Message of H.E Abdul Rahman Ghafoori President General, CSO
The Central Statistics Organization, Afghanistan (CSO) as NSO of any other country, is the driving force behind rebuilding an effective, robust and reliable Statistical System in the country. The Statistical System is the eyes and ears of the nation and is the backbone of planning, decision-making and monitoring process. It consists of Administrative Data Systems in various ministries/ organizations, collection of data through surveys and censuses, and establishment of standards in concepts, definitions and classifications. CSO is working on all these aspects; however, the challenges ahead are huge and formidable.
CSO was rendered almost completely ineffective due to more than two decades of war and conflict in the country and lost most of its capacity in terms of human resources and infrastructure during the war causing the nation face a huge data gap. The large scale statistical capacity building, infrastructure development, arrangement of huge financial and other resources needed, rebuilding of administrative statistical systems in various ministries, and conducting various surveys/ censuses are the challenges ahead of this organization.
CSO is developing a National Statistical Strategy in order to facilitate rebuilding of the country’s Statistical System so as to meet all the data requirements of the nation especially the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS). Also, it has proposed a 7-Year statistical Plan for capacity building and conducting various surveys/ censuses. Preparations to conduct the Household and Population Census (APHC) in the near future, after almost 3 decades of war and conflict, are underway and currently updating the Household Listing, which was once conducted during 2003-04, is also in progress in the field, all over the country. CSO has completed two rounds of National Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (NRVA) surveys in 2005 and 2007-08. NRVA is the only source of information for poverty statistics and provides information to nation on population characteristics, migration, literacy, health, unemployment, etc. and includes addressing 25 MDGs indicators. The field work for Integrated Business Establishment Survey (IBES) has already been completed recently and Women at the Decision Making Level survey is still underway. A major achievement of CSO has been preparation of National Accounts since 2003, which generates macro-economic data such as consumer price indices. CSO collects data on various sectors from ministries/ government organizations and other entities and disseminates them through the Statistical Yearbook. Major efforts for capacity building including human resource and infrastructure development are in progress. In-house training has already begun and CSO staff are sent for studies/ trainings abroad.
Many activities are taking place at CSO. However, much more is still needed to be done. A well balanced reconstruction program, comprehensive progress and sustainable development of the post-conflict Afghanistan without a sound statistical system and a capable CSO are neither possible nor sustainable. Hence, a serious and critical need for a well coordinated effort to develop statistical system involving CSO, donor community and line ministries as well as the private sector cannot be ignored. We would therefore like to invite all, who believe in the emergence of a strong, independent and peaceful Afghanistan, to come forward and help CSO to provide accurate, timely and reliable statistical information for the reconstruction, development and progress of the country.