In the midst of the worst drought to afflict the Horn of Africa in 60 years, officials in Djibouti struggle to respond to the growing needs. As of late July 2011, the UN estimated that the number of drought-affected refugees in Djibouti had exceeded 18,000, with another 165,000 people in urgent need of food assistance. 1
Key staff from Djibouti’s Direction de la Statistiques et des Etudes Démographiques (DISED), government line ministries and international development partners received in-depth training in DevInfo database technology in July 2011. The objective of the training was to equip line ministries and development partners with the skills to develop their own sector-specific/agency-specific databases, under the supervision of DISED. The intended results? Greater data sharing among country stakeholders using a common database platform, and increased availability of data to support targeted decision making and results-based planning.
In a parallel effort, the Government of Djibouti has also endorsed the decision to train a new generation of university students in DevInfo database technology, to build skills at an early age in the use of development statistics. The University of Djibouti will begin offering a new course, “Senior Statistical Technicians,” in September 2011, in partnership with DISED and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Statistique et d’Economie Appliquée (ENSEA) in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. DevInfo will be taught as one of the basic course units, in order to equip graduates with the needed technical skills to support ongoing data management initiatives within various country agencies and organizations.
With DevInfo becoming established in Djibouti, the nation is not only strengthening its statistical capacity for data management but also laying a firm foundation for effective crisis response to humanitarian challenges.
1 Eastern Africa: Drought – Humanitarian Snapshot (as of 29 Jul 2011), UN OCHA, accessed at
http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/HoA%20Humanitarian%20Snapshot%2029%20July%202011_0.pdf on 11 August 2011.