The Lao Statistics Bureau and the World Bank today launched an initiative to upgrade the national statistical system and increase the use of key data in state planning and by independent researchers.
The Lao PDR Strengthening the National Statistical System Project will help the Statistics Bureau meet the increasing demand for quality data to support policy making and the monitoring and evaluation of government work. The project comes as real-time data is needed to support the country’s efforts to recover from the current macroeconomic crisis. Over the longer term, an integrated economic data system will help inform investment and fiscal policy decisions, as Laos looks to return to sustainable fiscal deficit and public debt levels.
“All governments, businesses, and development agencies need trustworthy data to make good decisions,” said World Bank Country Manager for the Lao PDR, Alex Kremer. “Those decisions can affect everyone's lives and livelihoods, so it’s vital that the data is of good quality and arrives on time.”
Despite recent progress, Laos still lags behind its neighbors in statistical performance. Improvement is needed in data dissemination and integration of the various information platforms used by government agencies. Global statistics surveys also suggest weaknesses in the collection of censuses, administrative and geospatial data, as well as in standards and methods for compiling statistics.
The project will strengthen institutional and project management capacity at the Lao Statistics Bureau, positioning it to lead improvements in the availability, quality, and use of statistics across government agencies. This work will help monitor progress towards the targets of the Ninth National Socio-Economic Development Plan and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Among other benefits, improved statistical capacity will enhance the availability of information according to gender and help track progress toward enhancing living conditions for women and girls.
“As Laos integrates further into regional and global trade networks and organizations, the economic landscape becomes ever shifting and increasingly complex,” said Mme Phonesaly Souksavath, Head of the Ministry of Planning and Investment's Lao Statistics Bureau. “In this context, data and evidence that can inform decision-making are more important than ever. This project will help the Statistics Bureau provide the international-standard statistics needed on economic activities, national accounts, balance of payments, fiscal affairs, and debt.”
The outcome of the project will be measured by the availability, quality, use, and re-use of core economic and socio-economic statistics. These include gross domestic product, consumer price index, balance of payments, population, and poverty data.
Last Updated: Oct 25, 2023