IGAD / Djibouti - Establishing the user requirement specifications for a centralised statistical database in the IGAD Region to support evidence-based decision making
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) sought to establish a centralised statistical database for the IGAD region to collect, archive, share, analyze and visualize statistical information for evidence-based decision making. The IGAD region includes eight governments from the Horn of Africa, Nile Valley, and the African Great Lakes. The organisation’s mandate encompasses addressing natural disasters that cause famine, economic hardship, and food security and environmental protection issues. IGAD achieves its purpose by using a multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary approach to contribute more effectively to the attainment of resilient economies in the region, particularly in areas where the economic mainstay depends on primary production. As such, IGAD needs a well-functioning technological infrastructure and statistical database to ensure regular communication, coordination, and exchange of statistical information among members to mark progress.
A feasibility study on database management practices at IGAD found that the technological infrastructure and statistical database used had limited functionalities to efficiently support data generation, analyses, sharing, and archiving. This has affected the effective collection, storage, retrieving, and sharing of data within IGAD Secretariats and National Statistics Offices (NSOs). Many NSOs reported a lack of technologies and weak systems for data management and statistical data for decision-making. Nonetheless, IGAD and NSOs have used different software for storing and sharing data. With this study, IGAD established the need to build an IGAD statistical database management system using appropriate technologies in consultation with management systems to harmonise and share data in the IGAD region.
IGAD contracted Bewsys to identify and develop a user’s requirement specification to establish a centralised statistical database in the IGAD region. The Bewsys consulting team was tasked to research, analyse and determine the appropriate technology for data harmonisation and sharing, and system interoperability of existing databases. Working closely with the IGAD technical teams and other relevant stakeholders, the Bewsys consulting team reviewed existing management system solutions within IGAD, member states, and other stakeholders.
Additionally, thorough desk research was conducted to assess the different data/information management systems and study reports, and analyse the best-fit regulatory management information system to propose.
Based on the data collated, a satisfactory user’s requirement with detail technical specifications, recommendations, and roadmap for successful implementation was shared with IGAD in a comprehensive report. Mechanisms for the effective establishment of an IGAD Regional Centralised Statistics Database were outlined in the report. The report also suggested regulatory modules such as the report generation module. The report provided IGAD a detailed work plan for the proposed software highlighting capacity development and maintenance support.
The proposed solution submitted to IGAD by the Bewsys consulting team provided a clear roadmap for the IGAD region and NSOs to build a solution that improved communication, coordination and exchange of statistical data and information. This proposed data management system provides integrated statistical data for evidence-based decision-making. This helps IGAD to exercise its mandate effectively, promote economic cooperation, and prioritise humanitarian affairs. Additionally, the African continent will be a step closer to achieving sustainable cities and communities, zero hunger, decent work and economic growth, and partnership for goals.