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United Nations Regional Programme for Technical Cooperation

DESA - Statistics

Objective for 2008-2009

To strengthen the capacity of developing countries, particularly the least developed countries, to improve the quality of data for national policymakers and other users at the national and international levels.

Expected accomplishment

  • Enhanced capacity of national statistical offices to routinely collect, compile, store, analyse and disseminate official statistics and indicators in the economic, social, demographic and environmental fields
  • Strengthened skills and understanding of national staff to compile and disseminate core economic, social and environmental data in accordance with international standards and frameworks

Indicators of achievement

  • Percentage of countries assisted that have used information obtained from the Advisory Services in their work
  • Percentage of participants in workshops that acquired knowledge on how to produce, analyse or disseminate statistics


Providing advice to Member States upon their request, to strengthen their capacity to collect, compile, store, analyse and disseminate official statistics and indicators in the economic, social, demographic and environmental fields to produce quality data for policy formulation, with a special focus on census and basic economics.

Organizing workshops to increase knowledge in support of capacitybuilding in the collection and analysis of statistics and indicators.

Organizing study visits for officials from developing countries in order to upgrade their professional capabilities in the areas of statistics and cartography and to develop regional and international networks.

Output Summary

  Actual 04/05 Estimate 06/07 Estimate 08/09
Advisory Services 87 92 90
Workshops/ Seminars (number of participants) 11 (137) 12 (140) 10 (150)
Fellowships 81 90 95
Total Activities 179 194 195
Total Budget (thousands of US Dollars) 2 022.7 2 438.3 2 596.8


In 2004-2005, the subprogramme contributed to the improvement of national statisticians’ awareness and knowledge of international statistical standards and best practices. Eleven workshops were carried out during the biennium, and 78 per cent of respondents to evaluation questionnaires distributed at the end of the workshops stated that they had learned new statistical knowledge during the workshop. In addition, 87 Advisory Services were undertaken in the following areas: use of information technology in statistics, statistical organization and management, national accounts and population and housing censuses. In evaluations carried out after the Advisory Services, all surveyed countries indicated that the mission had provided their offices with new statistical knowledge. The subprogramme also provided countries with the tools and skills needed to formulate and implement strategies to develop their national statistical systems. As indicated by responses to follow-up surveys, participants of the Division’s workshops found them useful or better. In addition, more than 60 per cent of respondents stated that they had been able to implement the workshops’ recommendations. In a follow-up survey on the Advisory Services, it was found that 62 per cent of the recommendations made by the advisers had been implemented. For instance, the support provided to Oman resulted in its implementing the 1993 System of National Accounts and its experience subsequently being used as a model for the other Gulf States at a regional workshop. The workshops and advisory services in the area of Millennium Development Goal indicators have contributed to the increase in the number of Millennium Development Goal country reports from 63 in 2003 to 155 in August 2005. Eighty-five per cent of national statistical offices participated in the country reporting process on the Millennium Development Goals.