Step 3.1 Assess the NSS capacity 

The NSS capacity assessment is an overall review of the availability and quality of:

  • systemic, institutional, and organizational resources, including financing, and
  • the infrastructure and governance mechanisms for statistics essential to the effective functioning of the NSS. 

The NSS capacity assessment should cover the three (3) levels of the NSS structure: the statistical personnel, the statistical organizations and governance mechanisms, and the overall, collective statistical system. The assessment should be guided by the UN National Quality Assurance Framework (2019) and PARIS21’s Statistical Capacity Development 4.0 Guidelines.

The NSS capacity assessment should be conducted as an NSS-wide exercise but may also be carried out for priority sectors or subject-matter areas.

There are existing tools for NSS assessment guide designed by PARIS21, development cooperation institutions, and/or international development agencies to gather information for country, development cooperation, or global monitoring initiatives. The tools used to conduct the NSS capacity assessment are usually questionnaires and consultation meetings. The NSO should initiate a basic (quick) assessment of the NSS preferably as part of the NSDS training workshop and choose an appropriate tool depending on available capacity and resources. Usually, this step and the next one are combined.

Concrete actions:

  • Conduct a desk review of all relevant policies and documents regarding institutional, legal, financial, technology, and human resources.
  • Include a quick assessment of the NSS in the NSDS training-workshop   using one or a mix of the following methods/approaches:
  • Evaluate recent NSS assessments (conducted during the current NSDS implementation period), if any, including NSDS monitoring and evaluation reports, NSS peer reviews    , and development partner and global monitoring and assessment reports, as well as the Country Report on Support to Statistics(CRESS)  , if any.
  • Decide if recent assessments are adequate to inform the statistical directions and priorities for the new NSDS under the consultation of the highest statistical authority and/or highest statistical body. 
  • Conduct an NSS capacity assessment, if deemed necessary, using an appropriate country tool/questionnaire (Capacity Development questionnaire) to be administered among all relevant NSS stakeholders, including NSO, other data producers, key users, and development partners.
    • Include an assessment of the financing of statistics or the NSS — recent, current, and planned government funding and external assistance, how domestic budget for statistics is allocated, coordination with development partners, especially the large-scale statistical activities like censuses, surveys, and key administrative data systems on population and demography, health, education, income and poverty, agriculture, among others, and issues and challenges.

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