Volume 14, No.5 - May 2010

Capacity development

Analyzing census data

Egypt National Seminar on Census Data Analysis will be held in Cairo from 17-19 May

The main objective of the seminar is to provide an opportunity for the staff members of the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), in collaboration with the Cairo Demographic Center and Cairo University, to further collaborate on the analysis of data from the 2006 census in Egypt on selected topics.

The seminar will cover an overview of calculation of the wealth index, gender analysis and use of the CensusInfo software for data presentation and dissemination. After the seminar, participants are expected to produce thematic analytical reports, based on analysis generated during the seminar.

For more information:

Developing economic statistics

Seminar on the implementation of the System of National Accounts 2008 in the Western Asia Region will be held in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman from 23 to 26 May

The System of National Accounts, 2008 (2008 SNA) is an updated version of the System of National Accounts, 1993 (1993 SNA). It is the fifth version of the SNA, the first of which was published over fifty years ago.

The 2008 SNA was prepared under the auspices of the Inter-Secretariat Working Group on National Accounts (ISWGNA), which consists of five organizations: the Statistical Office of the European Commission (Eurostat), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), DESA’s Statistics Division and regional commissions of the United Nations Secretariat and the World Bank. The 2008 SNA is published jointly by these five organizations.

DESA’s Statistics Division, in collaboration with the UNESCWA and the GCC Secretariat, is organizing this regional seminar to help develop a programme for the implementation of the System of National Accounts 2008 (2008 SNA) for countries in the ESCWA region. The seminar is hosted by the Sultanate of Oman.

The purpose of the seminar is to initiate the formulation of an implementation programme for the 2008 SNA and supporting economic statistics with the objective of developing comparable economic statistics for member states in the ESCWA region as a whole to monitor the integration of their economies. It is expected that this initiative would lead to a multi-year programme to move the countries over to the 2008 SNA and to establish a minimum common data set of annual and high frequency statistics.

For more information:

Providing e-services to governments

Meetings with delegations from Governments of Oman, Norway and Columbia to discuss e-government activities

Meeting with a delegation from the Government of Oman

The ongoing activities of the Government of Oman in delivering e-services and the ranking of Oman in the United Nations E-government Survey were the topics of a meeting between a delegation from Oman and DESA’s Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) on 14 April.

The Omani Delegation was led by the Chief Executive Office of the Information Technology Authority (ITA), Dr. Salim Sultan Al Ruzaiqi, while Ms Haiyan Qian led the DPADM team.

The Government of Oman noted that the United Nations e-Government Survey was one of the instruments used in their pillar of “Global ranking” within their national policy to promote investment within the country.

DPADM presented the methodology of the 2010 UN Survey as well as a proposed plan of action to support the Government. The Government of Oman agreed with DPADM’s plan of action and requested an advisory mission to take place at the end of June 2010.

Meeting with Norwegian Government Delegation

A high-level delegation from Norway of 20 government officials came to the United States for a Study Tour to examine the United States’ e-government strategies, policies and e-services and met with the Director and the e-Government Branch to share their e-government activities and to learn more about the United Nations e-Government Survey.

In the pilot dissemination of statistical data of the 2010 Survey on the Divisional website, Norway was ranked 6th globally as compared to 3rd in the 2008 Survey. There are two specific reasons why Norway dropped slightly in the rankings, namely: lower e-participation and transaction services as compared to the upper echelon countries such as the Republic of Korea, the U.S. and Canada.

After a presentation by the Director, the delegation from Norway observed that their own assessment of their e-government services and participation closely matched the results of the 2010 Survey. In addition, they also noted that their Government lagged behind in terms of mobile services.

On the positive side, Norway was ranked 7th globally in the online service index, which indicates that its national portal and ministry sites had a wealth of information for its citizens as well as numerous e-services. As a high-income country, Norway benefited from its investment in infrastructure, education and e-services. Its Internet penetration and broadband access of users was one of the highest in the world.

As part of the dialogue, DESA, through DPADM, and the Delegation from Norway agreed in principle to cooperate and to provide possible technical advisory services to developing countries on e-government issues.

Meeting with the Director of the e-Government Programme in Colombia

At the request of the Government of Columbia to the Director, the e-Government Branch were assigned to meet with the Director of the e-Government Programme in Colombia, Ms. Diana Parra Silva, who requested DESA’s cooperation in the field of e-government development.

The following cooperation possibilities have been requested: DESA to assist the Government of Colombia (GoC) in developing their next e-Government Strategic Plan, Capacity Development and training activities to enhance vision, processes and direction setting for e-government development in Colombia. The GoC requested DESA to plan a diagnostic mission to address the issues above and confirmed that they already have funds that would be made available for the development of these activities.

They also suggested a meeting between Mr. Sha, Under-Secretary-General of DESA and the Minister responsible for Information and Communications during Mr. Sha’s visit to Colombia from 22-26 March. It was noteworthy that Ms. Parra Silva said at the end of the meeting: “we do not need money; we need your brains”. DPADM has already submitted talking points for this meeting to the Under-Secretary-General.

For more information: