Data Technology

1. Implementing Development Account Project on Mobile Data Collection

The full title of the development account project is "Strengthening the capacity of African countries to use mobile technologies to collect and disseminate data for effective policy and decision making". The project is designed to lay a foundation to make ECA being the authoritative source of original data on Africa as well as to formulate viable policies in line with the new strategic focus of ECA and ACS. Activities for Phase 1 include setting up the international steering committee, conducting a situational analysis of potential countries, and developing appropriate concepts, methodologies and applications for using geo-enabled mobile data collection systems. Announcement of the project at a side event of the UN Statistical Commission has created a sense of urgency for its immediate implementation and initial outputs. The Capacity Development Office of DESA has approved the use funds already approved for previous DA tranches to implement Phase 1.

2. Support SROs to Quickly Implement Data Centres and Country Profiles

Sub regional offices have been assigned with new responsibilities of serving as data centers and producing regular statistical profiles of the countries within their respective sub-region. These data centres also serve as the interface between national data sources and ECA's corporate database. As the "data steward" of ECA, ACS is expected to implement the underlying systems to ensure smooth flow of data between the central database and the sub regional data centres. ACS is participating actively in (i) a commission wide task force on the data architecture for ECA's "databank", and (ii) advice SROs on the preparation of the country profiles. While waiting for the outcomes of these two processes, ACS needs to quickly implement interim/prototype environments and tools for the production of the country profiles, which will be refined continuously as the two processes evolve and eventually serve as the blueprint for the implementation of the final system.