Improving management information

A good information system is essential for all aspects of economic management. Systematic adjustments in policies and programmes, necessary in a fast-changing world, are not possible without reliable monitoring of current developments. As a rule, better information-especially about key performance indicators-brings bigger dividends for economic management than do sophisticated techniques of long-term forecasting. Although senior officials may readily agree on the need to improve statistics, genuine commitment (as evidenced by the provision of adequate resources) and sustained efforts are often lacking.
The problems of planning without facts have been well documented in Africa, but they are serious in many other countries as well. Lacking sectoral statistics, governments have not been able to address sectoral issues. This proved particularly damaging when oil prices rose sharply in the 1970s, because few developing countries had the data they needed to reassess their energy requirements and to develop conservation programmes. For years the lack of good agricultural statistics has seriously handicapped the analysis of agricultural development programmes and the formulation of policies. And the whole world has now learned of the dangers of ignorance about a country's financial position. In several countries -- notably Indonesia, Mexico, and Turkey -- the external debt crisis was compounded by the lack of comprehensive data.
Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal