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UNECE Promotes Innovation in Official Statistics

Innovation is great, but it is even more powerful when it is shared. That is the premise of a new venture by UNECE: an “Innovation Lab”, taking place on the margins of the World Statistics Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, later this month.

As in all fields and industries, innovation in official statistics is crucial to keeping one step ahead of changing demands. Only with creative thinking can statistical offices constantly improve efficiency and produce ever more interesting, valuable products. Innovation can touch on any aspect of the activities of a statistical office: cutting-edge ways of gathering information; state-of-the-art technologies and statistical techniques to process data and generate statistics; new approaches to recruitment and to structuring an organization; inventive ways of publishing data and reaching all kinds of audiences.

In the Innovation Lab, heads and senior managers from national and international statistical organizations world-wide will be asked the simple question “Which recent innovation in your organization are you most proud of?” Although they will only have a few minutes to outline their innovations, the idea is that others who think these innovations might be interesting for their own organizations can follow up bilaterally later, thus creating an innovation network and strengthening the global statistical community.

UNECE will be very visible at the World Statistics Congress this year. As well as organizing the innovation lab, UNECE statisticians will also host a discussion on building partnerships between the statistical and geospatial information communities; co-organize (with the European Free Trade Association – EFTA) a session on defining the boundaries of official statistics; chair a session on using administrative data in population and housing censuses; and present the findings of its cutting-edge work on exchange and sharing of economic data, as part of a discussion on how economic statistics can address the challenges posed by globalization.


The World Statistics Congress is the largest global forum for statisticians from governments, academia and business, and is held every two years in different parts of the world. It is organized by the International Statistical Institute, the global professional association for official statisticians since 1885.