World Bank Group Launches Sudan’s Evidence Base and Data Literacy Program

January 17, 2016

KHARTOUM, January 17, 2016 — The World Bank launched the Sudan Evidence Base and Data Literacy Capacity Development Program. Funded by UKAid, delivered by the World Bank, and drawing on expertise from both organizations, the program – the first of its kind in Sudan – is meant to improve development outcomes through stronger evidence-based policy-making, program design, and monitoring.  This capacity development program commenced on January 10 and will continue through the coming eight months. 

“There is a recognizable need for reliable data in Sudan”, said Igbal Khalid of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. “We are pleased to start the first statistical and data literacy training course, which is the result of close collaboration between the Ministry of Finance, the World Bank and UKAid. I would also like to thank the World Bank for making possible this initiative toward building a strong economic model for Sudan.”

Good quality and reliable statistics and highly skilled statisticians are prerequisites for better and more targeted policy-making to respond to needs of the public – in particular the poor and marginalized – to ensure that no one is left behind.  The need for reliable evidence in fragile states such as Sudan is perhaps greater than anywhere else, toward the achievement of meaningful solutions to complex problems.  Through helping to close capacity gaps in data analysis, use, and re-use, as well as encouraging the adoption of a culture of data use for more inclusive social development and economic growth, the Sudan Evidence Base and Data Literacy Capacity Development Program aims to enable government statisticians at the national and subnational levels to increase the quality and accessibility of official statistics and contribute to the achievement of such solutions. 

The program is unique because it brings together data producers and data users -- including journalists, civil society, and academe – to transform complex public data into knowledge, to learn how to analyze data, and make it relevant for government decision-makers, and understandable to the public.

This initiative is timely”, said Xavier Furtado, World Bank Country Representative to Sudan. “In the coming months we expect to see the preliminary results of the National Baseline Household Survey and we know the government will move forward with preparing its full poverty reduction strategy. This kind of capacity is therefore essential. We understand that changes will not happen overnight. But, in addition to better quality data, the World Bank hopes that the Evidence Base Program will contribute to greater transparency and accountability in how public policy is debated and decisions are made.” 

The Sudan Evidence Base and Data Literacy Capacity Development Program builds on earlier World Bank assistance for improved data in Sudan and reinforces the Bank’s commitment to robust data generation and analysis as a driver of the global knowledge economy and to catalyze informed public policy and debate.

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