A handbook in communications for african statistical agencies

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Statistical offices all over the world make more and better statistics every day. Statistical tools are better, official registries are better, and methods for conducting surveys are improving all the time. However, at the same time a lot of this work is futile if statistics do not reach the intended users. Over the last 20 years, ways of communicating have changed more rapidly than ever before in human history. New technology – internet, mobile phones, social media and more – has become common. And with new technology comes new ways of communicating and consuming information. This gives National Statistical Institutes (NSIs) new opportunities to reach ever more users in new and interesting ways, and to let official statistics play an increasingly important role in society. At the same time as new opportunities arise, many NSIs still disseminate and communicate in more or less the same way as they have always done. There are many reasons for this. Statistics is in nature a conservative “business”, with a lot of emphasis on time series and repetitive work. Statisticians are often very cautious and prefer not to open to disapproval or criticism. In many countries, there is a long tradition for a more limited dissemination, mostly to governmental organizations. And of course, up-to-date communication is both difficult and sometimes expensive.

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