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PRESS RELEASE March 11, 2020

New World Bank Project to Strengthen India’s Statistical System

WASHINGTON DC, March 11, 2020 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved a $30 million project to support the Government of India’s efforts at strengthening and modernizing its statistical system by providing timely, relevant and high-quality statistics.

The National Program for Improving the Quality of Statistics in India will support the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (MOSPI) in modernizing survey data collection, enhancing the use of administrative data for producing statistics and in improving the user-relevance of statistical products with a strong emphasis on strengthening quality assurance mechanisms.  

“India’s rich digital footprint, rapidly advancing technology, and ever-changing economy are shifting the expectations that policy makers and citizens have from the country’s statistical system. We have seen similar rethinking about statistical systems in countries as diverse as the UK and Mexico,” said Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India. “In this context, the operation focuses on enhancing the efficiency, robustness, and responsiveness of India’s statistics. However, strengthening a complex statistical architecture like that of India requires a long-term engagement at the national and state level. This project is intended as a first of a broader engagement with union and state governments aimed at modernizing the management and governance of statistics in India - so that development programs can be better designed, efficiently targeted, and their impact effectively evaluated,” Ahmad added.

The project is closely aligned with MOSPI’s Five-Year Vision 2019-24, which aims to strengthen India’s national statistical system to provide real-time inputs for policy and stronger dissemination practices. Nationwide large-scale sample surveys that are conducted once every five years in India are important but insufficient to meet emerging demands. While surveys will always remain an important method of data collection in an economy with a large informal sector and with large variations in state administrative capacities, there are opportunities to both improve survey and non-survey data sources including administrative databases.

The introduction of multimodal data collection tools, use of administrative statistics to populate the National Integrated Information Platform (NIIP), and use of mapping and interactive tabulation and dissemination tools under the project, will support MOSPI’s vision of modernizing its statistical system.

“India has a long tradition for producing statistics based on scientific methods. However, its statistical system must evolve from collecting data through surveys mainly for government use to integrating data holdings across government, and sometimes the private sector; transforming that data into key indicators and analytics; and disseminating them to a broader and more diverse group of users. This project will focus on strengthening the national statistical system by supporting the government’s vision of achieving an effective, impartial, and coherent system that serves both national and local data needs,” said Thomas Danielewitz, Senior Economist and World Bank’s Task Team Leader for the Project. 

The $30 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a final maturity of 14.5 years including a grace period of five years.


New Delhi
Nandita Roy
Elena Karaban
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