The Somalia National Bureau of Statistics (SNBS) of the Federal Republic of Somalia has signed a historic formal agreement with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to transfer the Food Security & Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and the Somalia Water & Land Information Management (SWALIM) Programs from FAO to the SNBS. The transfer will happen through a three-phased approach that is expected to conclude within three years.
Through the agreement, FAO will gradually transfer data and analysis capability relating to food security, nutrition, markets, livestock, livelihoods and natural resources to SNBS. The SNBS is mandated by the Statistics Act in the collection, management and reporting of data in the country. In close collaboration with SNBS, FAO will provide technical assistance and institutional capacity development support, share FSNAU, SWALIM existing datasets and periodic updates and develop with the SNBS independent platforms for hosting information, publications and datasets.
Building on a legacy of high quality and timely data
FSNAU and SWALIM were established in 1994 and 2001, respectively, with various crises highlighting the need for independent and credible early warning information and analysis in the absence of adequate government institutional capacity. FSNAU and SWALIM represent a unique effort in support of reliable, innovative and quality data production and analysis, with continuous improvements made to their capacity and functionality over the years in tandem with globally recognized standards and methods.
‘We look forward to continuing and improving on the legacy of producing high quality and timely data in a collaborative manner. With our independent board, we are committed to the core values of accountability, transparency and collaboration with the other government institutions and partners,” said Mr Sharmake Farah, Director General of Somalia National Bureau of Statistics.
Strengthening governance and contributing to the Somalia National Development Plan
Both SNBS and FAO have a shared interest in strengthening their collaboration with the aim of transferring and improving the technical capacities and management of the FSNAU and SWALIM and their relative systems to SNBS. Through a three-phase transition process, SNBS plans to increase its capacity to produce and disseminate quality statistics related to food security, nutrition, environmental and natural resources.
To achieve this, SWALIM and FSNAU technical staff will focus on building the technical capacity of SNBS staff. SNBS will undertake a series of ‘cross pollination’ exercises to learn from other experiences within and outside of Somalia, take part in seasonal assessments and receive on the job training and collaborate and coordinate with other government line ministries at Federal and Member State level. Under the agreement, IT equipment and facilities will also be acquired for the establishment of platforms to host and disseminate national data sets collected around the country, including information and analyses.
“This agreement is a sign of the Federal government’s commitment to take over responsibilities for the collection, analysis, management and reporting of data collected across Somalia. Years in the making, this process will ensure that Somalia has the tools it needs to navigate the challenges of the future – including protracted humanitarian crises and the perennial issue of climate change – with decision makers being informed by the best available information. This information will also inform the formulation of public policy in order to take timely and appropriate action to safeguard the lives and livelihoods of Somalia’s most vulnerable families and communities,” said Mr Etienne Peterschmitt, FAO Representative in Somalia.
Since their establishment, FSNAU and SWALIM programmes have been producing and disseminating timely and relevant information and analysis for decision-making by Government, UN agencies, donors, NGOs and international organizations. These include Somalia’s Humanitarian Response Plans and the National Development Plans.
FSNAU and SWALIM programmes are expected to continue to inform effective policymaking, planning and monitoring for economic growth, poverty reduction at the government level, and contribute towards the attainment of such development targets as the National Development Plan – 9, and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).