Government has attributed limited use of statistics in policy and decision making to low statistical literacy.
This has led to, in most cases, reduced effectiveness of development interventions, thereby adversely affecting development outcomes, Ministry of Finance and National Planning acting Permanent Secretary in charge of planning and administration, Lois Mulube, said.
Mulube said this on Wednesday when she officiated at the two-day ZamStats Statistical Literacy Media Seminar at Mika Convention Centre in Chongwe.
The media serminar aimed to promote understanding of statistics produced within the country’s National Statistics System (NSS) in compliance with section seven of the Act which mandates the Agency to promote the understanding and use of official statistics.
Mulube said the media needed this empowerment in order to expand opportunities for data usage and promoting partnerships between users and producers.
“To do this, a strong relationship must be developed between ZamStats and the media, This is because you the media are a the bridge between the Agency and the public,” Mulube said.
She called on the media to package, report and clearly interprete statistics for easy use by general public saying this underlines the importance of statistical literacy.
“You will agree with me that most often, the general public may not have the means or time to access statistical Data, let alone fully understand the implications of produced Data, and this is where you as the media comes in,” Mulube said.
She also said every member of the NSS had a responsibility towards the development of statistics in the country, but that to fulfill their responsibilities there was need to continuously enhance their capabilities.
ZamStats Statician-General Mulenga, Musepa, said the Agency had lined up a number of statistical literacy seminars for identified critical users of statistics such as the media, provincial planners and parliamentarians.
“Once they are capacitated and able to accurately interpret statistical data, they will be able to tell the public how this data affects their day to day lives,” Musepa said.
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