National Statistics System

The new Statistics Act of 2009 state that SB shall conduct its functions as a primary agency of a system to be known as the National Statistical System (NSS) and shall coordinate, monitor and supervise the activities of the systems for purpose of carrying out statistical business in accordance with the principles of official statistics.

The NSS comprises of additional agencies, which shall include all institutions in the country dealing with or directly associated with the

  • Provision of documents and other information for the purpose of and connected with the carrying out of statistical business
  • Use of official statistical and other statistics
  • Research and development of statistical methods and techniques and
  • Training and education

For the purpose of coordinating the activities and operations of the System, SB shall

  • avoid unnecessary overlapping or duplication in the collection of or publication of the of data and information for statistical purposes
  • attain comparability and integration of statistics compiled by agencies of the system, and the
  • maximum utilisation of existing information and resources of data collection available in the System for statistical purpose

SB for the purpose of producing official statistics consult with stakeholders and  appoint committees to coordinate the activities and operations of the System; make rules and guidelines for the regulation and direction of any aspects of the System

Fundamental Principes of Official Statistics

Principle 1: Official statistics provide an indispensable element in the information system of a democratic society, serving the Government, the economy and the public with data about the economic, demographic, social and environmental situation. To this end, official statistics that meet the test of practical utility are to be compiled and made available on an impartial basis by official statistical agencies to honour citizens’ entitlement to public information.

Principle 2: To retain trust in official statistics, the statistical agencies need to decide according to strictly professional considerations, including scientific principles and professional ethics, on the methods and procedures for the collection, processing, storage and presentation of statistical data.

Principle 3: To facilitate a correct interpretation of the data, the statistical agencies are to present information according to scientific standards on the sources, methods and procedures of the statistics.

Principle 4: The statistical agencies are entitled to comment on erroneous interpretation and misuse of statistics.

Principle 5: Data for statistical purposes may be drawn from all types of sources, be they statistical surveys or administrative records. Statistical agencies are to choose the source with regard to quality, timeliness, costs and the burden on respondents.

Principle 6: Individual data collected by statistical agencies for statistical compilation, whether they refer to natural or legal persons, are to be strictly confidential and used exclusively for statistical purposes.

Principle 7: The laws, regulations and measures under which the statistical systems operate are to be made public.

Principle 8: Coordination among statistical agencies within countries is essential to achieve consistency and efficiency in the statistical system.

Principle 9: The use by statistical agencies in each country of international concepts, classifications and methods promotes the consistency and efficiency of statistical systems at all official levels.

Principle 10: Bilateral and multilateral cooperation in statistics contributes to the improvement of systems of official statistics in all countries.

The Botswana Strategy For the Development of Statistics (BSDS)

What is BSDS?

With the continuously expanding interest in statistics globally for a variety of reasons, it is critical that the Organisation ensures fitness for purpose of statistics that is being disseminated. It is the fitness for purpose with regards to relevance, accuracy, timeliness, quality, accessibility clarity, comparability and coherence that the strategy will address amongst other things.

As a way of improving the coordination of statistics activities in Botswana, a National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS) has been developed which is named the Botswana Strategy for the Development of Statistics (BSDS). The BSDS provides a robust, comprehensive and coherent framework to facilitate the development of statistics and enhance their utility in the country. The BSDS aims to:  address data limitations; mobilize and prioritise use of resources for statistics; integrate statistics within national policy, planning and budget processes to generate performance indicators; look across the whole NSS and provide a coherent framework for all national and international statistical programs and for donor support to those programs; provides an action plan for statistical capacity building; and act as a catalyst for change. This is a five year strategy for 2015-2020.

Importance of BSDS

The role of statistics in supporting result-based management, better governance, and greater aid effectiveness is well recognized among policy makers and the international community. The National Statistical System (NSS) of Botswana must be able to respond in a precise and sustainable manner to the changes underway in the economy and to the new information requirements it induces. This response entails a coordinated national effort aimed at improving the mechanisms and processes needed to produce relevant statistics. The BSDS is a strategy planning process which embodies this effort.

Design of the BSDS

Designing the BSDS is a process that took 12 to 18 months, providing an opportunity to identify the reforms that have to be undertaken. Accordingly, this shows what changes need to be made in some key components of the NSS such as the Statistics Act, the status of the national statistical office, co-ordination mechanisms, human and financial resources, etc. The strategy, action plans, and funding schemes has been determined.

Sectors included in the BSDS

As a start of the BSDS process, seven (7) sectors were enrolled in the process namely, Agriculture, Trade & Industry, Tourism, Surveys & Mapping, Local Government & Rural Development, Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) and Statistics Botswana.  More sectors will enrolled during the implementation of the Strategy such Poverty; Youth, Sport & Culture; Education; Health; Police; Transport & Communications and other prioritised Ministries, Departments & Agencies (MDAs).

Implementation of NSDS

The implementation of an NSDS depends on the financing of its action plans. Currently the Government of Botswana is supporting implementation of some the strategy, however the support is not enough to cover the entire implementation of the strategy, therefore partnership with international community is crucial.

Collaboration and Partnerships

The Statistics Act 2009 allows Statistics Botswana to enter into partnerships by way of Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) with other Agencies for purposes of collecting and data sharing exchanges within the NSS and even the International organisations.Currently two MoUs have been signed between Statistics Botswana and Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) as well as Human Resource Development Council (HRDC). Other MoUs are still at consultative process.

There are other Techchical working Groups (TWGs) such as the Statistic Producer Committee for monitoring indicators on Social and Economic Indicators between SB, Bank of Botswana and Ministry of Finance & Development Planning; the Immigration-SB TWG which looks at the provision of migration data for purpose of compiling Tourism Statistics.

As part of implementing its mandate of providing advisory role in statistics across the NSS, SB is participating in different forums of importance and adding value to the growth of the Botswana economy. There are permanent monthly and quarterly committees, ad hoc committees and task forces that SB is engaged on and these committees are for the purpose of providing technical support on the various Household Surveys and Census such as Botswana Agriculture Census, Botswana Household Multi topic Survey just to mention a few.
Likewise, in improving linkages with the policy planners, SB is participating at the ongoing development of the National Monitoring & Evaluation Frame work (NMEF) coordinated by the National Strategy Office (NSO) where its role is provide advice on the indicators that will be used to monitor NDP 11 performance as well as the Vision 2036 performance . 

Other forums which SB continues to participate in are Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) Project (Mineral, Water, Energy, Ecosystems/Land & Tourism Satellite Accounts) Botswana National Productivity Centre Working Group (productivity indicators); participation at the SACU meetings.