ISLAMABAD: A day long Workshop conducted by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on the development of National Statistical System in the country was informed that the PBS has shifted from manual data collection to electronic data collection with a built-in monitoring system.

The Workshop was attended by the technical team of the World Bank, senior officials of Ministry of Planning, Director Generals of the provincial bureaus of statistics, representatives from provincial chief economists and Dr Naeem uz Zafar, Chief Statistician PBS, says an official statement issued here on Friday.

The Chief Statistician informed the participants of the workshop that in a recent development, under the vision of “Digital Pakistan” initiated by Government of Pakistan, PBS has undergone “Digital Transformation” and has shifted from manual data collection to electronic data collection with built-in monitoring system.

He said to keep PBS abreast with the international standards there is a need to conduct a Global Assessment of the functions of PBS and other stakeholders of the National Statistical System through World Bank so that PBS may transform itself into a dynamic National Statistical Organization capable of meeting the data demands of the users by following the standards of National Statistical System (NSS).

The participants of the workshop discussed in detail different aspects of the NSS and were of the view that the initiative taken by PBS with the support of the World Bank will ensemble the statistical organizations and units within the country to work in close collaboration for dissemination of accurate, reliable and timely statistical information for evidence based decision making.

The Word Bank experts expressed this initiative as a right step in the right direction and assured full support and cooperation in the development of a dynamic and responsive National Statistical System. Participants of the workshop observed that National Statistical System will enable the PBS and the provincial bureaus to produce information at sub-regional level with higher frequency.

This will also strengthen the statistical agencies to incorporate big data and non-conventional data collection methods in their statistical system. There exists a great potential for creating synergies if we can transform PBS and Provincial Bureaus with a National Statistical System by mending the disjoints between those organizations.

The Chief Statistician informed the participants that new initiatives will encompass all aspects including organizational development of PBS, Institutional Development of stakeholders of NSS, economic statistics, price statistics, social statistics, environmental statistics, research and analysis to ensure quality assurance, dissemination and communication.

The DGs’ of the provincial bureaus appreciated the initiative taken by PBS and termed it as need of the hour. They assured there full support in achieving the objectives of this initiative. Joint Chief Economist Ministry of Planning was of the view that Pakistan needs National Statistical System.

Close collaboration between PBS and provincial bureaus will improve the data quality and help the Ministry in taking timely decisions. Chief Ministry of Planning stressed that provincial bureaus should join hands with PBS and start initiating joint surveys. Participants were of the view that by every passing day the data requirement is increasing and no organization be it PBS or the provincial bureaus cannot fulfil such needs by working in silos.

PBS and the provincial bureaus and other provincial departments will have to work together to reduce duplication of efforts, save resources and improve coverage. The initiative taken by PBS will help in achieving harmony among the provinces and will create an atmosphere of knowledge sharing in the country. This will help in better dissemination of official statistics and will help policy makers in taking data driven decisions which is the need of the hour.