Statistical Advocacy Tools Found Effective in a Developing Country
Romulo A. Virola, Lina V. Castro
Office of the Secretary General, National Statistical Coordination Board, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines

National Statistical Systems (NSS) whether centralized or decentralized, are obliged to ensure that the statistics they produce are well-understood, and as widely and properly used by stakeholders, be it the government, the academics, the civil society or the general public. However, while the promotion of the generation, dissemination and use of quality statistics may be considered an easy task for developed economies, such is definitely not the case in developing countries. Statistics produced in developing countries do not generally follow an integrated program of data generation and have limited accessibility, which sometimes lead to the misuse, misinterpretation, or under utilization of the data thereby yielding low returns on investments in statistics. Thus, there is an urgent need for the NSSs to put in greater efforts to advocate the proper understanding and use of the statistics and indicators, enhance accessibility, promote the creation and sharing of statistical knowledge, and respond more effectively to increasing demand for quality and timely statistics.

This has been the challenge faced by the Philippine Statistical System (PSS) in the new millennium that put to test its strength and capability to adapt to the constantly evolving demands of data users and stakeholders. As the overall coordinator of the decentralized statistical system in the country, the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) has been in the forefront in raising the awareness and appreciation of the public on the importance and the proper use of statistics.

Since its creation in 1987, the NSCB has established coordination mechanisms and statistical advocacy tools to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the PSS. Some of these tools have worked, while others have not been as effective.

This paper will share the Philippine experience on statistical advocacy tools and strategies found effective and relevant in the generation, promotion and use of quality statistics in a developing country like the Philippines.

Keywords: Data producers, data users, stakeholders, decentralized statistical system; Statistical coordination, mechanisms and strategies, advocacy tools; Connecting with the media, users' forum, access to the right information, one stop shop; National statistics month, national convention on statistics

Biography: The presenter is currently the Assistant Secretary General (ASG) of the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), the highest policy and coordinating body on statistical matters in the Philippines. As ASG, she provides advice to the Chairman of the Board on the overall improvement of the Philippine Statistical System (PSS) in relation to its effectivity, efficiency, objectivity and integrity in the delivery of statistical products and services to the various clients and stakeholders. Ms. Castro provides support in the overall management and operationalization of NSCB goals and functions. Ms. Castro obtained her degrees on statistics from the University of the Philippines.