Strengthening trust in data and national statistical systems 

Why is trust in official data and statistics a problem for NSOs and other NSS actors?

  • Official statistics are only one of many competing sources of information, and they may not always win against more relatable, real-time data sources.
  • Official statistics may not appear relevant or accessible in user-friendly ways.
  • Users may be more influenced by datasets that support their biases.
  • Populist attacks on “experts” and “elites” undermine trust in public institutions, and these attacks are increasingly backed by competing data, “fake news” and pseudo-science.

PARIS21's Trust in Data Initiative addressed the use of official data and statistics

In 2020, PARIS21 supported three innovative pilot projects in low and middle-income countries to enhance trust in data and statistical systems. The initiative was launched at the 2019 Cross Regional Forum on “Building Trust in Data: What’s new for National Statistical Systems (NSSs)?” with a global call for proposals. PARIS21 provided funding and technical assistance to support trust in official data and statistics.

After a call for proposals following the 2019 Cross Regional Forum, PARIS21 received almost 60 proposals, and convened a diverse selection panel of experts.

How did Vanuatu implement the Trust in Data Initiative?

From 2020-22, Vanuatu's National Bureau of Statistics worked together with PARIS21 and the Inter-Parliamentary Union to specifically target the capacity of MPs in the country to use data and statistics, as well as to build closer ties between the VBoS and parliament. 

Find out more about the work in Vanuatu

Trust in Data Initiative, panel of experts

selection panel



trust diag