Knowledge for Development

The political economy of official statistics: Implications for the data revolution in Sub-Saharan Africa


Date: 27/02/2015


The ‘Data Revolution’ rhetoric has so far largely ignored political economy factors, such as historical factors, formal and informal institutional setups and actor incentives. With ‘big data’ being a topical issue, the recent technological solutions offered by the ‘data revolution’ to improve the capacity of statistical organizations and systems should be stepped up. In this ECDPM policy paper, F. Krätke and B. Byiers argue that to make a difference, work towards a ‘data revolution’ must explicitly acknowledge the real political economy challenges on the ground and aim to work within these constraints to improving data, and/or aim to alter the current incentives for producing and using good official statistics. (ECDPM, 12/2014)

Read ECDPM’s Policy Brief  More information is available on the Informing a Data Revolution website

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