Top Statisticians in Asia-Pacific Region Pledge to Enhance Communication with Data Users

Top statisticians at a United Nations meeting have pledged to improve their communication with data users from the Asia-Pacific region.

The decision came at a seminar on “Strategies for Achieving Effective Data Communication,” for the heads of National Statistical Organizations (NSOs) of 26 Asia-Pacific countries meeting from 3 to 5 November 2009 in New Delhi.

The Seminar was jointly organized by the Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (SIAP-ESCAP), the UN Statistics Division and the Central Statistical Organization of India, with support from the Statistics Division of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and participation by the World Bank.

In his inaugural remarks, Dr. Pronab Sen, Secretary and Chief Statistician of India, highlighted the importance of communication strategies in light of the enormous changes that have taken place in the environment within which the official statistical systems operate.

Shri S.K. Das, Director General of the Central Statistical Organization, shared India’s experience in enhancing the visibility and image of statistical agencies. He noted that with the recent establishment of the state-of-the-art National Academy of Statistical Administration, India would be able to further enhance its international cooperation in statistical capacity building.

Carmelita N. Ericta, Administrator of the National Statistics Office of the Philippines, said radio was one of the most effective means of communicating, especially in rural areas. She is hosting a popular weekly public service radio programme that explains the latest statistics in layman’s terms.

The meeting was the eighth annual management seminar, which began in 2002 in order to further strengthen the capacities of leaders of the national statistical systems to promote economic and social development. The seminar noted that statistical communication was not limited to the flow of data but covered also contextual information, such as what they exactly referred to and why they were collected. It also noted that hardware and new technology could not replace a good strategy for engaging the producers and users of data.

SIAP was established in May 1970 by ESCAP as a centre for statistical training for developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The Institute aims to strengthen their ability to collect, analyze and disseminate statistics as well as to produce timely and high-quality statistics that can be used for economic and social development planning, and to assist those developing countries in establishing or strengthening their statistical training capability and other related activities.