THE PROBLEM: LACK OF DISSEMINATION INFRASTRUCTURE TECHNIQUES OF STATISTICAL INFORMATION
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is the Central Statistical Office of Tanzania. The NBS, as a Government agency, was formed from the former Bureau of Statistics to provide efficient services giving increased value for money for the benefit of the Government and the public in general. NBS carries out its activities in a businesslike manner, using commercial financial management and business-planning techniques and is customer focused. It conducts Censuses and Surveys which yield a wide range of economic, social and demographic statistics.
Therefore roles of NBS are :
• To provide statistics to the government, business and general public as well as international organizations for use in decision –making.
• To coordinate statistics activities so as to produce statistics that are intergrated.
Major Users of the data collected at NBS are the Government itself, Researchers, UN Agencies, Private Sectors, Higher learning Institutions, Students and the General Public.
The NBS vision is to be a preferable source of official statistics in Tanzania.
The Mission is to facilitate informed decision-making process, through provision of relevant, timely and reliable user-driven statistical information, coordinating statistical activities and promoting the adherence to statistical methodologies and standards.
The need for relevant, reliable and timely Statistical information among Policy makers, planners, business people, researchers and society at large has become an inevitable necessity than one can imagine. This is because the decision making, planning and policy formulation are prone to succeed if are backed by facts and reliable data.
A wealth of socio-economic data from different sources exists in Tanzania. Access, however to that data is not easy because information is scattered in different ministries, Departments and Agencies with restricted use, format not easy to access, read and process and there were no proper documentation (definitions/metadata). Furthermore, although comprehensive data is collected e.g. in the area of education and health, only a small portion was published in annual publications with much data remaining in the ministry difficult to access by others.
Some means that were used in disseminating Survey and Census information were printed statistical publications, statistical tables, Statistical libraries were used by the public where by one had to move to the statistical library location for those publications or they had to send a request to the NBS through mails and waiting for the NBS to respond for their requests.
In a bid to disseminate the data to all levels of its users, NBS found it difficult to reach all the users. This was due to the inefficient of the means that were used in dissemination. This necessitate the need to develop the important tool for data collection and dissemination to various stakeholders within the country and outside where they can access the statistical information