As part of the UNSD-DFID project on SDG Monitoring, 13 countries came together in an international workshop to discuss issues around, and share experiences on developing and implementing user engagement strategies for SDGs and the National Statistical System more broadly. Throughout the workshop panels were organized where countries discussed topics such as: process and institutional mechanism for developing and implementing a user engagement strategy; differences and similarities between user engagement and compunction; and, the role SDG data and metadata platforms in engaging users. Participants also worked through a number of hands on exercise on linking policies and indicators, and how to produce relevant products to meet the needs of different user groups. The interactions amongst participants during the formal workshop sessions as well as through the informal discussion provided an opportunity to further exchange best practices between countries.

Main outcomes:

  • User engagement should be a core function of the National Statistical System and it should be building upon/complimentary to the national strategy for the development of statistics
  • Human and financial resources should be made available to have dedicated staff to work on user engagement; and this should be reflected in the user engagement strategies that countries develop.
  • Besides policy makers/analysts in government institutions, other important user groups include the media, academia and general public.
  • Different statistical products must be produced to meet the needs of different user groups; these products must be disseminated through relevant dissemination channels and in accessible formats to ensure ease of consumption by users.

Where do we go from here:

  • Participating countries committed to developing, finalizing and adopting user engagement strategies; countries also committed to drafting relevant action plans that translate the strategies into activates that support user engagement.
  • The need to develop training for NSO on how to produce user relevant products was identified as a priority; statistical literacy training for other user groups was also deemed important.
  • The experiences of the project countries in drafting and implementing user engagement strategy can be leveraged by other countries interested in working this area.

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