A successful integration agenda requires good quality information which in turn depends on a healthy operation to produce it. A body of evidence can be built scientifically using rigorous methods and tools, or, in today’s ICT- enabled world, built un-systematically by turning imperfect, complex, often unstructured data into actionable information. Thus evidence can be official or unofficial, and include, for example, data, statistics, expert knowledge, policy evaluation, research, feedback from stakeholder consultations, and the untapped explosion of high frequency digital data.
An evidence base is therefore a rich variety of quantitative and qualitative observations, systematically or un-systematically collected, processed and disseminated. Sources include individuals, households, businesses, government departments and agencies for systematic collection; and the internet, customer logs and transactions, and satellite images to name a few, for un-systematic collection. Notwithstanding the sources, issues of quality, credibility, relevance and cost are essential to determining the statistical requirements for the region’s integration agenda.
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