The Human Development Report Office (HDRO) in partnership with the Regional Bureau for Africa (RBA) collaborated on a statistical capacity building initiative to support Human Development Report (HDR) teams and partners on human development measurement issues - through a Regional Technical Workshop on Measuring Human Development.
The first of two regional workshops in Africa was held at the Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi on 24-26 September, 2007. The workshop followed the publication of a Statistical Primer on HD Measurement which was a key reference during this workshop.
Since the first HDR was produced in Bangladesh in 1992, over 600 sub-national, national and regional HDRs have been produced in more than 140 countries or regions. HDRs are a unique, nationally owned product, written by national experts. The HDRs often contain data not previously published. They help meet the demand for collection, analysis and dissemination of statistical data needed to monitor the Millennium Development Goals and other human development objectives.
Evidence based on discussions with HDR teams in Sub-Saharan Africa indicate in particular a need for support on human development measurement issues, focusing on: (i) increased use of disaggregated data to foster evidence based, people-centred planning, and (ii) enhanced rigour of human development analysis on which policy proposals are based.
In response to this need for increased statistical support, HDRO in collaboration with RBA organized a Regional Technical Workshop on Measuring Human Development in sub-Saharan Africa, which aimed to increase understanding on the use of statistics for human development policy planning.
The main objective of the workshop was to contribute to increased quality and impact of HDRs in the region. The idea was to encourage innovative measurement work whilst adhering to statistical standards. Through technical guidance, substantive exchanges and the sharing of experiences the workshop sought to develop the competencies to promote and advocate for human development policies based on reliable data. The scope of the workshop was to build on the outcome of the 2005 regional HDR workshop held in Zambia, and to delve deeper into the issues of human development measurement.
The Regional Technical Workshop on Measuring Human Development drew directly on the contents of the Primer on Measuring HD. The Primer follows the lines of the HDR Toolkit, providing guidelines, basic statistical principles, country examples and concrete tools. The Regional Technical Workshop addressed issues related to the human development composite indices, use of statistics and indicators, methodological and data challenges, and ultimately to contribute to the ongoing evolution of human development indicators to better capture country-specific situations.
The Regional Technical Workshop aimed to:
This initiative was a face-to-face community-building initiative for members of the HDRStats-net. A range of stakeholders involved in the preparatory process of the HDR (not limited to statisticians) were invited to present the experience in their countries, and in particular related to solutions used to address unique data challenges. In support of UNDP's knowledge networking objectives, to solidify our global community of HDRStats-net members, and to ensure cross-regional sharing of experiences, participants from other regions were also invited.
This workshop was intended to be the first of a series of two workshops targeting countries seeking statistical support in the region. Given the need to target a select number of countries in order to make allowance for a variety of stakeholders to attend the workshop from each country, this first meeting involved about 20 countries from Sub-Saharan Africa. Given that the second workshop will include francophone countries, HDRO in collaboration with RBA translated the Primer into French prior to this second meeting.
The workshop brought together approximately 60 representatives from these countries, including:
The workshop was conducted over a three day period of both plenary and smaller breakout sessions held simultaneously (see Agenda). Discussions focused on the following issues:
Mary Ann Mwangi
Human Development Report Office, UNDP
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