How are organized the Statistical Economic Functions of some International Organizations

Size: px
Start display at page:

Download "How are organized the Statistical Economic Functions of some International Organizations"


1 DIPARTIMENTO DI STATISTICA E MATEMATICA PER LA RICERCA ECONOMICA DELL UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI NAPOLI «PARTHENOPE» ITALY How are organized the Statistical Economic Functions of some International Organizations (provisory issue) 1

2 INTRODUCTION 1 International Organizations, are bodies with membership in countries of the some Political and Economic aggregation or bodies founded on international right base with membership in countries of more continents. International Organizations became during their 200-year existence very significant phenomenon in international relations. International Organizations became important forums for expressing opinions on variety of problems that accompany the mankind since the turn of 18 th and 19 th centuries. First modern International Organizations were connected with technical developments of that era transport, electricity, communication. These organizations were followed by others that were focused on improving the man s life in different areas of living. In the beginning the cooperation among nations was developing on bilateral basis. Soon the representatives of states, groups and individuals realized that multilateral cooperation through some kind of international forums International Organizations is more efficient and better for problem solving. During their development International Organizations evolved trough several stages from short term and concrete cooperation to long term, systematic and complex cooperation in variety of issues. Concerning the different types of International Organizations, their agenda varies from one to another covering almost every single issues of current development of the human society. Global threats arose in last couple of years threatening all living in this world. New security issues came up mainly new forms of international terrorism and the use of weapons of mass destruction. Global trends contribute to current developments, either it be computers, medicine, or nuclear energy, trade liberalization and others. Global governance with its problem is another important aspect of functioning of International Organizations in contemporary world. The outlooks for next century are forecasted by famous prognostic institutions and personalities. We entered the 21 st century with whole complex of problems, all connected with the economic field. The most important are: Growing gap between the rich and poor states and between the different groups in these states. 1 I owe dr. Sergio LONGOBARDI, Doctoral Statistics Program Student, the assistance in drawing this overview 2

3 Social exclusion and poverty Problems with the dynamics of development and output increase in developing countries Spreading of ethnic and religious conflicts Diversification of public and private actors on international scene Environmental threats Population explosion and food security Sustainable development and others 2 Issue of poverty is even one of goals for the next millennium (the poverty circle) High living standards and unemployment of industrial countries Welfare and human beings in the diversification of public and private stream Transnational cooperation and environment Terrorists attacks The International Organizations have that power that may be able to help solving some of these problems though the functioning of the International Organizations is accompanied with some problems in contemporary world. In order to improve and strength the power of International Organizations it is important to have its own availability of statistical economic information to manage from the source surveys. 2 Some of them are in Martin Gress, The Role of Ynternational Organizations in the Making of the contemporary World. Historical Consequences %20The%20Role%20of%20International%20Organizations%20in%20the%20making%20of%20contemporary %20world.pdf 3

4 UN United Nations United Nations is central to global efforts to solve problems that challenge humanity. Cooperating in this effort are more than 30 affiliated organizations, known together as the UN system. Day in and day out, the UN and its family of organizations work to promote respect for human rights, protect the environment, fight disease and reduce poverty. UNITED NATION STATISTICS DIVISION S The Statistics Division compiles statistics from many international sources and produces global updates, including the Statistical Yearbook, World Statistics Pocketbook and yearbooks in specialized fields of statistics. It also provides to countries, specifications of the best methods of compiling information so that data from different sources can be readily compared The Statistics Division's main functions are: the collection, processing and dissemination of statistical information; the standardization of statistical methods, classifications and definitions; the technical cooperation programme; the coordination of international statistical programmes and activities. 4

5 To carry out these functions, it: provides a global centre for data on international trade, national accounts, energy, industry, environment, transport and demographic and social statistics gathered from many national and international sources promotes international standards of methods, classifications and definitions used by national agencies assists Member States, at their request, to improve their statistical services by giving advice and training coordinates international statistical programmes and activities entrusted to the Division by the United Nations Statistical Commission and the Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities (CCSA) provides input and secretarial support to the United Nations Statistical Commission and its Working Group helps to implement Agenda 21, particularly in the development and dissemination of integrated environmental and economic accounting, environmental statistics and indicators of sustainable development promotes modern surveying and mapping techniques as a tool for growth and development THE STATISTICAL COMMISSION'S The Statistical Commission's nuclear (establishment) session was held in 1946, and its first session, in On the basis of the recommendations of its nuclear session, the Statistical Commission was established and given terms of reference by the Economic and Social Council. The terms of reference as set forth in Economic and Social Council resolution February 1946, as amended by resolution 8 (II) of 21 June 1946, state that the Commission shall assist the Council: (a) In promoting the development of national statistics and the improvement of their comparability; 5

6 (b) In the coordination of the statistical work of specialized agencies; (c) In the development of the central statistical services of the Secretariat; (d) In advising the organs of the United Nations on general questions relating to the collection, analysis and dissemination of statistical information; (e) In promoting the improvement of statistics and statistical methods generally." In resolution 1566 (L), the Council stressed the importance of the Commission's coordination function and the need to achieve an integrated system in the collection, processing and dissemination of international statistics; recognized the interest of the Statistical Commission and the Statistical Division in matters related to the use of computers in the United Nations system; and requested the Secretary-General to undertake, in cooperation with the specialized agencies, concerted action to assist the developing countries in strengthening their statistical systems. The Statistical Commission considers special issues of concern in international statistical development, methodological issues, coordination and integration of international statistical programmes, support of technical cooperation activities in statistics and organizational matters. Within the terms of the above resolutions, there is flexibility for the Commission to adjust, where necessary, its priorities and methods to meet new requirements and maintain a balance between matters of current concern and the longer-term development aspects of the statistical system. The Commission submits a report on each session to the Economic and Social Council. The report contains an account of the Commission's proceedings and the action taken on each agenda item. The Commission may submit to the Council, in the form of draft resolutions, recommendations to States Members of the United Nations, the Secretary-General or the specialized agencies. Any financial implications of the draft resolutions must be brought to the attention of the Commission and the Council before being adopted and must subsequently be approved by the organs of the United Nations having the necessary authority. 6

7 The Commission consists of one member from each of 24 member countries of the United Nations elected by the United Nations Economic and Social Council on the basis of an equitable geographical distribution according to the following pattern: (a) Five members from African States; (b) Four members from Asian States; (c) Four members from Eastern European States; (d) Four members from Latin American and Caribbean States; (e) Seven members from Western European and other States. The officers are the Chairman, 3 Vice-chairmen and the Rapporteur; they are also referred to as the Bureau. In between sessions of the Commission, members of the Commission, the Bureau and the Secretariat consult on the election of the Bureau for the upcoming session. A Bureau is elected for a one year period with the expectation that they will be re-elected to a second one year term if available. Nominations are made by member(s) of the Commission. Elections are held at the beginning of a session. In practice elections have been by acclamation. At its thirtieth session the Commission decided to give the officers of the Commission (if necessary complemented by any others whose participation is deemed useful by the Chairman) more of a steering role. Secretariat support and other participants The sessions of the Statistical Commission are substantively serviced by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) and attended by the regional commissions, other United Nations organizations, specialized agencies and related organizations, and non-united Nations international organizations active in international statistical work. Prior to each session of the Commission, the Secretariat prepares a list of items that have previously been established for consideration by the Commission at that session; the list may be based on requests of the Commission at previous sessions, or of other intergovernmental bodies such as the General Assembly and Economic an Social Council and reflect the multiyear programme of work 7

8 that the Commission develops. During each session the Commission may decide to add additional items to the agenda, based on documentation and discussion at the session, and priorities or problems. At the end of each session the Secretariat provides an updated list reflecting all the decisions and requests, and on the basis of that list, the Commission proposes to the Economic and Social Council, the provisional agenda and documentation for the next session (subject to further review by the Commission's Bureau). The Economic and Social Council considers the proposal at its substantive session (June/July immediately following the Commission session) and approves it. It is finalized, and after review by the Bureau, distributed by the Secretariat in advance of the Commission session. Documentation may be requested by the Commission, from the Secretariat, other United Nations bodies or specialized agencies, intergovernmental organizations or non-governmental organizations active in statistical work, a country or an ad hoc group of countries/organizations. Members and observers are encouraged to participate fully in the deliberations of the Commission. The Commission has increasingly called for more focused, issue-oriented and succinct interventions by those participating in the discussions. It has also emphasized that detailed expositions of methodology or the reporting of routine activities should not be presented orally but rather be made available as written material as background documents which can be made available to participants. 8

9 UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) contributes to peace and human development in an era of globalization through education, the sciences, culture and communication; it develops and promotes universal principles and norms, based on shared values, in order to meet emerging challenges in education, science, culture and communication, moreover UNESCO encourages empowerment and participation in the emerging knowledge society through equitable access, capacity-building and sharing of knowledge UNESCO INSTITUTE FOR STATISTICS (UIS) The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) is the UN depository for global statistics in the fields of education, science, culture and communication. It was created in November 1999 to strengthen the statistics programme of the UNESCO, so as to develop and deliver the timely, accurate and policy-relevant statistics needed in today s increasingly complex and rapidly changing world The UNESCO Institute for Statistics exists in order to foster a culture of evidence-based policy both nationally and internationally through the collection and use of high quality, timely data in education, science and technology, communications and culture. The Institute is carrying out fundamental reviews in order to help to determine the requirements for cross-national data relating to culture, communications, 9

10 science and technology; it welcomes input from members of the Commission to these wide-ranging consultations. Although more information is already available with regard to the needs for education data, the establishment of the Institute is an excellent time for the evaluation of past strategies and the implementation of improvements. In conducting cross-national data collections the UIS will be sensitive to the need to avoid over-burdening countries. Existing data are under-exploited and a priority of the work of the UIS will be to further develop the database to improve its accessibility and ease of use. Since it is important that data are used in an informed way these developments will also ensure that access to clear, complete and accurate metadata will be provided and users will be encouraged to use it appropriately. New international statistical surveys in UNESCO's fields of action will be designed and carried out to collect more policy-relevant data and to improve the quality of the information and accompanying contextual information. In its capacity as the Observatory for the Education for All programme the UIS will give priority to integrating EFA monitoring data into the regular statistical enquiries as well as to developing new EFA indicators. Moreover, the UIS will make increased use of new information and communication technologies to collect and deliver the data electronically, and provide support to countries in enabling them to manage these developments. The UIS plays a catalytic role in developing innovative approaches to statistical analysis and in spreading the practice of evidence-based policy-making. Such analysis will focus on data collected in UNESCO s fields of interest and their relationship to broader issues such as poverty. UIS ACTIVITIES The most important UIS activities are: Education Surveys 2000/2001 Education Survey 2001 (and Survey 2000 before it) aims to collect the basic statistics necessary to calculate the set of key education indicators that are 10

11 considered to be of highest priority. These indicators were chosen on the basis of their frequency of use by Member States, regional and international organizations and other main users. The list includes indicators such as gross and net enrolment ratios, student/staff ratios and selected indicators on education finance. Using the data collected, a range of statistical publications are being prepared in consultation with the data providers, these publications will include regional reports, a global summary statistical publication, a thematic report and a CD- ROM of relevant data sets. Education for All The EFA 2000 Assessment took stock of the status of education in some 180 countries and evaluated the progress that had been achieved during the 1990s. Its purpose was to generate vital information on all types of programmes, activities and services that aim to meet the basic learning needs of children, youth and adults. The EFA assessment pinpointed the shortcoming in many countries which still exist today in achieving the goal of universal primary education. During the Forum, Governments reiterated their commitment to ensure that universal access to quality basic education is achieved and sustained by The EFA Year 2000 Assessment was instrumental in drawing attention to the vital role of statistics n EFA monitoring and education policy making and to the fact that data were not always available or n formats to be of use to policymakers. Even when they were available, governments did not always ake them into consideration in their educational decision-making. Regular monitoring of the state of education in the world will be an essential part of the follow-up t Dakar. For this reason, the UIS has created the EFA Observatory within the UNESCO Institute for tatistics, in order to monitor and report on progress achieved in education on a national, regional and global level. In its capacity as the EFA Observatory the UIS will give priority to: consulting data providers and users in countries and regions to find out their needs in the light of EFA action plans; 11

12 integrating EFA monitoring data into the regular statistical surveys; developing new indicators and methodologies and improving existing ones; assisting countries to improve their capacities for data collection and analysis through training and other support. promoting awareness, analysis and use of data at the national level to inform policy debates; encouraging countries to develop adequate monitoring and early warning systems of their own based on their own national data; conducting surveys and case studies, and seeking partnerships with other organizations to bring in a richer range of information; One of the first tasks of the Observatory will be to develop a framework of pertinent indicators to examine progress towards the objectives of Education for All. New indicators will be developed to complement and extend the original set of 18 core indicators used for the 2000 Assessment. This is in order to make it possible to tackle more precisely questions that were not addressed adequately in the 2000 Assessment. As part of this review, widespread consultations will take place with principal actors and partners, and especially the data providers and users. This process has already begun with Member States during a series of regional workshops conducted in June and July 2000, and will continue during the next round of workshops being held during the first half of The UIS is interested in hearing from policy makers and data providers concerning the extent to which the indicators are appropriate for monitoring the new Dakar targets and whether there is a need to develop better indicators. International Standard Classification of Education The world s education systems differ considerably, both with respect to their structures and to their curriculum contents. As a consequence, it is often difficult for national educational policy-makers to compare their own education systems with those of other countries in order to draw useful lessons from other s experiences. For this reason, UNESCO has been concerned since the 12

13 Organization s earliest days with the design of an International Standard Classification of Education that would facilitate comparisons of education statistics and indicators of different countries on the basis of uniform and internationally agreed definitions. UNESCO developed the first ISCED during the 1970s; the present revised version, known as ISCED97 (to distinguish it from the original version), was formally adopted in November ISCED97 is a framework for the compilation and presentation of national and international education statistics and indicators. It covers all organized and sustained learning activities for children, young people and adults including those with special educational needs. It can be utilized for statistics on many different aspects of education such as pupil enrolment, human or financial resources invested in education or the educational attainment of the population. The basic concepts and definitions of ISCED97 are intended to be universally valid and invariant to the particular circumstances of a national education system. ISCED97 aims to take account of the new types of learning opportunities and education/learning activities available in many countries for both children and adults. Programmes of continuing education, special needs education and training outside the formal education system s institutional framework were not adequately covered in the past; the revised ISCED provides relevant criteria for the classification of such programmes. ISCED97 presents standard concepts, definitions and classification criteria to ensure international comparability in the classification of educational programmes by level of education and field of study. In the original ISCED, the definitions and criteria were limited in scope and were not always applied consistently. As a consequence, different countries sometimes assigned programmes of similar content and duration to different ISCED levels, which led to misleading comparisons between countries. The principal guidelines to the revised ISCED are published in the ISCED97 document which is available from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics in all six of UNESCO s official languages. This document contains details of programme characteristics at each level of education, and a full breakdown of the 1- and 2- digit codes for each field of study. 13

14 FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) leads international efforts to defeat hunger. It helps developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. FAO STATISTICS DIVISION (ESS) The FAO, as part of its mandate, compiles information and data on various aspects of food and agriculture from all countries. The data are analysed and interpreted by FAO STATISTICS DIVISION (ESS) to support FAO's programmes and activities and, in accordance with the basic functions of the Organization The Division assembles, analyzes and disseminates statistical data on world food and agriculture; it also cooperates with FAO Members in improving the coverage, consistency and quality of the data, and helps develop and improve food and agricultural statistics. The organizational structure of FAO statistics division includes a central office of the director (ESSD) and three specialized sections. 14

15 Office of the Director (ESSD) Basic Food and Agriculture Statistics Service (ESSB) Survey and Statistical Development Service (ESSS) Socio-Economic Statistics and Analysis Service BASIC FOOD AND AGRICULTURE STATISTICS SERVICE (ESSB) The Service compiles, critically evaluates, maintains and disseminates statistics on production, trade and domestic supply and utilization accounts for crops and livestock products, as well as for food balances and other derived statistics. A principal aim of the Service is to strive for comparability in its world food and agriculture data base as the information is obtained from a broad array of national statistics agencies following different data collection methodologies. SURVEYS AND STATISTICAL DEVELOPMENT SERVICE (ESSS) The Service promotes the development and improvement of national systems of food and agricultural statistics. It promotes the evaluation, application and dissemination of appropriate methodologies, including training, seminars and other technical meetings. Moreover, it provides technical support in statistical development required by the decentralized structure, particularly to project formulation and backstopping. SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATISTICS AND ANALYSIS SERVICE (ESSA) The Service analyzes economic and agricultural statistics, food supply consumption and demographic data and derives indicators pertaining to the food and nutrition situation; prepares global studies and also compiles, evaluates and disseminates statistics on food supply and consumption. It also derives agricultural output and productivity, is responsible for environmental statistical 15

16 issues, etc., and for developing agricultural inputs, land use data and agricultural prices both paid and received by farmers. FAO SPECIALIZED INFORMATION SYSTEMS The FAO Statistics Division covers a wide range of statistical domains and it plays a very important role in several statistical activities through the following specialized information systems : AQUASTAT ( ) AQUASTAT is FAO's global information system of water and agriculture developed by the Land and Water Development Division of FAO. AQUASTAT provides users with comprehensive statistics on the state of agricultural water management across the world, with emphasis on developing countries and countries in transition. FAOSTAT-Agriculture ( Provides statistics on crops, livestock, irrigation, land use, fertilizer, pesticide consumption, and agricultural machinery FAOSTAT-Nutrition ( Provides statistics on commodities, food supply, food balance sheets, food aid, population, and the Codex Alimentarius FAOSTAT-Forestry 16

17 ( Provides statistics on imports and exports of woods and paper FAOSTAT-FoodQuality ( ) Provides information from the CODEX ALIMENTARIUS: Pesticide Residues in Food, and Veterinary Drug Residues in Food FISHSTAT ( The system provides users with access to Fishery Statistics of various sorts. Any data having time series structure can potentially be stored and processed by Fishstat Plus. FORIS ( ngid=1 ) FORIS contains statistics on forest and forestry issues on a country by country basis including forest cover, plantations, volume and biomass and fires. GLIPHA ( The Global Livestock Production and Health Atlas (GLIPHA), is a userfriendly, highly interactive electronic atlas using the Key Indicator Display System (KIDS) developed by FAO. The atlas provides a scaleable overview of spatial and temporal variation of quantitative information related to animal production and health through the combination of maps, tables and charts. 17

18 PAAT Information system ( The PAAT secretariat combines the forces of FAO, WHO, IAEA, and OAU/IBAR to promote integrated trypanosomiasis control through coordinated international action. The ultimate goal is to improve food security and sustainable agricultural and rural development. TERRASTAT ( Land resource potential and constraints statistics at country and regional level. Statistics are based on various small scale maps and inventories that were not always up to date, reliable or both. THE FAO STATISTICAL DATABASE (FAOSTAT) FAOSTAT is a statistical database with user interface that provides data under eighteen domains. The data can be broadly classified into three groups: (a) country-level data referring to items such as agricultural production and trade, producer prices, land use, means of production, etc. (b) derived data such as agricultural production and trade indices, food supply etc. (c) data referring to items such as population and labour force that are derived by, or in collaboration with, other international agencies. Country-level data are collected through (a) tailored questionnaires sent annually to member countries, (b) magnetic tapes, diskettes, FTP transfers and accessing websites of the countries, (c) national/international publications, (d) country visits made by the FAO statisticians and, (e) reports of FAO Representatives in member countries. However, many developing countries still do not have an adequate system of statistics pertaining to the agricultural sector. 18

19 DATA QUALITY Quality is defined as - Relevance, Accuracy, Timeliness and Punctuality, Accessibility and Clarity, Comparability, Coherence and Completeness, and sound Meta Information. Metadata in the FAO context here covers data describing different quality aspects of statistical data, e.g.: 1- Contents aspects, describing concepts, definitions and classifications of variables (an example of this is the notes next to items in FAOSTAT. 2- Accuracy and reliability aspects analysing different kinds of errors associated with the estimates. 3- Availability aspects describing which statistical data are available, where located, how they can be accessed, etc. 4- Methods of data collection, describing how data were collected. However, many developing countries still do not have an adequate system of statistics pertaining to the agricultural sector. Infact, some of the available agricultural data are incomplete in terms of: range of commodities covered range of variables or data sets covered coverage of the nation When official data from member countries are missing, FAO statisticians estimate the minimum data required to calculate world, continental and regional aggregates and to compile secondary derived statistics such as food supply. These estimates are made when no other information is available at the national level. 19

20 OECD Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD S MISSION The OECD plays a prominent role in fostering good governance in the public service and in corporate activity. It helps governments to ensure the responsiveness of key economic areas with sectoral monitoring. By deciphering emerging issues and identifying policies that work, it helps policy-makers adopt strategic orientations. It is well known for its individual country surveys and reviews. The OECD produces internationally agreed instruments, decisions and recommendations to promote rules of the game in areas where multilateral agreement is necessary for individual countries to make progress in a globalised economy. Sharing the benefits of growth is also crucial as shown in activities such as emerging economies, sustainable development, territorial economy and aid. THE STATISTICS DIRECTORATE (STD) The Statistics Directorate (STD) was created in 1992 with the mandate: (a) to improve the supply of relevant and timely statistical information to analysts and policy makers inside and outside the Organisation; (b) to develop international statistical standards, systems and classifications in collaboration with other international statistical agencies 20