The demand for good-quality statistical data continues to increase. Timely and reliable statistics are key inputs to the broad development strategy. Improvements in the quality and quantity of data on all aspects of development are essential if we are to achieve the goal of a world without poverty.
Good data are needed to set baselines, identify effective public and private actions, set goals and targets, monitor progress and evaluate impacts. They are also an essential tool of good government, providing a means for people to assess what governments do and helping them to participate directly in the development process.
At the World Bank, the Development Data Group coordinates statistical and data work and maintains a number of macro, financial and sector databases. These databases are used by teams to prepare Country Assistance Strategies, poverty assessments, research studies and other forms of economic and sector work. Working closely with the Bank’s regions and sectors, the group is guided by professional standards in the collection, compilation and dissemination of data to ensure that all data users can have confidence in the quality and integrity of the data produced.
Much of the data comes from the statistical systems of member countries, and the quality of global data depends on how well these national systems perform. The World Bank works to help developing countries improve the capacity, efficiency and effectiveness of national statistical systems. Without better and more comprehensive national data, it is impossible to develop effective policies, monitor the implementation of poverty reduction strategies, or monitor progress towards global goals.