PARIS21 2021 Annual Meetings: Data as a public good – Building resilience for a post-pandemic world


In the Middle East and Africa, as elsewhere, strategic planning, coordination, as well as effective human resource management and transparent statistical production processes, are all crucial for producing high-quality data. As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, the ability of governments to respond to crises and adapt to digital challenges depends heavily on prior investments in human capital, governance and technology. Yet in many countries, shortage of funds and lack of skilled staff to implement programmes are the biggest obstacles to the success of national capacity development efforts. Next to the quantitative skills needed for data production, analysis and dissemination, so-called ‘soft skills’ such as communications, negotiation and leadership skills, are gaining importance now that the traditional skills of data analysis are becoming more automated. This session will unpack the capacities and resources required to enable national statistical systems to survive and thrive amidst a global pandemic. It will draw insights into the specific soft and hard skills that national statistical organisations and others need to ensure effective operations and strategic decision-making amidst, and beyond, the COVID-19 world. All sessions will feature simultaneous translation in English, French and Spanish.