THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF

Qatar 2019 | QATAR NATIONAL VISION 2030 | INTERVIEW

The government body tasked with drawing up a map of what development goals must be met by 2030 shares a huge responsibility for the country's future.

Dr. Saleh bin Mohammed Al-Nabit
BIOGRAPHY
Dr. Saleh bin Mohammed Al-Nabit is the President of the PSA. Dr. Saleh bin Al-Nabit was the Secretary-General for the General Secretariat for Development Planning (GSDP) until June 2011. Before being appointed as Secretary-General, he served as the Director of the Institutional Development at the GSDP from 2008 to 2011. Saleh received his PhD in development economics from the University of Bradford, UK. He received master's degree in business administration and economics from the University of St. Louis in the US, and a postgraduate diploma in research methods from the University of Bradford.

How is the statistical system of Qatar aligning with the global best practices?

In line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by world leaders in September 2015, the UN Statistical Commission adopted a transformation plan for official statistics in order to provide the necessary data and indicators for monitoring and evaluating progress in the implementation of the agreed upon goals and targets. The plan adopts a strategic approach that calls for the establishment of a new structure for data collection, processing, and dissemination. In this regard, Qatar has been chosen as a lead country for the implementation of the plan and the introduction of the transformation in the national statistical system. An evaluation of the statistical system was carried out in 2017, followed by two workshops on the “Modernization of Official Statistics in the State of Qatar" in December 2017 and September 2018. Based on the evaluation process, a number of priorities were set forth, the most important of which are: producing indicators for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and updating databases managed by UN organizations; adopting the Generic Statistical Business Processes Model in order to standardize methodologies for managing statistical activities and provide metadata; building statistical records based on available administrative records; and conducting the 2020 census. In order to modernize the statistical system, PSA has organized several consultation meetings with a number of statistical agencies, such as UK Office for National Statistics and Statistics Denmark, to name a few. It also hosts many international experts to provide their experience in the field of modernizing statistical systems.

How is the PSA working to support the diversification of Qatar's economy?

The authority provides technical advice to government entities during the preparation of the overall strategy and sectoral and ministerial plans. The NDS2 was developed with a view to diversifying the economy, improving natural resource exploitation, spurring entrepreneurship and innovation, and achieving sustainable economic and social development.

To what extent has PSA managed to allocate the state budget to the development priorities?

The Second National Development Strategy (NDS2) has set out priorities that were nationally agreed upon by all the stakeholders and approved by the Council of Ministers. This strategy was prepared in the light of an important legislation, Law No. (2) of 2015, on the fiscal policy of the State of Qatar. As per Article 10 of that law, all government financial units shall submit their budget estimates at the time specified in the annual publication of the State General Budget to the ministry. Such estimates and priorities shall be consistent with the national development strategy. The ministry shall determine the priorities of the development projects and their selection criteria in line with the state's fiscal policy. Ministries and government agencies will submit state budgets, including development projects that fall within the framework of the National Development Strategy. This does not mean that all the proposed projects will be funded, however. PSA also reviews draft medium-term strategic plans and the annual implementation plans of the implementing agencies to ensure consistency with the national development requirements and priorities. Therefore, PSA's role in supporting the Ministry of Finance in the allocation of budgets is related to the ability of the system to crystallize the agreed upon national priorities, as well as the ability of the system to align the institutional plans with the comprehensive development agenda and ensure their integration and consistency.