One of the themes that emerged from the IDS/PARIS21 meeting on statistical capacity development (June 26 2018 – video of the meeting available on the RSS YouTube channel) was the importance for capacity development of demand for statistics within developing (LMIC) countries. This generates a number of questions:
(1) Is the demand side currently driven too much by international bodies (UN, World Bank etc.) and is this being exacerbated by the pressures to measure the 240+ indicators associated with the SDGs?
(2) To what extent can demand be stimulated by citizens and local NGOs? What structures are needed to make this a reality? One point made at the meeting is that politicians seeking election can stimulate demand but this carries obvious dangers.
(3) Finally, can we separate the demand for statistics from whatever source from the supply of statistics generated by the national statistical system – if the quality of the supply is low then demand will be too.