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From 4 to7 February 2018, Zambia hosted an Information and Exploratory Meeting on the “Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development” (GRID³) initiative.

GRID3 is a multi-country initiative (Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan and Tanzania) jointly supported by UNFPA, DFID, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, FLOWMINDER and CIESIN, aimed at supporting the collection, analysis, and management of geospatial reference data to support national development priorities, humanitarian efforts, as well as SDG’s implementation.

Globally, GRID3 promotes investments in efficient data systems that help put everyone on the map, including strengthening systems for the generation and use of core, high resolution reference data. At the country level, GRID3 seeks to promote effective coordination across Government and partners for the collection, processing and utilization use of such data to support national development efforts.

Speaking at the meeting with UNFPA staff from Headquaters, East and Southern Africa Regional Office, as well as the 6 Countries on 5 February 2018, the UNFPA Chief of the Population and Development Branch Ms. Rachel Snow, as well as the UNFPA Zambia Representative Dr. Mary Otieno both underscored the GRIDpartners' collective strengths to contribute to the availability of timely, reliable and most importantly, geo-referenced data; data which will be critical for benchmarking progress towards the SDG targets and other national priorities such as Vision 2030 for Zambia. 

Also speaking at a meeting with Zambian stakeholders on 6 February 2018, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Development Planning Mr. Chola Chabala expressed the Ministry's exhilaration towards the GRID3 support to Zambia’s journey towards the achievement of the highest resolution Census data possible, and which will provide the evidence-base for the attainment of the ambitious and far reaching 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as Zambia’s Vision 2030.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Development Planning (R3); Permanent Secretary (M&E) in the Ministry of Development Planning (R2) Chief of the UNFPA Population and Development Branch (L4); UNFPA Zambia Representative (L3); UNFPA Zambia Deputy Representative (R1); Director in the Ministry of Development Planning (L2) and Director in the Central Statistics Office (R1) at the GRID3 Information Meeting with Zambian Stakeholders on 6 February