NISR looks to ICT to boost data collection and sharing

THE NATIONAL Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) has launched a new SMS-based platform which will enable the instituion to collect and disseminate information in real time.

THE NATIONAL Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) has launched a new SMS-based platform which will enable the instituion to collect and disseminate information in real time.

The new technology, which is currently being tested, gives instant and easy access to statistical information, Donati Nkundimana, the NISR senior computer scientist and data processor, said.

He added that the technology would help enhance communication between NISR and stakeholders, as far as disseminating and receiving information on various economic indicators is concerned.

“All mobile phone owners will benefit from the innovation. This means that decision-makers, individuals and institutions in the public and private sectors will be able to receive the data instantly,” Nkundimana said.

The platform, which will be launched next month, is mainly for disseminating information, providing public SMS interaction with the system, as well as data collection using Android mobile phones.

Nkundimana said the innovation was vital as it would help users of statistical data make decisions based on objective evidence provided by the institution.

Oscar Sibomana, the NISR principal statistician, said the new platform would greatly improve consumer price index data collection.

The statistics body presently uses hard copies during data entries.

“This will not only help us have our work done in time, but also more activities will be brought on board in addition to releasing data instantly,” Sibomana said in an interview with The New Times.   

“We are in negotiations with all the mobile telecoms to see how we can deliver the services at a low cost,” Nkundimana said. 

The statistics body officials said receiving data would be free of charge. However, for one to request for any information they would pay about Rwf10 per SMS.  

Nkundimana said the new application would also be used by field statistical data collectors to send information directly and safely to the institution’s central database.

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