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Gathering information about living conditions, age structures, natural resources, growth, movements and structures of a country's population is vital for policy formulation, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation (M&E). At Local Government (LG) level, data is important for planning and development, resource allocation, and tracking impact of government programmes on the community.

Collecting good quality data plays a vital role in supplying objective information for the problems under study and to enhance project credibility. Local Governments play a crucial role in the data collection process.

For example, Uganda Bureau of Standards (UBOS) conducted a study that indicated that over 70 percent of the data needed for planning could be availed locally from administrative sources without conducting a survey or census.

UNFPA supported UBOS to conduct a rapid data needs assessment in 15 UNFPA-supported districts in validation of findings from the study and to proceed to develop the LG harmonized database.

This was aimed at standardization of information and reporting formats in the districts. District units were trained on how to collect reliable information to facilitate planning.

This process of developing the databases for the 15 districts is being used as a pilot and learning strategy by UBOS, with plans to replicate it in all districts in Uganda.