POOR data collection continues to be a resource challenge in Papua New Guinea in the provision of maternal health care delivery, education and child support programmes. This has led to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) urging the government there to prioritise data collection if it is to strategically place services. In her first trip to the country, the Assistant Secretary General to the UNICEF Deputy Director, Fatoumata Ndiaye, said data is fundamental to any strategy.
Ndiaye and Karin Hulshof, UNICEF’s Regional Director for East-Asia and the Pacific visited Papua New Guinea for two days travelling to Goroka and Aziana village of Obura in the Wonenara district. They also met with Prime Minister Peter O’Neil.
“Without accurate data, making policies becomes very, very difficult. And data should be linked up with budget and accountability,” Ndiaye said.
The visit revealed the need for government to properly collect and collate data. “For the government to plan if there are going to be more schools we need to know where is the density of the population, we need to know how many children are supposed to be living there, so the schools can be built in the right size and we don’t have a student teacher ratio of 100 students with one teacher…so there has to be data accrual.”
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