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Development Account Projects

Building Statistical Capacity in the Low Income Countries of South East Asia

Background:

Recognizing the importance of high quality statistics, and their effective use, in promoting the evidence-based socio-economic policies and achieving internationally agreed goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the overall objective of the project is to strengthen and sustain the capacity of the Low Income Countries (LICs) of South East Asia for the production, analysis and dissemination of benchmark statistics in support of said goals.

This project represents a new approach to capacity development activities by DESA focusing directly on LICs where assistance is more urgently needed; bringing in established regional and multi-lateral development partners with significant technical and financial resources; and encouraging the development of a South-South cooperation platform. For the five target countries, it will further develop the national statistical system, in particular with respect to collection and compilation of basic economic statistics; and will help increase statistical capacity in six critical areas, namely (i) tourism statistics; (ii) industrial statistics; (iii) distributive trade statistics, (iv) international trade statistics, (v) the national accounts framework and (vi) MDGs-related statistics.

This project will be executed in collaboration with the ESCAP regional commission, the ASEAN secretariat, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The activities have been discussed with the partner organizations.

Objective:

To strengthen the capacity of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Timor Leste, Myanmar, and Vietnam to produce and disseminate, on a regular basis, benchmark statistics required for national development planning and for monitoring of the internationally agreed development.

Expected Accomplishments:

  • Increased knowledge and capability of the national statistical office to collect and compile economic statistics within the national statistical system.

  • ┬áIncreased timeliness and availability of statistics of IADGs, produced by the targeted NSOs and line ministries.

Implementation Status:

In 2010, two workshops were organized under the project on the Methodology and Data Compilation of International Merchandise Trade Statistics (IMTS), and on Statistics of Trade in Services (SITS). The key objectives of these workshops were to improve the knowledge and skills of the national statisticians in the field of international trade statistics.

The project contributed further to the organization of the 2010 Global Forum on Gender Statistics that took place from 11-13 October 2010 in Manila, Philippines. The Forum provided an important opportunity to the participants from the national statistical offices of the South East Asia region and of other Asian countries to review and discuss new initiatives and data collection tools for the improvement of gender statistics.

It is expected that a follow-up on the trade and tourism workshops will take place in 2011 and probably two more workshops, subject to approval by the Steering Committee, namely a workshop on National Accounts and a workshop on MDGs related statistics. In addition, in 2011 the project will assist some NSOs in their efforts to improve the connectivity to the Internet to facilitate access and sharing of information.