Central African Republic: Supporting the reconstruction of the national statistical system to help with better data for decision-making

WASHINGTON- To enable the strengthening of the capacity of the statistical system to produce and manage data and enhance living conditions measurement in the Central African Republic, the World Bank today approved a $3 million additional financing in grant for the Data for Decision Making Project.

The Central African Republic (CAR) is one of the world’s poorest and most fragile countries. In 2019, per capita gross domestic product (GDP) averaged 468 dollars—much lower than the average of 1,130 dollars in countries affected by fragility, conflict, and violence in Sub-Saharan Africa. The extreme poverty rate remained high at 71.4 percent in 2020. The 2012 politico-military crisis left the National Statistical System (NSS), which was reasonably developed before the crisis, in poor conditions. The looting of the offices of the Central African Institute for Statistics and Economic and Social Research (Institut Centrafricain des Statistiques et des Etudes Economiques et Sociales, ICASEES) caused the loss of much of the country’s statistical data records. Additionally, this looting resulted in the loss of much of the statistical infrastructure as well as the physical records documents.

The original project has allowed to recover the data dispersed during the 2012 crisis and to archive them on a digital platform and store them on remote cloud servers to avoid future losses. In addition, the capacity of ICASEES staff was increased. Some of the databases outdated for decision-making have been updated including the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the agricultural survey, Communal Monographies Survey and Living Conditions Survey.

“This additional financing will allow to update the National Accounts and the census cartography, and to improve ICASEES physical infrastructure”, said Guido Rurangwa, World Bank Country Manager for the Central African Republic. “Updating the census cartography is an important step toward the implementation of the population census”, he added.

Financed by a grant from the International Development Association (IDA) this additional financing will cover two components of the Data for Decision Making Project: (i) statistical recovery, rehabilitation, professionalization and modernization of ICASEES; and (ii) data collection, production and dissemination.