WGEMPS and AU explore with DevInfo the direct collection of national statistics from African countries

Over the past years, ADEA’s Working group on Education Management and Policy Support (WGEMPS) - appointed by the African Union (AU)’s Human Resource Science and Technology Division’s (HRST) as the lead technical agent for the Observatory - has developed a customised database for monitoring the AU’s Plan of Action (PoA)  for the Second  Decade of Education for Africa.

The database has over 137 data variables covering all Member States from 2006 to 2012. Member States and the African Union Commission (AUC) have been separately trained on using the database as a basis for developing country, regional and continental reports for monitoring the Plan of Action. The data sources have largely been that of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and of UNICEF.

Recently, Heads of State urged the African Union to commit itself to collecting national data directly from Member States to create African based continental databases. This is a significant departure from previous practices where statistics where produced internationally by other agencies.

In the light of this, the AU Statistics Division and HRST, in collaboration with ADEA, are pursuing launching the database online to enable countries to upload their national statistics directly. ADEA is exploring hosting arrangements with the Indian based DevInfo Support Group after a successful testing of the database with its local area network in Harare.

Key issues under consideration include protecting the AU identity through a unique domain name, having real time data entry, and the need for a multi stage quality assurance process to be developed by AUC and ADEA WGEMPS. This initiative is a major breakthrough which will ultimately address the perennial data blank phenomenon in Africa.

Over the years WGEMPS has made several presentations at significant AU meetings on developments of the customized database AU database to monitor the Second Decade of Education PoA. One such presentation was made this month in Nairobi, Kenya, at the meeting organized to validate the AU African Statistical Yearbook.
One of the important products of the database is the regional and continental AU Outlook on education reports, which ADEA produces on behalf of the African Union. 

To date WGEMPS has produced two sets of five regional and one continental report for previous COMEDAF meetings. Production of the third set is currently underway for the forthcoming COMEDAF VI meeting that will take place in Yaoundé, Cameroun in April 2014.

For more information contact: Brighton Mutasa, WGEMPS: [email protected]