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04 October 2021 | Open meeting

Stats Cafe no. 48

The 48th session of the Asia-Pacific Stats Café Series on "Enhancing Data and Statistical Literacy for Policy Action" was held on Monday, 4 October 2021, 13.00-14.30 hours (GMT +7). 

Data and official statistics have become an integral part of policy research and evidence-based decision making, and even the daily life of citizens. The increasing number of actors with diverse interests producing data and statistics has resulted in a data-rich yet complex world. In such an environment, the ability to comprehend, interpret and critically evaluate existing data and statistics paves the way for their proper and effective use. This highlights the importance of enhancing data and statistical literacy among users, including policymakers, the research community, media, citizens, etc.

This Stats Café aimed to:

  1. Raise awareness on the importance of data and statistical literacy to enhance effective use of official data and statistics for policy-making and the role of national statistical offices, as well as of national statistical training institutes in enhancing such literacy of various user groups;
  2. Share experiences from countries in the Asia-Pacific region on implementing specific approaches and initiatives to enhance data and statistical literacy among specific user groups.

Welcome by

Petra Nahmias
Petra Nahmias
Chief, Population and Social Statistics Section, Statistics Division, ESCAP
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Petra Nahmias is Chief of the Population and Social Statistics Section at UNESCAP, having recently taken up this role. She previously led the statistics team at UNHCR, working on a wide variety of statistical and demographic issues related to forced displacement and statelessness. A sociologist-demographer by training, she has further experience in both the international and national statistical systems including the United Nations Population Division, the UK Department for International Development and the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics.

Moderators

Afsaneh Yazdani
Afsaneh Yazdani
Statistician, UNESCAP Statistics Division
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Afsaneh Yazdani is a Statistician of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific's Statistics Division, Population and Social Statistics Section. She is currently leading a regional initiative on data integration. Prior to joining ESCAP in 2018, Afsaneh worked at the Statistical Centre of Iran for over two decades in various capacities. Afsaneh has extensive experience in official statistics focusing on survey methodology, censuses, and register-based statistics.

Sharita Serrao
Sharita Serrao
Statistician, Population and Social Statistics Section, Statistics Division, ESCAP
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Sharita Serrao is a Statistician with the Population and Social Statistics Section, Statistics Division, ESCAP. She has over a decade of experience in statistical capacity building in the Asia-Pacific region and leads the Division’s work on gender data and statistics, including gender data communications. Sharita has also been involved in the global and regional work on several other domains including disability, migration and informal sector statistics, policy-data integration and more recently inequality assessments for CRVS. Prior to joining ESCAP, Sharita worked for the United Nations Development Fund for Women, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.

Speakers: Part I: Importance of data and statistical literacy

Walter J. Radermacher
Walter J. Radermacher
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Dr Walter J. Radermacher was Director General of Eurostat and Chief Statistician of the European Union from 2008 to 2016. He worked at Destatis, the German Federal Statistical Office, for 30 years, ultimately as its President. He was the first Chair of the UN Committee of Experts on Environmental-Economic Accounting (UNCEEA) from 2005 to 2008 and a member of OECD’s High-Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress from 2013 to 2018. Since 2017 he has been a Researcher at the Department of Statistical Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, and the President of FENStatS, the Federation of European National Statistical Societies.

Book: Radermacher, Walter J. 2020. Official Statistics 4.0 - Verified Facts for People in the 21st Century (Springer Nature, Heidelberg): https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783030314910.

Taeke Gjaltema
Taeke Anton Gjaltema
Chief Statistical Modernisation and Management Unit, UNEC Statistical Division
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Taeke Gjaltema is the Head of the Statistical Modernisation and Management Unit of UNECE that supports the work of the High-Level Group for the Modernisation of Official Statistics which includes communication of statistics. Before joining UNECE in 2010, he worked at ECLAC, the UN Population Division, Eurostat, and various Statistical Offices, Universities and Research institutes in the area of statistics, demography, modelling and forecasting.

Speakers: Part II: Approaches and initiatives to enhance data and statistical literacy in the Asia Pacific region

Gayani Bambaranda
Gayani Bambaranda
Statistician, Department of Census and Statistics, Sri Lanka
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Gayani Bambaranda is a statistician at Department of Census and Statistics. Currently she is working at the Research and Special Studies division. Her work is to improve the use of official statistics for evidence-based decision making. In 2014, Gayani has obtained her master’s degree in Public Policy from GRIPS (Japan).

Josefina V. Almeda
Josefina V. Almeda
Head/Executive Director III, Philippine Statistical Research and Training Institute (on secondment), Associate Professor V, School of Statistics, University of the Philippines Diliman
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Josefina V. Almeda, Ph.D. assumed the agency leadership through her appointment as Executive Director III of the Philippine Statistical Research and Training Institute on August 9, 2017. She came in determined to make the PSRTI a world class and premier advocate of meaningful research and training endeavors through the use of statistics.

Dr. Almeda has been an active partner of the then Statistical Research and Training Center, the predecessor of PSRTI, in the conduct of its research and training activities - where she was a most sought-after resource person of various statistical courses and consultant of research projects.

As Executive Director and agency head, Dr. Almeda has represented the PSRTI in several inter-agency and technical committees on price statistics, population and housing statistics, maternal mortality ratio estimation, longitudinal cohort study on the Filipino Child, population and housing statistics, and capability building of the Philippine Statistical System.

In the international scene, she is a member of the Advisory Group of the Global Network of Institutions for Statistical Training (GIST), Network of Training Institutions in the Asia and the Pacific (UNSIAP), Subgroup on Gender Statistics (UN Women), Expert Meeting for the Review of Training Resources for the Regional Programme for the Improvement of Economic Statistics, and Training of Trainers’ Workshop for Economic Statistics (UNESCAP).

Prior to her appointment, Dr. Almeda is a faculty (and presently, on secondment) of the UP School of Statistics (UPSS) Diliman, where she also served as College Secretary, Director of the Undergraduate Studies, and Technical Consultant for statistical projects of international and local organizations. She is a recipient of awards and grants from the Philippine Statistical Association, Fajardo Foundation, Department of Science and Technology, and the University of the Philippines. She also received the “2009 President’s Award for Innovation in Teaching” for enriching learning through evidence-based instruction from the University of the Philippines. She finished her MS and BS Statistics at UPSS and holds a PhD in Education with specialization in Research and Evaluation from the same university.  Given these many responsibilities, Dr. Almeda still continues to teach in the graduate programs of the School of Statistics and College of Education of UP Diliman.

She is married with three children, who are all happily pursuing their own interests in life.

Altynai Mambetova
Altynai Mambetova
Data journalist, trainer, and author of courses on data journalism and gender data communication
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Altynai Mambetova is a data journalist, trainer, and author of courses on data journalism and gender data communication. She promotes data-driven initiatives in the region of Central Asia. Altynai is also a co-founder of the School of Data Kyrgyzstan, the public foundation which aims to develop and advance data literacy through educational projects and initiatives.

Heather Lansdowne
Heather Lansdowne
Social Media Manager, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
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Heather Lansdowne is Social Media Manager at Australian Bureau of Statistics. She has a background in social media strategy and management in both the public and private sectors. She created a social media strategy for the Australian Bureau of Statistics which increased their follower base by 29% over just 2 years, generating over 10 million views per year. She also supported the communications campaign for the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey (contributing to a participation rate of 79.5% for a voluntary survey), and the 2016 Census (resulting in a 14% increase in public awareness of the Census in under one month).

Title Speaker/Presenter PPT
Part I: Importance of data and statistical literacy
Literacy in Statistics for the Public Discourse Dr Walter J. Radermacher PPT
Strategic Communication Framework & Statistical Literacy Taeke Gjaltema, Chief Statistical Modernisation and Management Unit, UNEC Statistical Division PPT
Part II: Approaches and initiatives to enhance data and statistical literacy in the Asia-Pacific region
Enhancing Statistical Literacy by DCS in Sri Lanka: Strategies and Challenges Gayani Bambaranda, Statistician, Department of Census and Statistics, Sri Lanka PPT
Enhancing Statistical Capacity Literacy Among Policy Makers in the Philippines Josefina V. Almeda, Head/Executive Director III, Philippine Statistical Research and Training Institute (on secondment), Associate Professor V, School of Statistics, University of the Philippines Diliman PPT
Statistical literacy among journalists and civil society: Lessons in Central Asia Altynai Mambetova, data journalist PPT
Driving statistical literacy via social media Heather Lansdowne, Social Media Manager, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) PPT

for more information, please contact

Statistics Division +66 2288 1234 [email protected]
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