Kenya boosts access to govt data

June 23, 2009
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, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 23 – Members of the public will now be able to access accurate, timely and comprehensive census and survey information following the launch of two data dissemination systems by the government.

Planning Permanent Secretary Dr Edward Sambili said on Tuesday that through the Integrated Multi-sectoral Information System (IMIS) and KenInfo (Version 2.0) which will be available on the internet, the government will be able to make more information available to more people, which in turns aids accountability and transparency.

“The two systems have the capability to organise, analyse and present data in a variety of forms including tables, graphs and maps. They will provide policy makers, development partners and research institutions with a friendly platform for data access,” he explained.

Dr Sambili disclosed that this was part of a wider Integrated System for Monitoring and Evaluation that the government had developed to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of policies and service delivery.

“They (systems) focus on development indicators which mainly measure the Millennium Development Goals and other locally oriented indicators. They are also able to link national, provincial and district information for planning purposes,” he stated.

He added that this would also go a long way in enabling the government to monitor the extent to which activities in the Medium Term Plan of the Vision 2030 are being implemented.

The PS hoped that by obtaining the trends of the various indicators from different sectors, users would be able to appreciate the socio-economic situation in the country.

The systems will initially be rolled out to line ministries and selected districts and provinces countrywide in an effort to sensitise users of the database.

“Continuous system backup support will be availed to ensure that the systems run without impediment,” he pledged.

Olivia Yambi a representative of UNICEF which is one of the project’s financiers challenged the Kenya Bureau of Statistics, which is the custodian of statistics to monitor the number of visitors to the website to determine their effectiveness.

“If we could start to monitor the number of hits at the database that would give us a feel of how many people are using it. It would also ensure that the huge investment does not remain accessible to technocrats therefore depriving the larger population access to this data,” she said.

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