The Government of Liberia through the Liberia Institute for Geo- Information Services (LISGIS) has launched the Harmonizing Improving Statics in West Africa (HISWA) Liberia project which is aimed at supporting statistics for development, planning, strengthening and putting Liberia on the right trajectory in the sub region.
During the program held at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town Thursday, 29 April, LISGIS Director General Prof. Francis F. Wreh described the launch of the HISWA project as a milestone in the history of Liberia, saying this is an important day for Liberia.
According to Prof. Wreh, this project will help the government meet all of its statistics problems.
He applauds the tireless efforts of the Legislature especially for seeing the need to speedily ratify the implementation of the project.
The LISGIS boss further extols the staffers at his institution for their efforts in making sure that the project is fully launched.
"Today following this launch, we have entered into a new challenging phase. This isn't going to be easy. However the lesson learned during the first project implementation will serve as a good base to perform on this new project," Prof. Wreh continues.
In overview of the project, Madam Joyce Nyenpan Ngafuan says the HISWA project is being implemented in line with the framework of the National Strategy for Development of Statistics (NSDS) developed by LISGIS with the help of development partners covering the period of 2017-2021.
She emphasizes the importance of statistics to national decision making, but notes that Liberia as a nation is lagging behind due to limited budgetary allocation to conduct most of the relevant statistical studies and produce indicators that are needed for decision making.
Assistant Finance Minister Benedict Korlubah who proxied for Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah says in a keynote address that statistics are meaningful to policy making, adding that "if we don't have quality data our decisions we need at the policy level wouldn't be evidence based."
He however says efficient resource mobilizations are also key in having quality data, adding that the importance of having quality data is helpful in providing effective public service delivery.
"It was on the foundation of the HISWA and other data sources that were used to develop the objective and the goals of the PAPD [Pro - Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development]," he says.
According to Mr. Korlubah, the goal of the PAPD is to reduce the regional disparity from the HISWA, realizing that poverty was increasing in six regions thereby creating the PAPD to provide greater income in the other five regions.
The launch of the HISWA was held under the theme: "Supporting Statistics for Development Planning," and brought together officials of government from line ministries and agencies, members of the diplomatic corps, donor partners, student groups from the Federation of Liberian Youth and Liberia National Students Union, among others.