The NSDS central design team, in principle attached to the Technical Working Committee (TWC) (see CONSTITUENCY), should not be so large as to be unwieldy. The team, headed ideally by an NSDS coordinator, is a small operational co-ordinating group that provides technical backup to consultants and sectoral agencies and monitors progress. It will be the main implementing body conducting the studies, writing the reports, developing proposals, and driving the overall process. It could be assisted by consultants.
Design of sectoral strategies should be carried out by small specific teams (using national consultants if necessary for assisting) and should reflect the various parts of the NSS, including sectoral line ministries and decentralised structures of government; and comprise a mix of statisticians, analysts, and other users of statistics, as well as key actors engaged in related processes such as the Poverty Reduction Strategy or National Development Strategy. Identification of the design teams will be done when the sectoral working committees will be identified.
Many countries have found it helpful in the past to engage international consultants to advise their design team. International consultants can bring experience of similar processes, independence and the ability to ask difficult questions.They should not be hired to design or implement the NSDS but rather to facilitate its design and implementation and this should not detract from local ownership of the processes or local solutions to the issues. Use of consultants from other developing countries in the framework of a south-south co-operation process is advisable. However, the use of national consultants is strongly recommended.
Building the design team in practice
Who and When
In most countries, the National Statistical Office plays a nodal role in national statistics. It is therefore likely that it will play a key role both in the design and the implementation of the strategy and might provide the NSDS co-ordinator, accommodation, and administrative support to the team. However, countries may want to have a design team (and particularly the NSDS coordinator) directly attached to the Ministry in charge of statistics to ensure a better link with the policy aspects. Constitution of the design team should be done as soon as possible, ideally before the drafting of the roadmap.
A small flexible core team around the NSDS co-ordinator might be adequate, with additional people to address various aspects of design and specialist issues. It is important to think the process through to implementation and the core team might be expected to be involved beyond the design phases. It will be important to prepare terms of reference for the NSDS co-ordinator and the design team. Their role and tasks have to be clearly defined throughout the structure of the chosen constituency.