Accurate stats in 48 months are useless, unless...
they are published properly, of course.
Quite often, the figures everybody relies on to conclude that e.g. “Africa is underfeeding itself”, or “in 2030 Africa can feed itself” are not, says here solid statistical facts: they are speculations.
But that, says that post, does not matter much: eventually those figures “obtain the FAO or World Bank stamp, so they become the oracle” that everybody cites, and uses as bases to give or demand money, and eventually decide how and where to spend it.
There are objective reasons why this happens, in spite of the good will of all the parties involved.
48 Months to Generate Accurate Agriculture Statistics
The author of the post asserts that “ Africa can compile a true African picture of the agriculture sector within 48 months” in order to stop “all the AU, AfDB, NEPAD, World Bank, FAO, IFAD investing huge sums annually on projects that depend on wrong statistical data”.
The guidelines for that plan would be:
- Start with the Farmer
- Track Farm Activities
- Use the right mix of IT solutions that already exist
- Give a decent smart phone to a farmer family
Good technology solutions in the hands of Agriculture Extension Agents and farmers on this African continent will yield real statistics in 48 months. Nothing exceptional needed. Just the will to create the data.
And my only suggestion is…
to publish all those real statistics as Open Data, that is with open licenses that allow reuse for any purpose, in non-proprietary, machine-ready file formats. To know why I say so, see Open Data, Open Society.