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GAMINFO-national database launched

Jun 2, 2011, 12:59 PM | Article By: Ebony Ross, Courtney Clark & Cherno Omar Bobb

GAMINFO a national statistical database developed by The Gambia Bureau of Statistics (GBoS), in collaboration with UNICEF, UNDP and UNFPA using the DevInfo software, was on 1 June 2011 officially launched at a ceremony held at the Laico Atlantic Hotel in Banjul.

Speaking on behalf of the Vice President and Minister for Women’s Affairs, Madam Aja Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy, the permanent secretary, Office of the Vice President, Lamin Nyabally, said: “We are gathered here to formally launch a National Database which presents an accurate and reliable data for evidence-based decision-making as well as programme planning, monitoring and evaluation.

“The significance of this venture, therefore, cannot be overemphasised given the serious data paucity the country is experiencing warranting the conduct of a demographic and health survey.”

Mr Nyabally said days are gone when planners and policymakers grope in the dark.

“We need to invest seriously in enhancing capacities in data collection, analysis and dissemination as an important pre-requisite for effectively measuring progress in the attainment of our development blueprints among others.”

Data users, he noted, should endeavour to make good use of their research findings in all aspects of planning.

Mr Nyabally described the launching of GAMINFO as an historic occasion whose process started since 2007 and went through hurdles, but with determination, success was registered culminating in the availability of a database already web-enabled and accessible by all stakeholders including the wider international community.

He finally on behalf of the Government of the Gambia thanked the various agencies of the United Nations and the Gambia Bureau of Statistics and all those who have worked tirelessly over the past years to bring GAMINFO into reality.

Malcom Duthie, acting-UN Resident Coordinator and WFP Representative in The Gambia, said: “This database is an offspring of efforts made worldwide in the development of something called DevInfo, which was established by UNICEF together with the UN System to assist Member States to track progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).”

The aim was to provide a database that could provide all relevant developmental indicators of the country and which can be accessed through the web, he noted, saying its specific purpose is to store existing data, identify gaps in the MDG indicators, provide a single entry point for data on the MDG indicators, and disseminate information simply and attractively.

“As we are all aware, up to date and reliable data is a challenge in this country and the process of developing the GAMINFO was long and complex,” he said.

He also thanked the Government of The Gambia for its support to facilitate the development of GAMINFO, adding that he was grateful to the ministers as well as the planning directors for providing the data in the database.

He as well urged them to continue to provide the necessary support to the GBoS to facilitate the sound management and updating of the database.

Other speakers at the launching included Alieu Ndow, the Statistician General.