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Chapter XII: Technology, research and development - A. Basic data collection, analysis and dissemination


Basis for action

12.1. Valid, reliable, timely, culturally relevant and internationally comparable data form the basis for policy and programme development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. While there have been marked improvements in the availability ofpopulation and related development data following important advances made during the past two decades in the methodologies and technology for data collection and analysis, many gaps remain with regard to the quality and coverage of baseline information, including vital data on births and deaths, as well as the continuity of data sets over time. Gender and ethnicity-specific information, which is needed to enhance and monitor the sensitivity of development policies and programmes, is still insufficient in many areas. Measurement of migration, particularly at the regional and international levels, is also among the areas least valid and least adequately covered. As a matter of principle, individuals, organizations and developing countries should have access, on a no-cost basis, to the data and findings based on research carried out in their own countries, including those maintained by other countries and international agencies.

Objectives

12.2. The objectives are:

  1. To establish a factual basis for understanding and anticipating the interrelationships of population andsocio-economic - including environmental - variables and for improving programme development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation;
  2. To strengthen national capacity to seek new information and meet the need for basic data collection, analysis and dissemination, giving particular attention to information classified by age, sex, ethnicity and different geographical units,in order to use the findings in the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of overall sustainable development strategies and foster international cooperation, including such cooperation at the regional and subregional levels;
  3. To ensure political commitment to, and understanding of, the need for data collection on a regular basis and the analysis, dissemination and full utilization of data.

Actions

12.3. Governments of all countries, particularly developing countries, assisted as appropriate through bilateral cooperation and international organizations and, where necessary, through interregional, regional and subregional cooperation, should strengthen their national capacity to carry out sustained and comprehensive programmes on collection, analysis, dissemination and utilization of population and development data. Particular attention should be given to the monitoring of population trends and the preparation of demographic projections and to the monitoring of progress towards the attainment of the health, education, gender, ethnic and social-equity goals, and of service accessibility and quality of care, as stated in the present Programme of Action.

12.4. Programmes for the collection, processing, analysis and timely dissemination and utilization of population and related development data should include disaggregation, including gender disaggregation, and coverage and presentation compatible with the needs of effective programme implementation on population and development. Interaction between the community of data users and data providers should be promoted in order to enable data providers to respond better to user needs. Research should be designed to take into account legal and ethical standards and should be carriedout in consultation and partnership with, and with the active participation of, local communities and institutions, and the findings thereof should be made accessible and available to policymakers, decision makers, planners and managers of programmes for their timely use. Comparability should be ensured in all research and data collection programmes.

12.5. Comprehensive and reliable qualitative as well as quantitative databases, allowing linkages between population, education, health, poverty, family well-being, environment and development issues and providing information disaggregated at appropriate and desired levels, should be established and maintained by all countries to meet the needs of research as wellas those of policy and programme development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Special attention should be given toassessing and measuring the quality and accessibility of carethrough the development of suitable indicators.

12.6. Demographic, socio-economic and other relevant information networks should be created or strengthened, where appropriate, at the national, regional and global levels to facilitate monitoring the implementation of programmes of action and activities on population, environment and development at the national, regional and global levels.

12.7. All data collection and analysis activities should give due consideration to gender-disaggregation, enhancing knowledge on the position and role of gender in social and demographic processes. In particular, in order to provide a more accurate picture of women's current and potential contribution to economic development, data collection should delineate more precisely the nature of women's social and labour force status and make that a basis for policy and programme decisions on improving women's income. Such data should address, inter alia, women's unpaid economic activities in the family and in the informal sector.

12.8. Training programmes in statistics, demography, and population and development studies should be designed and implemented at the national and regional levels, particularly indeveloping countries, with enhanced technical and financial support, through international cooperation and greater national resources.

12.9. All countries, with the support of appropriate organizations, should strengthen the collection and analysis of demographic data, including international migration data, in orderto achieve a better understanding of that phenomenon and thus support the formulation of national and international policies on international migration.

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