National Statistical Systems (NSS), and in particular National Statistics Offices (NSO), need to strategically and systemically engage with various users of the SDG data/indicators. A user engagement strategy should focus on users of the national statistical office/systems' data and set out how the NSO/NSS encourages and promotes user engagement as a driver for increased relevance. This is crucial in the SDG-era for many reasons. First, because data does not exist in a vacuum - a part of assessing NSS' performance and relevance often involves how well it is able to meet the needs and expectations of its users. An effective user engagement strategy can enable NSS entities to feel the pulse of their users and develop mechanisms to respond to specific needs appropriately. Second, improved technology and the multitude of ways in which data is consumed today days means that traditional approaches to dissemination, such as statistical tables and publications themselves are not sufficient. This combined with the fact that demand for data has increased considerably - from policy makers to students to journalists-requires NSOs to consider multiple modes of communication for a wide variety of users with divergent needs. A thoughtfully-devised user engagement strategy enables NSOs to systematically address all these issues.
The objective of this workshop is to increase capacity in the national statistical system for the drafting and implementation of a user engagement strategy. The workshop - typically 4-day long - is customized to needs of the NSO and covers the following topics:
- What is a user engagement strategy: provides an overview of what a strategy is, why it is useful and what are some of its potential components.
- Means of reaching the various user groups: User engagement should be an ongoing activity of NSOs. In this module, discussion is held around the tools/methods that NSOs can use to identify and elicit inputs from the various stakeholders.
- Tools/methods to support the development of a user engagement: This module provides an opportunity to the participants to obtain inputs from the various user groups during the workshops and observe the use of some of the tools to obtain inputs. This is achieved through a Focus Group Discussion with one user group, and a round table discussion with a diverse group of users. Inputs obtained during these sessions are incorporated in drafting the strategy.
- Tools/methods/products to meet user needs: This module focuses on how the NSO/NSS can meet the needs of their users by developing/updating their statistical products.
Throughout the workshop, facilitators work closely with the participants to develop a first draft of a national user engagement strategy.
This workshop is targeted towards staff from the NSO and as well as various line ministries that produce data on SDG indicators, with participation of various user groups, as needed. It is a practical working-level workshop, which is primarily exercise and discussion-based. This approach is expected to bring together various entities across the national statistical system in sharing knowledge, approaches, and experiences on user engagement.