The first Microdata Outreach Workshop in Kigali was held on 2 August 2013, attended by over 50 people with extremely positive outcomes. The National Institute of Statistics Rwanda (NISR), together with the Accelerated Data Program (ADP) of PARIS21 and the World Bank, hosted a series of workshops to reach out to data users from the National University of Rwanda (NUR) School of Public Health in Kigali, NUR in Butare, and INES Ruhengeri.
The Microdata Outreach Workshops expose faculty members, graduate students and researchers at the higher learning institutions to data and dissemination tools available at NISR. More importantly, the workshops provide a valuable opportunity for the NISR to directly engage data users and gain feedback on data availability, quality, and dissemination policy. The exchanges between data users and producers are expected to further improve the data availability and access at NISR, promote the use and value of existing microdata, and strengthen partnerships between the NISR and universities in Rwanda.
The Government of Rwanda has recognized the key role of statistics for evidence-based decision-making and planning, better policy formulation and efficient resource allocation. In line with its mandate, the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda has been strengthening data dissemination and open access for policy and decision makers, planners, researchers, academia, investors, media, and UN agencies. Particularly, the NISR emphasizes the dissemination of microdata to promote transparency in policy-making, improve the quality and credibility of statistical output and support research and teaching in Rwanda. Earlier in May 2013, the NISR launched the National Data Archive (NADA) as a platform for disseminating survey and census microdata. To further increase the value of microdata, encouraging more data to be used, the NISR recognizes the importance of user advocacy and services, and adopts innovative and effective ways to further engage users in improving data quality and dissemination. On the other hand, as data users, the leading universities of Rwanda showed great interest in exposing their students, researchers and academic staff to the data and tools available at the NISR and facilitating dialogues to open up future opportunities.
During the workshop, the NISR introduced to participants the existing survey microdata, dissemination existing tools and policies available. Participants also gained hands-on training of using the National Data Archive (NADA) and exploring survey data. NISR representatives and university participants also engage in user-producer dialogues on data availability and access policies, reveal challenges of using microdata, and brainstorm o ways to implement programs for promoting the use of microdata. The co-sponsor of the workshops, the Accelerated Data Program (ADP), works with developing countries around the world to improve the use and value of survey data. ADP has been working with the NISR since 2011.
Within less than two years, with the support of ADP, the NISR has achieved impressive progress in the area of microdata documentation and dissemination. Following up the workshops, the NISR will address the demands of users expressed during the workshop and work out plans to carry out similar user outreach initiatives on a regular basis. The NISR is also exploring ways to engage a wider audience, including media, local authorities and communities, private sector and NGOs.
Here’s the coverage in Rwanda local news, CLICK HERE (article only available in the Kinyarwanda language).