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Djibouti: Horn of Africa Regional Workshop on Data Documentation (March 2015)

Country / Regional Activity: Djibouti, Somalia
Date of Event: 15/03/2015

The Djibouti Statistical Office (DISED) and PARIS21, through the Accelerated Data Program, undertook a data documentation workshop in Djibouti from March 15-19. This was a unique workshop as it was an initial activity undertaken under a regional strategy for data documentation and preservation under PARIS21 Horn of Africa initiative. This Horn of Africa initiative seeks to identify pertinent issues related to developing the statistical systems of countries that are in crisis and leverage regional competencies and comparative advantages. The Accelerated Data Program introduced best practices in data archiving and documentation and encouraged building a community of practice. Countries included in this initiative are: Somalia (Somaliland, Puntland and Somalia), Yemen and Eritrea. A workshop was undertaken with representatives from Somaliland in 2014. The surrounding countries in crisis can capitalize on the proximity and stability of Djibouti. In addition, the presence of the regional organization IGAD, which seeks deeper integration and cooperation in the region, was invited to the workshop. IGAD is a regional organization that has 8 member states including: Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda. IGAD does not have a statistical division however expressed interest in potential participation in future activities under the initiative. Djibouti and the national statistical office DISED further provide a point of reference relative to other regional associations such as: Afristat (institutional similarities with West Africa) and a kinship with other francophone countries in East Africa.

Two workshops were simultaneously undertaken. One was with the statistical office DISED and the other was with representatives from Somalia (Mogadishu) and Puntland. Representatives from statistical offices in Cameroon and Palestine led the respective workshops. The workshop accentuated regional issues by having occasional joint sessions.

The ADP hopes to continue its regional focus through assistance to DISED and hopes that best practices in data archiving and dissemination in Djibouti can help support the aspirations of statistical development in the Horn of Africa. Special thanks to DISED for its organization and facilitation of the workshop.