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Census data helps measure progress towards achieving the MDGs

15 August 2010

Utilization of data of the Sudan's fifth national census for tracking the MDGs and for integration into development planning was discussed at a workshop organized by the National Population Council and UNFPA.

Khartoum, August 9, 2010. Utilization of data of the Sudan's fifth national census for tracking the MDGs and for integration into development planning was discussed at a workshop organized by the National Population Council and UNFPA.

The workshop was attended by various government ministries and bodies, UN agencies, experts, civil society, academics and the media.

"Data of the recent census is crucial to measuring how we are doing in terms of achieving the MDGs," said Ms. Amira Elfadi, Minister of Welfare and Social Security - the minister responsible for preparing the 2010 MDGs report. Ms. Elfadil added that "more focused surveys and studies are also needed as we intend to accelerate progress in the next five years."

Mr. Hans de Graaff, UNFPA Representative to Sudan addressed participants noting that "concerted efforts like this one, lead to further actions that will enable the integration of population variables into development planning, focusing on the local level where the need is greater."

He added that 2015 is fast approaching when the world leaders will review the extent to which countries have been able to progress towards achieving the MDGs. Census data on age structure, fertility, maternal mortality, migration, education, health, employment etc., all disaggregated by gender fill major gaps on Sudan's statistics.

Two papers were presented at the workshop. UNDP presented a paper on Utilization of Census Data for Tracking the MDGs. The paper pointed out that good quality and relevant statistics remain relatively weak in Africa due to low capacity and underfunding.

The second paper was presented by the National Population Council on How to Utilize Census Data in Preparation of the 2010 MDGs Report. In particular, the paper focused on challenges facing conflict-affected countries in achieving the MDG targets.