Kiribati investing in better data to help achieve its development goals


On 30 July 2018, the Republic of Kiribati launched a project to update data on households and institutions across the nation’s 23 inhabited islands. This data will been an invaluable tool for Kiribati’s development planning, ensuring that resources are allocated based on accurate information from across all of Kiribati’s remote communities. The project will also lay the foundation for upcoming national statistical collections in 2018-2020.

The project’s start was marked with the signing of an Implementing Partner Agreement between the Pacific Community (SPC) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Funding for this project has been generously provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Government of Australia.

Statistical collections produce data to facilitate policy formation, planning and measuring progress against development priorities, including populating indicators under the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs). To run these collections efficiently, the listing of households in Kiribati, including GPS location and household composition (age and gender), will be updated. Once updated, the sampling frame will be used for three upcoming national collections: a Social Indicator Survey (late 2018), a Household Income and Expenditure Survey (2019-2020), and the Population and Housing Census (2020).  The listing will occur in all inhabited islands of Kiribati, including the highly populated urban area of South Tarawa and remote atolls in the Gilbert, Line and Phoenix Islands.   

As the listing will be conducted using digital tablets, it will also enhance the capacity of Kiribati’s National Statistics Office (NSO) in using technology to collect high quality data.

Dr Ofa Ketuu, Director, Statistics for Development Division, SPC, emphasized that “Good data is the foundation of good policy, and through this project Kiribati will be better positioned to make informed decisions on their development plans.  By taking a collaborative approach toward statistics programs in the region with like-minded partners like UNFPA, we can ensure that our members are getting the maximum value out of each project”.

The joint UNFPA-SPC work plan aligns to SPC’s Statistics for Development Division’s priority outcomes of: coordinated governance and stakeholder collaboration within the Pacific statistical system; delivery of technical support to censuses and surveys through a regional technical assistance program using standardised method, systems and processes; and collaboration among technical partners and national statistical agencies to deliver on the Ten-Year Pacific Statistics Strategy.

Bruce Campbell, UNFPA’s Representative and chair of the Pacific UN Country Team’s Data Monitoring and Evaluation Group says “we are very pleased to be engaged with this pragmatic effort to build national capacity to produce and analyse the fundamental data that can be generated from national surveys.  And even more importantly, we are pleased to see steadily increasing utilization of the data to guide critical policy and programming decisions across the development spectrum”.

The work plan aligns to the United Nations Pacific Strategy priority outcomes of: gender equality; sustainable and inclusive economic empowerment; equitable basic services; and governance and community engagement. 

Media contacts:
Michael Sharp, Economic Adviser, SPC ([email protected])
Sandra Paredez, Population and Development Adviser, UNFPA ([email protected])
SPC Media contacts : +679 337 9250 (Fiji) or +687 877 063 (Noumea) - [email protected]

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