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Innovation and development: The power of secure and accessible data in Paraguay

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Paraguay INE workers Workers from the National Institute of Statistics of Paraguay (INE, in Spanish) / Photo Courtesy: Instituto Nacional de Estadística de Paraguay (INE)

Have you ever wondered how many doctors work in your area? Or how many businesses operate in your province, region, state or department? In a world where information is key, the National Institute of Statistics (INE) of Paraguay is committed to expanding and improving the dissemination of reliable and accessible data through digital platforms, backed by a solid regulatory framework for the protection of personal data privacy.

These tools are essential for different audiences, from the general public to specialized users such as researchers, entrepreneurs, students, teachers, journalists, and policymakers. The way we use statistical data is crucial for decision-making, as well as for analyzing trends, projecting results, and addressing the challenges faced by our society, governments, and businesses.

Recent updates to INE's digital platforms include more metadata and microdata available to the public. Metadata is the information that describes and explains a dataset, such as its origin, methodology, and structure. On the other hand, microdata is the data itself, collected at the individual, household, or establishment level through censuses, surveys, and other means. These elements are essential for the utilization and reuse of available information.

The integration of these platforms constitutes a remarkable initiative in Latin America, where just over a decade ago, it was rare to find data available in open formats from national statistical offices. This is reflected in the more than 500,000 queries made to the website in the last 5 years, a notable contrast to the limited access and usability offered by the old printed Statistical Yearbooks. Additionally, the most recent update of the World Bank's Statistical Performance Index, using 2022 data positions Paraguay with a score of 75.8/100, above the average for Latin America (65.6) and upper-middle-income countries (68.6).


What data can you find and use for free?

The Catalog of Metadata and Microdata of Paraguay, through the National Data Archive (ANDA) platform, offers access to a variety of socioeconomic surveys and metadata from censuses, surveys, and administrative records.

In less than a year, the catalog has gone from having only 13 to 64 metadata, corresponding to 26 statistical operations produced by INE and other official entities covering various topics such as: businesses, economic sectors, consumer confidence index, victimization, vital statistics, COVID-19 impact on statistical operations, inbound tourism, risk factors for non-communicable diseases, census and permanent household survey, complaints and counseling, registration of establishments and jobs, tuberculosis, maternal deaths, the unique student registry, the national evaluation system of the educational process, and the institutional directory of the Ministry of Education and Science (MEC).

The Open Data Catalog has a wide range of demographic and socioeconomic indicators, as well as 20 documented databases, including, among others, the Continuous Permanent Household Survey (EPHC), the Income and Expenditure Survey, and the Survey on the Situation of Women in Paraguay. This catalog is being evaluated by the World Bank using the Open Data Toolkit (ODT) to ensure its quality and reliability, with the aim of supporting the continuous improvement of data openness.

As an example of use, data from the Continuous Permanent Household Survey and the Income and Expenditure Survey guide government officials in decisions on poverty reduction, social assistance, allocation of fiscal resources according to identified needs and vulnerabilities, and allow for evaluating the effectiveness and impact of social policies on family well-being.

Meanwhile, the National Survey on the Situation of Women in Paraguay is instrumental in identifying cases of gender-based violence, understanding the family background of survivors, and assessing the physical and emotional impact. The analyses derived from this source have been key in guiding evidence-based public policy decisions to address this issue effectively.

In addition, INE offers REDATAM, a powerful tool for the statistical processing of census microdata. Once the process of the 2022 National Population and Housing Census (CNPV) is completed, which is expected to take place during the current year, users will be able to access the microdata for online processing.

INE also offers the Geostatistical Portal of Paraguay, which is a tool that enables users to explore and visualize a wide range of statistical and geographical data in a in a user-friendly and interactive manner. Leveraging open-source technology, the portal presents information in the form of maps and tables, allowing for a disaggregated view of data at national, departmental, and district levels. Users can access preliminary data from the 2022 National Population and Housing Census (CNPV) and explore various layers of information, such as administrative boundaries, water channels, government institutions, and the distribution of industries and companies across departments. The portal also offers a wealth of statistical indicators related to population, environment, transportation routes, health facilities, educational institutions, police stations, religious centers, sports venues, parks, communication infrastructure, emergency services, and public utilities.

INE works with the World Bank and other agencies to innovate and increasingly respond to the changing demands of society. Its role is fundamental in the country's transformation through the generation and dissemination of reliable and accessible data. This work facilitates informed decision-making in the public and private sectors and drives research and innovation in various sectors. In an increasingly digital world, INE demonstrates how transparency and access to quality data can be powerful engines for development and social progress.

Alejandro Medina Giopp

Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist

Eliana Rubiano-Matulevich

Senior Economist at the Poverty and Equity Global Practice for Latin American and the Caribbean at The World Bank

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