The role of statistics in national development cannot be over emphasized. Collection and dissemination of Statistics to users in countries are normally under the mandate of the Central Statistical Bureaux. Their work is supported by Statistics Training Institutions, which build statistical capacity of the human resource needed by the Bureaux as well as the users of statistics including the Ministries Departments and Agencies of governments and the Private Sector. A third institution devoted to research, innovations and improvement of methodologies, processes and statistics products is necessary to continually monitor and assess the quality of statistics, and develop ways of improving quality by improving the methodologies or customizing existing methodologies to prevailing situations.
In most developing countries there does not exist such institutions with the capability for research, methodological innovations and improvements.
In East Africa for instance there are the Central Bureaux of Statistics for each of the countries mandated to collect, compile and disseminate statistics. Then there is the School of Statistics and Planning, responsible for statistical training for English-Speaking Africa. What is lacking is institutions devoted to statistical methodological research and innovations, with a view to continually improve quality of statistical products generated for use in decision-making.
The implication of this gap is that statistics has not evolved at the same pace in Africa as elsewhere. For instance, administrative data are collected routinely by various organizations while various surveys and censuses are periodically collected. There have been no efforts to establish linkages between administrative records on the one hand and surveys and censuses on the other with a view to developing national registers. Countries that have developed such registers have in the process phased out censuses thus saving money but at the same time improving the accuracy and reliability of their statistics. The EASI initiative is in response to the need to fill this gap.