DESA News Vol. 13, No. 12 December 2009

Capacity development

Developing capacities for CensusInfo

DESA’s Statistics Division is organizing a CensusInfo Regional Workshop in Bamako, Mali from 30 November - 4 December

In partnership with UNICEF and UNFPA, the Statistics Division has developed a free software package, CensusInfo, to help countries to disseminate census data on CD-ROM and on the web. CensusInfo was officially launched at the 40th session of the Statistical Commission in February 2009 and is available on-line. The overall purpose of the workshop is to develop participants’ capacities to use CensusInfo to its full potential as a platform for disseminating census data.

The workshop has been designed using an outcome-based training methodology consisting of a series of demonstrations followed by practical exercises. The sessions include designing and creating templates and databases to house country-specific census data, learning various data administration utilities including data exchange to facilitate uploading of data into the CensusInfo system, and generating relevant tables, graphs, maps, reports and profiles for reporting purposes.

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Training on service trade statistics

Workshop on Statistics of International Trade in Services: Challenges and Good Practices will be held in Rio de Janeiro from 1-4 December

The objective of the workshop is to train representatives from national statistical offices and central banks from the Latin American and Caribbean countries on methodological development of the statistics of trade in services and also the current country-practices in compiling trade in services statistics. The training will focus on both the interpretation of conceptual issues and options for the implementation of the international recommendations in country specific circumstances and facilitate the establishment of a network of statisticians in the participating countries working on service trade statistics.

The workshop is organized by the Statistics Division in collaboration with the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE), the Banco Central do Brasil and the Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). The workshop will be hosted by the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE).

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Demographic methods of census evaluation

2010 World Programme on Population and Housing Censuses will hold a workshop on census evaluation and post enumeration surveys for French speaking African Countries

The workshop, organized in collaboration with the National Institute of Statistics of Tunisia, will take place from 7-11 December in Tunis. The purpose of the meeting is to present an overview of the various methods of evaluating censuses with a focus on the post enumeration survey (PES) methodology.

More specifically, the workshop will cover demographic methods of census evaluation and elements of the PES with regard to planning and implementation; frames and sample design; methodologies for evaluating content and coverage errors; matching procedures; imputation of missing values; and tabulation and dual system of estimation. The workshop will also offer the possibility to the participants to present and discuss the experience of their countries on different aspects of census evaluation and the post enumeration survey.

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ICT to foster development

DESA is organizing a series of regional roundtables on the “Use of ICT for Reaching the MDGs” in African and Asia-Pacific countries

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have proven to be important avenues to foster development worldwide. Their applications are innumerable, their potential to enhance living conditions is remarkable, and they have a huge potential to contribute to development, in many ways.

In order to increase its efforts to promote the uses of ICT for development and to enhance awareness of governments and other stakeholders about key applications and uses of ICT, DESA’s Division for Public Administration & Development Management and the Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID) is organizing a series of regional roundtables on the “Use of ICT for Reaching the MDGs”. The roundtables will provide higher visibility and support to the initiatives of GAID and help build an ICT for MDGs Knowledge Matrix and Global Knowledge Base.

The Regional Roundtable for Enhancing Governance with Applications of ICT for achieving MDGs in Asia and the Pacific region will be held in Bangkok from 9-10 December on the theme “Governance and Uses of ICT for Development in Asia-Pacific Countries”. The African Roundtable will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 14-15 December, organized in close collaboration with the Regional Commission for Africa, the African Union, the GAID Regional Network in Africa, and other relevant partners from the public and private sectors.

The themes for the roundtable are governance with effective applications of ICT to achieve the MDGs, particularly the goals on poverty and hunger, education and health, sustainable development and climate change preparedness, and gender; partnership building for good governance with the use of ICT to achieve the MDGs; and sub-national, national, and international networks of stakeholders capable of contributing to the establishment of a Knowledge Base on the uses of ICT for good governance and for achieving the MDGs.

For more information:

Asia-Pacific Rountable: , Yoshinobu Yonekawa

African Rountable: , Enrica Murmura

Building capacity among leading institutions

Meeting on Economic and Social Councils, National Development Strategies, Participatory Democracy and ICT for Development will be held on 17-18 December in Paris

The overall objective of the meeting is to build capacity among leading institutions from the private sector and public authorities to enhance governance, facilitate citizen engagement and accelerate the adoption of ICT as part of National Development Strategies. The meeting will cover critical issues for socio-economic advancement, including education, health, job creation, government, culture, in particular the achievement of the MDGs.

The meeting will also create awareness about the importance of citizen engagement in development policies, and on the use of ICT as a cross-cutting element in National Development Strategies. It will establish a dialogue with Economic and Social Councils (ESCs) about strategies and actions to promote further citizen engagement, as well as the use of ICT for development, particularly to reach the MDGs.

In addition the meeting will facilitate networking among participants, who will be coming from different ESCs around the world, and UN officials from DESA and UNESCO, to jointly promote further participation of civil society on development policies, including the uses of ICT for development and reaching the MDGs.

The meeting will also help substantiate cooperation between DESA, UNESCO and the International Association of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions to support on a forthcoming African Regional ESCs workshop, and for report on concrete results of this meeting at the next annual meeting of the association in Rome in July 2010.

e-Participation and citizen engagement

Meeting of the Gulf Corporative Council will focus on e-Government and will be held between 21-23 December in Muscat, Oman

DESA’s Inter-regional Advisor, Mr. Richard Kerby will be making a presentation on e-participation and citizen engagement in the 1st meeting of the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) which will focus on e-Government. The conference will provide the GCC countries the opportunity to discuss e-government services, capacity building and best practices in engaging and empowering citizens. The conference will also look at the impact of technology in a knowledge-based economy.

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A convergence of sustainable development: health, education and technology

A high-level working session on “Age of Connectivity: Cities, Magnets of Hope …Imagining the Possible” was held at the United Nations Headquarters on 6 November by the International Council for Caring Communities (ICCC) and co-sponsored by DESA and UN-Habitat

As part of the “Age of Connectivity: Cities, Magnets for Hope” dialogue series, this session set the stage to chart a more consensual, cross-cutting and cross-sector approach to the convergence for sustainable development: health, education and other basic services and technology for the 21st century, with a focus on using ICT as a practical tool for bridging the gaps. The integration of ICT in daily life and work as well as the challenges ahead were highlighted in the working session.

The moderator of the event was Ulrich Graute, Inter-Regional Advisor at DESA’s Division for Public Administration & Development Management, with a view of the division’s role in engaging citizens through ICT and other forms of public initiatives. Speakers and discussants at the event included the CEO of Telefonica International USA, Mr. Jose Sanz-Magallon, Dr. Theresa Pardo, Director of the Center for Technology in Government, NY State University/Albany and. Dr. Craig Lehmann, Professor & Dean, School of Health Technology and Management, Stony Brook University.

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Public sector management and e-governance

In response to an invitation from the Government of Turkmenistan, Mr. Alexei Tikhomirov, Senior Governance and Public Administration Officer, undertook a mission to Ashgabat

DESA’s mission was a follow-up to the meeting of the Under-Secretary-General, Mr. Sha Zukang, and the President of Turkmenistan, Mr. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, devoted to further cooperation in the area of public sector management and e-governance and was held on 24 September 2009 during the 64th session of the UN General Assembly at which Turkmenistan was elected Vice-President of the session.

DESA’s mission met with President Berdimukhamedov, Deputy Prime-Minister Mr. H. Muhamedov, Deputy Prime-Minister T. Japarov and their senior staff to discuss emerging issues of public administration in the environment of the current world economic crisis. As a result, the mission formulated a draft programme on "Strengthening public sector management through the development of a public administration knowledge base" at the national and regional levels. The programme will be implemented and funded by DESA and the Government of Turkmenistan in cooperation with the Inter-parliamentary Assembly for the Commonwealth of Independent States (IPACIS) and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and other international/ national organizations.

The mission also facilitated a meeting with Mr.Yahya Maroofi, Secretary General of ECO, who supported the idea of the programme and expressed a wish to participate in it. In this connection, West Asian countries will also be able to engage in the programme implementation process. In addition, the mission provided methodological advice to the President's Administration on the establishment of a computerized system for their office and for human resource management.

The Government of Turkmenistan expressed a gratitude to DESA for its continued support in the fields of public sector reform and e-governance.

Addressing Human Resource Capacity Development

Following an invitation from the Office of the Prime Minister of Uganda, Mr. John-Mary Kauzya, Chief of Governance and Public Administration Branch, undertook a mission to Kampala on 19-22 October

The objective of the mission was to provide substantive support and facilitation at the meeting of ministers and officials responsible for Disaster Preparedness, Relief and Refugees in Africa. The meeting, among other things, prepared a draft Kampala declaration on refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons in Africa, which was later considered and adopted by the Heads of State for African countries, who converged in Kampala from 22 to 23 October 2009.

The main message delivered by Mr. Kauzya was that without a humane leadership that is sensitive to the well-being of the people and respectful of the rule of law and human rights, declarations such as the one prepared in Kampala cannot be fully implemented. H.E. Bjorg S. Leite, the Ambassador of Norway in Uganda and one of the sponsors of the meeting, expressed appreciation of this message and expressed interest in collaborating with DESA in the area of leadership capacity building for addressing the issue of refugees, returnees and internally displaced populations.