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Country Profile of Liberia

Main statistical agency
Main statistical agency name
Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs
Web address
Position in the government
The Department of Statistics reports to the Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs. In the case of LISGIS, LISGIS, when made operational, will report to the Head of Government through the Board of Directors.
Organizational structure and finance
The Deputy Minister of Statistics and the two Assistant Ministers of the Department of Statistics are appointed by the Head of Government, and while the Directors and other staff are appointment by the Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs.

When the LISGIS becomes operational, the Director-General and the Members of the Board of Directors will initially be appointed by the Head of Government; thereafter, both the Director-General and Members of the Board of Directors will be appointed by the Board. The Deputy Director-Generals will be appointed by the Board and other staff by the Director-General in consultation with the Board.
Multi-annual or annual work program
Preparation of work program is in progress.
Main duties
The main duties of LISGIS are:

1. Advise on all initiatives to collect data at all levels (locality/Village/Town, Clan, Districts, County, Regional and national) in the context of an integrated National Statistical and Geo-Information System;

2. Review instruments for data collection developed for such initiatives including GIS data and maps, census and survey designs, questionnaires and concepts, definitions and nomenclatures to be used in conducting the said censuses and surveys, as well as the costs of such operations;

3. Establish and manage, in collaboration with respective ministries, a National Master Sample Frame consisting of population census, enumeration areas, listing of households and a register of enterprises, as a key instrument for coordination of the National Statistical and Geo-Information System;

4. Ensure that all surveys of enterprises and households and/or individuals will draw their respective sample from the National Master Sample Frame;

5. Compile, update and publish a rolling National Integrated Program of Sample Surveys of Households and a National Integrated Program of Sample Surveys of Enterprises to be conducted by various components of the National Statistical and Geo-Information System;

6. Conduct censuses and surveys;

7. Collect routine administrative statistics;

8. Collect, analyze and disseminate social, economic, environmental and national accounts statistics of internationally acceptable standard as and when required;

9. Create, establish and manage the integrated National Statistical and Geo- Database;

10. Organize, maintain and ensure free access to a central depository of data, statistical reports, spatial information products such as maps and geo-referenced list, publications and documents from both within and outside the country;

11. Publish as its regular output a Monthly Statistical Bulletin, a Quarterly Statistical Digest, an Annual Statistical Abstract, an Annual Economic Survey and an Annual Statement of National Accounts as sources of official statistics on Liberia;

12. Design the scope and content and organize the time schedule for the release of publications in item (11) above and as detailed in Annex Two of this Act;

13. Submit the Annual Economic Surveys to the Legislature at least a fortnight before presentation of the annual Budget of Government to provide background to the Budget for informed decision- making;

14. Undertake research on and develop techniques and methods for production of statistics and Geo-Information Services:

15. Establish a unified statistical service within the Government by facilitating and ensuring the creation of a statistical capacity in sector ministries, geographic administrations and other components of the National Statistical and Geo-Information System;

16. Promote the use of appropriate information and communication technology (ITC) in statistical data and Geo-Information Services production process, dissemination and utilization;

17. Promote the understanding and use of official statistics and Geo-Data through information, education and communication (IEC) strategies (such as workshops, seminars, symposia, print and electronic media, etc,) to ensure popular participation and national ownership;

18. Promote and encourage the use of common and new concepts, methodologies, definitions, procedures, nomenclatures and standards, including geographic considerations and gender and development, in the collection, analysis and dissemination of statistical information, in order to ensure integration of the National Statistical System as well as an integrated National Statistical Database;

19. Accredit all professional statisticians desirous of undertaking any statistical research in the country;

20. Enforce the Scheme of Service and monitor its implementation as provided for in Section 50A. 7(6);

21. Support sectoral capacity to acquire, access, use and contribute to the National Statistical System and the integrated National Statistical Database;

22. Develop for approval by the Board a public access to information policy;

23. Notwithstanding legislation and regulations on national security, protect private citizens' right to privacy;

24. Data produced by LISGIS should be provided free of charge to the Government of Liberia and its development partners. Provisions for cost of data products will be established to ensure cost-recovery; and

25. Perform such other functions as may be prescribed by the Board.

Brief history and other relevant background information
Brief history and other relevant background information
The first Act establishing the statistics office (Division of Statistics) was in 1957, and this Act was amended in 1971 to create the Bureau of Statistics. The Bureau was headed by an Assistant Minister, and served as National Statistics Office responsible for the production, publication and dissemination of national statistics. In 1992, the Act was again amended to transform the Bureau into a Department, called Department of Statistics, to be headed by a Deputy Minister.

However, the Act got once more amended on 22 July 2004 to establish an autonomous statistical institute to be called Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS). LISGIS will now be responsible for the coordination of all statistical activities, including the production, publication and dissemination of national statistics.

Legal basis
Legal basis
LISGIS was established by Law by the National Transitional Legislative Assembly (NTLA); the Act was approved by the Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) on July 22, 2004. It has been published into hand bill, thus completing the legal requirements. LISGIS will be headed by a Director-General, and supervised and monitored by a twenty-one (21) member Board of Directors (Board). Both the Director-General and the Board of Directors will initially be appointed by the Head of Government, in this case the Chairman of the NTGL, to establish the institution; and thereafter the Director-General and the Board will subsequently be appointed by the Board to minimize the involvement of Government and secure the support of all stakeholders, particularly development partners.

Other producers of official statistics
Other producers of official statistics
1. Central Bank of Liberia

2. Ministries of Finance, Health, Education, Agriculture, Labour, Justices, Gender and Youth and Sport

3. National Port Authority, Forestry Development Authority, Liberia Petroleum Refinery Corporation, Liberia Produce Marketing Corporation, Robert International Airport, etc.

4. Development partners such as UNCT, I/NGOs, USAID, EU, etc.

Statistical advisory bodies
Statistical advisory bodies
None as yet, but may be established after the operationalization of LISGIS.

Data collection
Most recent population census
21 mars 2008
Access to administrative data
Yes, we do have access to line sector ministries/agencies to data.
Data confidentiality
The Law establishing LISGIS clearly defines that all the individual data collected by LISGIS are confidential and can only be used or published in summary tables, in which source is unidentified.

All employees in the statistical system are required to protect the confidentiality of individual information. Persons who violate the confidentiality of statistical information are subject to fines.

Personal data collected by LISGIS cannot be used for physical inspection purposes, economic repression or investigation.

Data dissemination
Release calendar (existence, when and how published)
None as yet; but will be prepared soon.
Main publications
Because of the war in the country, only the Monrovia Consumer Price Index (MCPI) is being published monthly.
Languages of main publications
How are data disseminated (Paper, CD Rom, Website, online databases, databanks)?
It is disseminated on paper; and on diskette upon request.
Availability of microdata for research purposes
Researchers have to present their requests to the Department of Statistics/LISGIS through the Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs or the Director-General.

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