Volume 14, No.6 - June 2010

Capacity development

Implementing national development strategies

Workshop for enhancing the role of National Economic Social Councils (ESCs) for Inclusive Socio-Economic Policy Development will be held on 1-3 June in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

The main objective of this workshop is to strengthen the capacity of ESCs in Africa to support the participatory process in public policy making, implementation and monitoring, in order to enhance design and implementation of National Development Strategies and improve service delivery for the achievement of the MDG.

In this regard, the workshop particularly aims at allowing the exchange of practices and experiences on how ESCs can contribute to National Development Strategies and the achievement of the MDGs, discussing the findings from the ad-hoc Survey and studies on African ESCs and proposing an in-country training plan for subsequent months.

The meeting will also seek to create awareness about the importance of citizens’ engagement and knowledge management as cross-cutting elements in National Development Strategies and establish a dialogue among ESCs about strategies and actions to promote further citizens’ engagement, particularly to reach the MDGs.

It will also facilitate networking among participants coming from all different ESCs, and UN officials from DESA, to jointly promote further participation of civil society about development policies. The meeting will mobilize the network of ESCs to contribute to DESA’s Division for Public Administration and Development Management knowledge base on citizens engagement for development.

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Developing national accounts for Caribbean States

Seminar on the Implementation of the System of National Accounts 2008 in the CARICOM Region will be held in Kingston, Jamaica from 14 to 16 June

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 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) 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 CARICOM region. The seminar is hosted by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica.

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 CARICOM 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.

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Enhancing industrial statistics in Asia

International Workshop on Industrial Statistics will be held in Dalian, China from 21-23 June

DESA’s Statistics Division, in collaboration with the National Bureau of Statistics of China, will organize this workshop to enhance the capacity of National Statistical Offices of Asian countries in the area of industrial statistics. This workshop is part of a series of events organized under the project on strengthening statistical capacity development in China and other developing countries in Asia funded by the Chinese Government.

The workshop will address specific issues in industrial statistics, namely, the compilation of the index of industrial production, following the revision of the International Recommendations for the Index of Industrial Production, the production of statistics on capacity utilization for manufacturing units and the conduct of business condition surveys for manufacturing units.

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Supporting older persons in Cameroon

National Workshop to finalize a National Policy and Plan of Action for Older Persons in Cameroon will take place in Kribi from 28-30 June

This activity is a follow up to work undertaken under a Development Account project. Following national consultations with stakeholders in all regions of the country, a national consultant, in collaboration with the Ministry for Social Affairs and DESA’s Division for Social Policy and Development, produced a draft policy and plan of action.

This workshop will bring together approximately 50 stakeholders, including civil society, central and regional government representatives and UN agencies from around the country to review, suggest changes and endorse the draft to be submitted to Government for approval.

Tourism statistics in Commonwealth and Independent States

Developing National Systems of Tourism Statistics: Challenges and Good Practices will be discussed at a workshop for CIS countries in Chisinau, Moldova from 29 June-2 July

The Workshop is organized by DESA’s Statistics Division in collaboration with the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Interstate Statistical Committee of the CIS (CISSTAT) and National Bureau of Statistics of the Republic of Moldova and hosted by the National Bureau of Statistics of the Republic of Moldova.

The objective of the workshop is to assist countries in strengthening their statistical capacity in the area of tourism statistics by training them in the International Recommendations for Tourism Statistics 2008 adopted by the United Nations Statistical Commission at its 39th session in February 2008 as well as by providing advice on practical issues of the implementation.

The training will focus on both the conceptual issues and good practices in organizing and improving the national programmes of tourism statistics under various country specific circumstances. The workshop aims also to promote and facilitate the inter-agency cooperation to ensure that tourism statistics is compiled in an integrated and efficient way and the disseminated data serve the needs of national tourism agencies, national statistical offices and central banks in the best possible way.

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Reviewing recommendations of MDG data

Workshop on MDG Monitoring will be held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan from 29 June-2 July

The Workshop, which is organized by DESA’s Statistics Division in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), will bring together representatives from national statistical offices and line ministries to review recommendations for reporting of MDG data and to establish strategies for dealing with data discrepancies and data gaps at the national and international level, particularly for health related MDG indicators.

In addition, the workshop will provide participants with skills needed to improve the production and dissemination of MDG indicators.

Strengthening e-government programmes

Missions and meetings with Brunei, Portugal, Albania, Tunisia to support the 2010 United Nations e-Government Survey

Mission to Brunei on e-Government

At the International Conference on e-Government and Administration Simplification in Brunei Darussalam, 11-13 May, the results of the 2010 UN e-Government Survey attracted significant international interest. The impact of the Survey was evident as many of the participants referenced either the 2008 or the 2010 UN e-Government Survey. In particular, reference was made to the stages of e-government preparedness and the criteria used for the Survey. A number of countries also indicated that they use the Survey as a benchmarking tool as part of their e-government development programme.

The host country, Brunei Darussalam, noted with satisfaction that they jumped 19 places since the 2008 Survey and expressed an interest in sending a delegation to New York to meet with the Haiyan Qian and representatives of the e-Government Branch, Division for Public Administration & Development Management (DPADM), to learn more about the UN e-Government Survey.

Haiyan Qian was invited to give a presentation and to chair a panel at the conference by the OECD/Korea Policy Centre. She was also interviewed on the results of the 2010 UN e-Government Survey and invited by the Government of Brunei Darussalam to visit their centre on e-government.

Meeting with a Delegation of Portugal

In response to the results published in the UN e-Government Survey 2010, the Mission of Portugal requested a meeting to discuss the criteria used in the Survey to assess e-government preparedness. The delegation, consisting of Counsellor Manuel Silva Pereira of the Permanent Mission and Mr. Luis Goes Pinheiro, Chief of Staff of the State Office for Administrative Modernization in Lisbon, also took the opportunity to share the latest developments in the field of e-government in Portugal.

Some of these developments will be featured in DPADM’s knowledge base (PAKS – Public Administration Knowledge Space) and publications such as the Compendium on e-Government Innovative Practices. Noteworthy examples shared by Portugal include the recent law enacted by the Portuguese Government to promote inter-agency connectivity, the development of citizen-centric online services such as the citizen card, the e-little school for children, the e-procurement system, and toolkits to support public administration and e-government in post-conflict countries in lusophone Africa and in East Timor. Overall, it was a mutually beneficial meeting, in which the technical products of DPADM were positively highlighted by a Member State.

Advisory mission to Albania

The Government of Albania’s e-government strategy and implementation of the e-government programme was the subject of a mission to Albania. Discussions focused on how DESA could provide support towards strengthening Albania’s e-government capacity in key ministries and institutions.

DESA, through DPADM, presented a half-day workshop on the methodology of the UN e-Government Survey, the ranking as it pertains to Albania and the identification of strengths and challenges that exist in Albania, as well as DESA tools that could be used to provide support to the Government of Albania.

This led to enhanced awareness on the part of public officials about e-government issues to be tackled in a comprehensive manner and increased level of commitment for IT managers to become more e-government savvy and to create opportunities to increase citizen engagement through the use of blogs. Each IT Manager committed to developing his/her own blog.

In addition, a meeting with UNDP-Albania led to an agreement in principle to work together more closely in providing support to Albania. DESA was requested to develop a proposal to see how its expertise on e-government and public sector management could be used in the next Country Programme for Albania.

Advisory mission to Tunisia

The strengths and challenges of Tunisia in developing a way forward towards strengthening its e-government programme were the subject of a mission to Tunisia. This mission was undertaken within the framework of the UNDP project to support the Office of the Prime Minister.

As for the advisory mission to Albania, a half-day workshop was presented on the methodology of the UN e-Government Survey, the ranking as it pertains to Tunisia and the identification of strengths and challenges that exist in Tunisia, as well as DESA tools that could be used to provide support to the Government of Tunisia, with similar outcomes.

The mission also finalized the terms of reference of the UNDP project, for which DESA is the implementing agency, of both the international and national consultants that would be recruited to support local governance and enhance e-content and accessibility as highlighted in the project document.

During the mission, the UN e-government methodology was presented to the UNDP-Tunisia country team, which led to some fruitful discussions between UNDP and UNDESA, and strengthened the foundation of cooperation between the two organizations.

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