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Statistics

Introduction

We support national statistical systems to meet the data needs of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, through 

  • methodological guidance
  • modernization of statistics
  • capacity development.

By bringing together experts from across the statistical community, we look for common efficiencies and innovative ways to tackle persistent and emerging challenges in official statistics.

Our work on statistics has lasting impact and global reach.

Key areas of work

In focus

Developing the capacity of statistical systems to respond to the ever-changing demands placed on them is a core component of UNECE statistical work. The need for statistical capacity development is recognized in targets 17.18 and 17.19 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. A key tool used by UNECE is the Global Assessment: a comprehensive review of a national statistical system—not only the national statistical office but also other major producers of statistics such as central banks and ministries of finance—undertaken jointly by UNECE, Eurostat and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The aim is to provide an in-depth analysis of the institutional, organizational and technical capacity of countries to produce official statistics that comply with international guidelines and recommendations, including the United Nations Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics and the European Statistics Code of Practice.

Global Assessments offer actionable recommendations which can be incorporated into national strategies and statistical laws. They help national authorities to better programme the long-term development of statistics, and international donors to focus their technical cooperation activities. In accordance with the UNECE Statistical Capacity Development Strategy adopted by the Conference of European Statisticians in 2018, Global Assessments focus on strengthening institutions, laws and systems, rather than only on training individuals. To date, Global Assessments and follow-ups have been conducted in Kazakhstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Tajikistan, the Republic of Moldova, Georgia, Belarus, Mongolia and Uzbekistan. In 2020 Global Assessments of Belarus and Kyrgyzstan will be completed.

Highlights

  • The UNECE Knowledge Hub on Statistics for SDGs, launched in December, will help national statistical offices to develop and communicate statistics that enable them to better formulate, evaluate and inform stakeholders about evidence-driven policies. The Knowledge Hub offers a suite of guidelines and tools, including a practical guide to developing national reporting platforms; generic presentation tools; and tools for countries to conduct self-assessments of their data and indicator availability.
  • To end poverty and inequalities we need robust, comparable statistics. The UNECE Expert Meeting on Poverty and Inequality, held in Geneva on 5-6 December, examines the statistical challenges of SDGs 1 and 10, with sessions on disaggregation, subjective poverty and machine learning.
  • The High-Level Group for Modernization of Official Statistics co-ordinates international efforts to streamline official statistics and make its processes more agile and efficient. At its annual workshop in November the group committed to a second year of its Machine Learning project, which in 2020 will focus on how to mainstream machine learning into the production of official statistics.