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The Deputy Statistician General of Stats SL, Lansana Kpewolo Kanneh, has visited Kamakwie, Karene District, to monitor the ongoing training of enumerators and supervisors for the Comprehensive Health and Epidemiological Surveillance System (CHESS) survey.

Mr. Kanneh left Freetown for Karene on Saturday, 9th March 2024, to witness the ongoing training of field staff who are going to participate in the CHESS survey.

CHESS is a new generation of population surveillance operations that hopes to provide timely delivery of high-quality data for disease-specific and pathogen-specific morbidity together with data for overall and cause-specific mortality.

Speaking at all the respective training halls he visited, the DSG expressed delight and satisfaction at the progress made so far regarding the facilitation and knowledge level of the participants. He interacted and related with the trainees and urged them to be attentive to detail. He furthered that the monitoring visit was to reaffirm Stats SL’s continuous commitment to producing credible and reliable data that positively impacts the national decision-making process(s).

He pleaded with the field staff to give their all to the training process in order to be fully equipped with the data collection skills, that will enable them to effectively utilize those skills to collect quality data that help achieve the study’s purpose.

In a similar vien, Mr. Kanneh met with the Karene District Council Chairman, Abdul Kandeh, the media, and other key stakeholders to clarify misinformation that "Stats SL imported many of the field staff from other parts of the country as opposed to using indigenes of the district ."

After clearly explaining how the requirement process of the field staff for the CHESS survey was done, the stakeholders were left with no option than to discard the false information and throw their full support for the entire survey process.

The DSG’s visit to Karene District not only created a promising effect on the survey process but also on the institution (Stats SL) as a whole.

It is important to note that a similar training is simultaneously happening in Pujehun district, one of the other CHESS sites, which was also visited by the Stats SL Council Chairman, Moses Williams, alongside the Council Rep for the North- West Region, Alhaji Yillah.

They similarly assessed progress made so far in the district regarding the training, and provided motivation for the trainees to give their all in delivering credible data data for the impending CHESS survey.

©️ Stats SL Comms and PR Division.

Abdul Bakarr SalimAbdul Bakarr Salim is the Local Project Coordinator Consultant of the Data for Now Initiative program in Sierra Leone, under the project “Accelerating implementation of Data for Now in eight countries in Africa and Asia.

Prior to this appointment, he served in various positions such as a National Consultant, Project Consultant, Evaluation Consultant, Environment and Social Safeguard Consultant, Board of Director, Director, Project Manager, Project Coordinator, Senior Agricultural Economist and Agricultural Officer for different National, International and Multilateral Organizations.

He is a development practitioner with over fifteen (15) years of experience in Strategic planning, Coordination, and Project Cycle Management with knowledge of project design, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation at country levels. Sound experience in the implementation of projects and programmes such as youth empowerment, water and sanitation, health and education, agricultural value chain analysis, food production, fiduciary control systems, environment impact assessment, climate change mitigation and adaptation framework, data analysis, econometrics studies, community mobilization, knowledge of the right base approach, experience in rapid rural appraisal and participatory rural appraisal tools, gender analysis, experience in the implementation of trade-related issues that support effective marketing and livelihood development activities such as agro marketing, micro-financing and life skill training etc.

Furthermore, he is also an effective communicator with good interpersonal skills, able to relate and network at all levels and can easily adapt to a multicultural environment as a team player who is always looking forward to taking up new challenges. Mr Salim holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Agricultural Economics and a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics, Njala University College, University of Sierra Leone, he also holds a Master of Business Administration (International Business) from Amity University Uttar Pradesh of India.

Statistics Sierra Leone (Stats SL) leads the Data for Now initiative as the project owner in the country.  Stats SL is in the process of identifying the policy priority areas to be focused on under the Data For Now umbrella based on the national development plans. In doing so, Stats SL, with support from the Data For Now project, is identifying specific data needs linked to the identified policy priorities, including the need for new data/indicators as well as increased timeliness and/or disaggregation of existing data.

Stats SL is assessing the infrastructure requirements to support implementation of innovative methods to produce more timely and disaggregated data.

Image 1Once the priorities and key indicators are selected, the Data For Now team will work with partners and NSS members to assess the feasibility of implementing innovative approaches and capacity development needs, and consequently carry out capacity development activities to strengthen the capabilities of the NSS members to produce/estimate those indicators.

Stats SL joined the Data for Now initiative  in 2022 supported by the UN Statistics Division with funding from the Italian and Norwegian Government. Faryal Ahmed (Ms.), project coordinator (left, middle) and Samrat Maskey, statistician (IT Architecture) at UNSD organised a meeting on the sidelines of the UN Statistical Commission on March 2023 in New York to have a face-to-face opportunity with Mr Andrew Bob Johnny, incoming SG of Stats SL and the donors to discuss the progress of the project and discuss next steps. Supporting Mr Johnny in the discussion was Mallam O., the outgoing SG of Stats SL. Stats SL has been working extensively with relevant government counterparts to select policy priorities, and meet related data objectives with support from the Data for Now initiative. 

Clementina Akran

Clementina I. Akran is currently a Senior Statistician / Senior Data Scientist, and Heads the Open Data and Visualisation Section, Data Science Division (DSD) at Stats SL.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and a Master of Science degree in Development Studies.

She leads a host of tasks: Stats SL Focal Point on the Trust Initiative Project with Paris 21 and the Sierra Leone News Agency (SLENA); Focal Point for the Data For Now initiative in Sierra Leone working with the team on 4 Policy Priority SDGs to fill existing data gaps using innovative methods; enhanced General Data Dissemination System (e-GDDS) Coordinator for Sierra Leone; Stats SL Focal person – United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC) Working Group on Open Data; Stats SL Data Selection Editor; Co-chair Open Data Council of Sierra Leone and have participated in series of statistical activities (Qualitative and Quantitative data collection activities, report writing and analysis).

She also doubled up as the Secretary of Stats SL’s Internal Training Programme (2018 – 2019).

Clementina has a wealth of experience in research studies and has co-authored series of statistical publications (or reports), data collection and analysis etc.  She is committed to continuously learning and adapting to the ever-evolving landscape of data science.

As Section Head Open Data & Visualisation, she focuses on providing technical guidance and support to ensure international comparability of data, adequate application of international statistical standards and data requirements from development partners and MDAs. She coordinates all data compilation activities carried out by the section, supervises its functioning, and assuring high quality, timeliness and coverage of the statistical outputs decided by Stats SL etc.

Her key outstanding achievements include:

Led the development of the Stats SL - Proactive Disclosure/Publication Scheme which Stats SL bagged the top Proactive Disclosure of Information compliance award in 2019 for being the only MDA to proactively disclose all information as stipulated in the Right to Access Information Act of 2013 and also to have fulfilled all 22 disclosure benchmarks well in time; working with Open Data Inventory (ODIN) which assesses the coverage and openness of official statistics to identify gaps, promote open data policies, improve access, and encourage dialogue between national statistical offices (NSOs) and data users; developed the  Stats SL’s Open License Agreement and Terms and Conditions of data access/usage on the website; initiated the setting up of Stats SL Opendata / free datasets portal. She represented Stats SL in a session to celebrate the International Open Data Day #0DD2020 organised by the Association of Freelance Journalists (AFJ) and the Sierra Leone News Agency (SLENA), where journalists were trained on Data Journalism skills

Ms. Clementina Akran was also one of the lead speakers for The Right to Access Information Commission (RAIC) in the commemoration of the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI)  -  The proclamation of 28th September every year as IDUAI has created the platform for citizens, civil society organizations and partners to reflect on the significance of data access.

Ms Akran co-authored an article on Changes in rates of psychiatric beds and prison populations in sub-Saharan Africa from 1990 to 2020.

Incoming SG and Outgoing SGStats SL is now under the leadership of Andrew Bob Johnny who is the newly appointed Statistician General and CEO of Stats SL. Andrew Bob Johnny who has worked for Stats SL for 29+ years and garnered a lot of institutional memory, took over office in an official handing over ceremony from his predecessor Prof. Osman Sankoh (Mallam O) at a two days staff reflection retreat, awards and Leadership Transition ceremony in Kenema.

Chairman of event and master of ceremony who also doubles as Director of Communication and PR at Stats SL,Samuel Ansumana, underscored the importance of the epoch making event in the annals of the institution.

Giving a talk on the purpose of the event, Mahawa Kondeh , Senior Human Resources manager, said that this event brought staff together to reflect on the last 5 years,recognise deserving staff for long service as well as transition the reigns of leadership of Stats SL.

Succinctly presenting on timelines, key achievements and work plans, Directors from all divisions and heads of departments presented on how far they have come, where they are, and what's the way forward with their strategic work plans for the year 2023. Each presentation started with a showcase of their teams and various units that comprised their division and their heads of units and sections.

Speaking on his tenure, outgoing SG, Prof. Osman Sankoh said that during the last 5 years, his administration with support of the incoming SG, Andrew Bob Johnny, reinvigorated the National Statistical office of Sierra Leone.  Prof Sankoh pointed out that his leadership has increased the institution's credibility by building strong foundations for digital data collection,analysis, and reporting and has developed a clear trajectory for its future. He continued that his leadership has achieved this by focusing on 6 major areas:

1.  Strengthening stakeholder engagement across Sierra Leone;

2.  Building strong relationships with International partners chief of which was being elected as the only NSO on the UN Statistical Commission for 3 years;

3.  Establishing Sierra Leone as the leader in statistical capability in Africa by delivering transparent data to support progress towards the SDGs;

4.  Significantly developing the capacity and infrastructure of Stats SL to modernise and digitize the statistical system and enhance the ability of its staff to utilise digital data;

5.  Spearhearding a variety of initiatives ranging from new, small-scale focused studies such as CHESS and ;

6.  Breaking new grounds for Stats SL as a research platform working with credible and leading research institutions in Africa producing innovative and forward-thinking statistics to put the organisation at the forefront of national research institutions.  

He ended by thanking God, Stats SL Council, Management and staff for their support during his tenure.

Aesthetically speaking to the general staff of Stats SL, the new Statistician General and CEO of Stats SL, Andrew Bob Johnny sincerely expressed his appreciation to the President of Sierra Leone, HE Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio for the opportunity accorded him to serve as SG/CEO. He thanked Stats SL Council for their unflinching support throughout his tenure as Deputy Statistician General.  He also expressed indebtedness to his predecessor Prof. Osman Sankoh, for his mentorship and guidance and for paving his way to becoming the Statistician General/CEO of an institution he has served for a very long time. To his colleagues, he smiled and said “patience is a virtue, I have been through the good, the bad and the ugly but with hard work and dedication am now the Statistician General and CEO of Stats SL. I am ready to work with you irrespective of your color, gender, tribe or region and I promise that I will be a leader that will listen to your cries and work towards them. Now is the time for us to come together and work as one for the betterment of Stats SL and the country as a whole”.  He concluded by saying that though his leadership will be a continuation of the good deeds from the previous, he will however strive to better it and raise standards even higher.He encouraged everyone to do his or her best as Stats SL starts a new dawn.

Making a brief statement, Chairman of Stats SL Council, Moses Williams, said he is happy to witness a smooth transition that has never happened in the history of Stats SL. He also encouraged staff to work hard and make the institution proud. He re-echoed the clarion call to support the new leadership of Andrew Bob Johnny as the Statistician General and CEO of Stats SL so that the institution will keep on making tremendous gains. He concluded by thanking other members of council for successfully guiding Stats SL management throughout the years which has impacted on the development of the institution.

The program was climaxed with an awards ceremony for long serving staff from 15 years and above and this was followed by the official handing over from the outgone Statistician General Mallam O, to the newly appointed Statistician General and CEO of Stats SL Andrew Bob Johnny.

© Stats SL Comms & PR Div