Rebuilding from decades of civil war, Cambodia has witnessed rapid progress in both its economy and human development. As a key step to furthering this momentum, the Ministry of Planning (MoP) of the Royal Government of Cambodia has developed and implemented a series of National Strategic Development Plans (NSDP) - the single, overarching document guiding the country’s development progress, updated every five years.
Since 2004, the National Institute of Statistics (NIS) within the MoP has been using CamInfo - a customized country adaptation based on DevInfo database technology - to track country progress towards both national development priorities as well as international frameworks such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). With an online platform, the CamInfo database provides government decision-makers, development partners, and external donors with access to the most current socio-economic data.
Building on experiences with DevInfo technology, the NIS has initiated a project with support from the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). Officially titled “Improving the Collation, Availability and Dissemination of National Development Indicators, including MDGs,” the project responds to the urgent need to help Cambodia build channels for improved data transmission between national agencies and for better dissemination to allow greater access to national indicators. The ultimate goal? To deliver available statistical data more efficiently to support national policy and decision-making.
Another important task achieved to date has been the creation of di Datahub, a one-step solution for data transfer between the NIS, the country’s line ministries (including the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and the Ministry of Health) and UNSD. Launched as an interactive web application supported by desktop tools to facilitate data conversion and exchange, di Datahub will enable government agencies - NIS as well as line ministries - to upload their data to a central website in a single step. When data is exchanged through di Datahub, there is no further need for manual data entry or modification of files, as SDMX standardization now permits the data to be instantly recognized and accepted across government agencies.
This new one-step approach creates efficiency and improves data quality on both ends. While previous processes and standards for data exchange required manual data conversion and compilation and were limited or ineffective, now line ministries are able to share data from their native databases in a matter of seconds. And with NIS now receiving all line ministry data through di Datahub in a common standardized format, the agency can quickly update the national statistical data repository as well as share it with international agencies and partners.
With greater efficiencies ushered in through DevInfo technology, the country’s national statistics system now stands far better equipped to support the nation’s development agenda.
Data making a difference.
1 Ministry of Planning– Cambodia website, accessed on 19 August 2011.