic of Kazakhstan officially launched the “Strengthening the National Statistical System of Kazakhstan” (KAZSTAT) Project with a total budget of US$22.81 million aimed at improving the country’s statistical capacity in line with the internationally validated methodology and best practices.

Good data combined with knowledge and experience and augmented by new technologies, have the capacity to accelerate the development process,” said Sebnem Akkaya, World Bank Country Manager for Kazakhstan. “The key expected result of this five-year-project is an improved national statistical system to provide data that can inform the decision-making process and help the Government monitor progress towards national development goals.”

Although the best national statistical system in Central Asia, there are number of areas where Kazakhstan will benefit from improvement of the system to effectively and efficiently monitor progress. The long-term vision of the Agency of Statistics is to produce and disseminate a growing variety of data that meets user needs and informs decision-making process within the government and data-users community.

“This will be accomplished by continually striving to improve the quality and relevance of the data that in turn will require upgrading the skills of specialists, gradually empowering them to make judgments about the data that they produce and use - emphasized Alikhan Smailov, Chairman of the Agency of Statistics of the Republic of Kazakhstan.As a result of the project, it is envisaged that the level of user satisfaction with quality statistical data will increase up to 80 per cent and the time spent by businesses submitting statistical report forms to reduce by 40 per cent.”

The World Bank’s Statistical Capacity Building Program (STATCAP), which is designed to enable countries to make significant investments in statistical capacity, will provide a framework for a comprehensive approach and streamline processing procedures.

The KAZSTAT project will help improve institutional framework by upgrading the conceptual, methodological, and analytical capacity of the national statistical system. The existing Law on Statistics will be supplemented by regulations and bylaws to identify concrete mechanisms for cooperation between government agencies and for access to databases. The project will improve information technology, communication systems and physical infrastructure. The information systems of the Agency will be integrated with the databases of other government authorities. Key elements of the statistical infrastructure - registers, classifications, standards and methods – will be enhanced. The project will also establish a user-producer dialogue through a more coherent and comprehensive approach to data dissemination and application of marketing policies.

“Achievement of project objectives will help reduce the cost of information supply, increase the demand, and make coordination of statistical activities, financing, and execution more effective,” said Mustafa Dinc, Senior Economist/Statistician, World Bank Development Economics Data Group.

To facilitate support to project implementation from various government agencies and ministries, an inter-agency Coordination Working Group has been established to oversight project implementation.

The World Bank’s overall mission in Kazakhstan is to help the Government achieve diversified and inclusive economic growth, increase country’s competitiveness, and safeguard the environment to the benefit of people of Kazakhstan. Since 1992, the World Bank has become a major development partner with commitments of US$ 6.7 billion for 40 projects.

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