DESA News Vol. 13, No. 07 July 2009

Publications and websites

Technical reports

World Public Sector Report 2008: People Matter – Civic Engagement in Public GovernanceWorld Public Sector Report 2008: People Matter – Civic Engagement in Public Governance

The 2008 flagship report highlights the importance of civic engagement in public governance and by profiling several case studies, demonstrates how such practices gain the capacity to strengthen governance, make it more transparent and accountable and most importantly, contribute to developmental outcomes that are more sustainable, equitable and just.

The report also highlights several challenges and cautions that adequate attention must be given to the issues of power relations, institutional capacities of the government as well as the civil society organizations and adaptation of methodologies and strategies that suit the local conditions and other factors crucial to the introduction of successful civic engagement practices in public governance.

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Global Economic Outlook

The report presents the main short-term prospects for the global economy in 2009-2010 and summarizes the major risks and policy challenges related to these expectations. Since the last LINK forecast of October 2008, the world economy has sunk in its first global and deepest recession of the post-war period. With its increasing impact both in scope and depth worldwide, the crisis has affected many countries by the combination of depressed demand in the developed economies and dysfunctional financial markets. As a result, most LINK country growth forecasts for 2009 have been revised downwards from their previous forecasts with the largest adjustments registered among the developing countries and the economies in transition.

In the baseline scenario of the current outlook, world gross product (WGP) is forecast to fall by more than 2.6 per cent in 2009, compared with a growth of 2.1 per cent in 2008 and an average growth above 3 per cent in the years prior to the crisis. While a mild recovery in the growth of WGP is possible for 2010, risks remain on the downside. A more prolonged global recession is possible if the problems in financial and corporate sectors in major market economies persist and business and consumer confidence remain depressed in most economies throughout 2009.

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Handbook on Geospatial Infrastructure in Support of Census ActivitiesHandbook on Geospatial Infrastructure in Support of Census Activities

Censuses provide much of the basic population information that countries need for development. This handbook aims to help UN member countries to make use of recent technological developments such as geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, and global positioning systems, for improving census quality and analytical products offered by national statistical organizations.

In times of humanitarian crisis, geographically specific population information can provide the means to target relief efforts and save lives. The handbook describes the methods for and the philosophy behind the application of new technology to improve census efforts, for both managers and technicians, illustrating that information infrastructure is of key importance for all countries. It also addresses technical and practical issues which are the concerns of census cartographers and census takers.

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Statistical compilations

Monthly Bulletin of Statistics and MBS OnlineMonthly Bulletin of Statistics and MBS Online

The Monthly Bulletin of Statistics presents current economic and social statistics for more than 200 countries and territories of the world. It contains over 50 tables of monthly and/or annual and quarterly data on a variety of subjects illustrating important economic trends and developments, including population, prices, employment and earnings, energy, manufacturing, transport, construction, international merchandise trade and finance.

Vol. LXIII – No. 3, March 2009

Quarterly tables included in this issue: Fuel imports of developed economies (unit value indices, volume indices and value); Indicators on fuel imports of developed economies; Registration of new motor vehicles; External trade conversion factors; Manufactured goods exports (unit value indices, volume indices and value); Selected series of world statistics. Publication symbol is ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/435.

Vol. LXIII – No. 4, April 2009

Quarterly and bimonthly tables included in this issue: Retail price indices relating to living expenditures of United Nations officials; Civil aviation traffic (passenger-km and cargo net ton-km); Total exports and imports by countries or areas (volume, unit value, terms of trade and purchasing power of exports, in US dollars). Publication symbol is ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/436.

Vol. LXIII – No. 5, May 2009

Quarterly tables included in this issue: Indices of world industrial production by branches of industry and by regions; Producer price indices; Earnings in manufacturing, by sex; Construction of new buildings; Total exports and imports by regions (volume and unit value indices and terms of trade). Publication symbol is ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/437.

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International Recommendations for Distributive Trade Statistics 2008International Recommendations for Distributive Trade Statistics 2008

The IRDTS 2008 provides the comprehensive methodological framework for collection and compilation of distributive trade statistics in all countries, irrespective of level of development of their statistical systems. The recommendations refer to the concepts, definitions, classifications, data sources, data compilation methods, approaches to data quality assessment, metadata and dissemination policies applicable in distributive trade statistics. Some specific topics identified require additional guidance such as the treatment of informal sector units, compilation of indices of distributive trade, seasonal adjustment, etc. are also covered.

IRDTS 2008 is consistent with recommendations issued in other fields of economic statistics such as industrial statistics, construction statistics and other related domains of structural and short-term statistics, compilations of index numbers and performance indicators and moreover has been harmonized with the System of National Accounts 2008 (2008 SNA).

The primary audience of this publication is the staff of national statistical offices involved in compilation of these statistics. IRDTS 2008 may also be of relevance to data users interested in better understanding the nature of distributive trade data.

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Population and Vital Statistics ReportPopulation and Vital Statistics Report

This issue of the report presents data for countries or areas on population size (total, male, and female) from the latest available census, estimated total population size for 2006 or 2007 (the later available year), and the number and rate of vital events (live births, deaths, and infant deaths) for the latest available year within the past 15 years (1993-2007).

These data are presented as reported by national statistical authorities to the Demographic Yearbook of DESA’s Statistics Division. This issue also presents data for the world and its major areas and regions on estimated population size for both 2005 and 2006. These estimates were prepared by DESA’s Population Division.

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Meeting records

Report of the 11th session of the Committee for Development Policy

The report contains the main findings and recommendations of the 11th session, held at the United Nations Headquarters from 9-13 March. The Committee addressed international cooperation on global public health and, in particular, the importance of tackling inequalities; the global financial turmoil and its impact on developing countries; climate change and development; and, the triennial review of the list of the least developed countries.

In its review of the international cooperation for health (with emphasis on global partnerships), the Committee concluded that much greater consideration should be given to the persistently high inequalities in access to health services and in health outcomes. The Committee also discussed the implications of the current global financial crisis for developing countries and concluded that there is a need to raise the revenue capacity of Governments through measures that would improve tax collection. The climate change problem has become increasingly urgent and there is a need for every country to adopt carbon-saving technologies. The financial crisis provides an opportunity to alter conventional patterns of investment and production.

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Report of the 53rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women

The report includes the agreed conclusions on the equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men, including caregiving in the context of HIV/AIDS and focuses on the gender perspectives on global public health in implementing the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.

It also contains the draft resolutions for adoption by the Council, including the future operation of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women, the situation and assistance to Palestinian women, the future organization and methods of work of the Commission on the Status of Women and the Working Group on Communications on the Status of Women of the Commission on the Status of Women.

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Discussion papers

Policy Brief No. 17: Reaching a Climate Deal in Copenhagen

There is a growing awareness that action is urgently needed to seriously address the climate change problem. The multilateral process that began with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992 resulted in the Bali Action Plan (BAP) in 2007. The BAP calls for enhanced action on adaptation, mitigation, technology development and transfer, and finance, which should be specified in an international agreement by the end of 2009 in Copenhagen.

The brief addresses some key aspects of development and burden sharing in relation to mitigation and adaptation to climate change. These aspects need due consideration to ensure a successful and sustainable outcome of the Copenhagen negotiations

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9th Monthly Briefing to the Secretary-General on the World Economic Situation and Prospects

This brief provides updates on the global economic situation, focusing on main global issues, as well as on regional perspectives. Recently released data on GDP growth in the first quarter of 2009 underscore the severity of the global economic crisis. In most regions of the world, the pace of the downturn accelerated sharply during the first three months of the year, most notably in Western Europe and the New EU members, Japan, and the Economies in Transition. Many large developing countries such as Mexico, South Africa, and Turkey have also fallen into deep recessions, largely owing to the collapse in demand for manufactured goods in developed economies.

By contrast, some large Asian economies including China, India, and Indonesia reported relatively robust GDP growth in the first quarter, surpassing the expectations of most analysts. Economic activity in these countries continued to expand owing to large fiscal stimulus packages and resilience in domestic demand. While these better-than-expected performances during the first quarter of the year have raised hopes of an early recovery in parts of East and South Asia, other regions may need much longer to return to robust growth.

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Working Paper on Impact of the global crisis on the achievement of the MDGs in Latin America

Progress towards the MDGs is expected to slow as a consequence of the global economic downturn. This study applies an economy-wide framework to analyze the impact of the crisis on the progress towards the MDGs in six Latin American countries. It finds significant setbacks towards the goals and the cost of achieving these will rise commensurately by about 1.5 to 2.0 per cent of GDP in required additional public spending per year between 2010 and 2015 as compared with a no-crisis scenario. The additional public spending would contribute to economic growth though not sufficiently for full recovery to pre-crisis growth.

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