World Bank support for statistical capacity building and open data initiatives is provided in response to high demand by our member countries, their constituents, and our development partners across the globe. Better data is fundamental to making the right policy decisions that help reduce poverty.

The World Bank is working with Sierra Leone to help produce quality and credible data that will contribute to the attainment of the national development goals of the country.

Under the Harmonizing and Improving Statistics in West Africa Project (HISWA), a US$30 million grant was allocated to Sierra Leone to strengthen its statistical system. One of the activities supported by the project is the national Mid-Term Census, which will be implemented by Statistics Sierra Leone (Stats SL) and includes the roll out of a digital census for the first time in Sierra Leone, an important innovation that requires careful planning.

The World Bank, Stats SL and representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, the Statistics Council, as well as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) have held several technical preparatory meetings and Stats SL is now ready to start the cartographic mapping of the entire country, the first phase of the census.

While the census cartography phase is being implemented, the World Bank and other partners will support Stats SL in developing and finalizing the data capture application. The project will also support Stats SL to pilot the digital application developed as well as the enumeration process, before that second phase of the census.

Beyond the Mid-Term Census, the World Bank—through the HIWSA Project—is committed to strengthening Sierra Leone’s national statistical system, so that development programs in support of the country’s Medium-Term National Development Plan (2019-2023) can be better designed, efficiently targeted, and their impact effectively evaluated.