Modernizing statistical information systems

17 Dec 2010
Bangkok, Thailand

A discussion on modernizing statistical information systems was organized in Bangkok on 17 December 2010 as a side event to the second session of the ESCAP Committee on Statistics. The event, mode rated by Haishan Fu, Chief, Statistics Division, ESCAP, provided a forum for official statisticians from across the Asia-Pacific region to discuss challenges and options for changing the operations of national statistical offices (NSOs) to adapt to shifting user demands and new technologies. A number of international and regional development organizations also participated actively in the debate.

The topic for the side event had been proposed by Australia and Kazakhstan, both members of the Bureau of the Committee, highlighting its importance for the long-term future of official statistics in the region. The pertinence of the topic was confirmed by the Committee on Statistics, which agreed on “creating a more adaptive and cost-effective information management environment for national statistical institutions through stronger collaboration” as one of two overarching strategic goals for its work towards 2020.

Presentations from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Statistics, Statistics Indonesia, Statistics Office of the Republic of Korea and the PARIS21/Accelerated Data Programme, provided overviews of strategic and operational issues related to modernizing statistical information systems.

The presentations were followed by a lively discussion on the present and future role of official statistics, the importance of data exchange standards and quality frameworks, and potential areas for regional cooperation.