Quality Data Vital for Planning, Says Chikwanda

FINANCE Minister Alexander Chikwanda has said quality and reliable data is critical to Government for planning and monitoring progress on developmental programmes.

Mr Chikwanda said having quality data would help the Government to plan and monitor the developmental programmes across the country.

He was speaking in a speech read for him by Permanent Secretary Felix Nkulukusa, during the Government and Measure Evaluation’s phase III capacity building close- out event in Lusaka yesterday.

Mr Chikwanda commended Measure Evaluation for the technical and financial support rendered to the Government institutions to provide reliable, accurate and timely data.

“I would like to thank the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for the financial support they have provided through the Measure Evaluation project of the University of North Carolina, USA,” he said.

The minister said inter-agency collaboration had contributed to the development of capacity in research, data management and analysis and monitoring.

Mr Chikwanda said a number of surveys were conducted for the Government and that these had helped to strengthen the monitoring and evaluation of programmes on population and health.

“I am informed that in phase III, Measure Evaluation focused more on institutional capacity building. This has been done by strengthening data analysis skills of staff dealing with routine information and surveys data from various Government institutions,” Mr Chikwanda said.

Speaking at the same function, Measure Evaluation senior research aisor Robert Mswia said his organisation in Zambia had always focused on the transfer of skills, achieved through direct training, individual mentorship and development of short courses.

Dr Mswia said the ultimate goal of the capacity building programme was to ensure sustainability.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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