FG, UNICEF harp on data for effective policy formulation

The Federal Government and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have harped on data collection and dissemination for effective policy formulation and evaluation.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this at a media dialogue with select journalists on “Data Open Reporting and Dissemination of Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) yesterday in Abuja.

The programme, organised by the Child Rights Information Bureau (CRIB) of the ministry in collaboration with the global agency, was to acquaint the media with basic data collection tools among others.

Represented by the Deputy Director/Head, CRIB, Olumide Osanyinpeju, the minister commended UNICEF for the “focus on evidence generation and the dissemination of such evidence for replication and upscaling by governments at all levels.

“As you all know, data are at the heart of evidence generation. Data collection and dissemination are essential elements to both policy making and evaluation.”He continued: “Ladies and gentlemen, the need to use figures accurately in the advocacy reports of development partners like UNICEF and other agencies is paramount to the government of the federation to guide against contentious issues. It has become very urgent and important not only to the government of Nigeria, but also to key partners and stakeholders. Against this backdrop, this media dialogue is not only timely, but also on point.

“Collecting quality data is necessary, but not sufficient. Data must also be disseminated in a user- friendly way to ensure that they are understood and used.”
Mohammed further noted: “Data also inform policy decisions and enhance advocacy and public awareness on priority development issues.”

He charged media practitioners to increase people’s knowledge, interpretation and use of data as well as their source for national development. Also speaking, UNICEF Chief of Field Office covering Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta and Akwa Ibom states, Dr. Guy Marie Modeste, encouraged the media to speak out on the new issues facing Nigeria, especially those bordering on demographic growth that had affected scores of children.

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Lai MohammedUNICEF
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