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United Nations Regional Programme for Technical Cooperation

DESA - Statistics

Objective for 2010-2011

To support national efforts in building and strengthening national statistical capacity of developing countries, particularly the least developed countries, and of countries with economies in transition to produce reliable and timely statistics and indicators for national policymakers and for other users at the national and international levels

Expected accomplishments

  • Enhanced national statistical capacity to produce and disseminate data, in accordance with international standards  in the field of:      (i) Population and Housing Censuses, social statistics and statistics related to the Millennium Development Goals; (ii) National accounts, basic economic statistics, environment statistics, and environmental-economic accounting frameworks;

  • (b) Enhanced national statistical system through building of better institutional arrangements, improved legal frameworks, better organizational structure and better management of human resources.

Indicators of achievement

  • Percentage of countries assisted that implemented changes in their work as a result of the Advisory Services;
  • Percentage of countries trained that implemented recommendations on statistical methodologies and best practices;
  • Percentage of countries trained that subsequently trained other staff of their own national statistical offices.


Capacity development in the areas of population, social, economic and environments statistics and of national statistical systems in general will be designed and implemented to strengthen the capacity of Member States to meet internationally agreed development goals and outcomes of major United Nations conferences relevant to the subprogramme. Capacity development activities will be delivered through (i) advisory services composed of skilled in-house and outsourced technical experts to address specific needs of a more technical nature; (ii) regional and interregional training workshops to promote more effective transfer of knowledge; and (iii) strengthening linkages between developing countries through exchange of best practices via study visits and fellowships.
The subprogramme will implement 6 existing donor-funded projects and 4 development account projects and aims to develop 3 new development projects in the areas of population and housing censuses, gender and employment statistics, Millennium Development Goals (MDG) related statistics, strengthening of national statistical capacity in the southern African, south Asian and south-east Asian regions, dissemination of data and basic economic statistics.

To ensure effective delivery of its programme of work, the subprogramme will continue to forge partnerships at different levels, and draw on the strengths, capacities, and synergies with the Regional Commissions, UNFPA, UNICEF, ILO and other sub-regional, regional and international institutes.

Output Summary

  Actual 06/07 Estimate 08/09 Estimate 10/11
Advisory Services
Workshops/ Seminars (number of participants)
13 (1299)
14 (1200)
14 (1200)
Field Projects
Total Activities
Total Budget (thousands of US dollars)

2 189.5

2 551.4

2 675.3


In the 2006-2007 biennium, the subprogramme organized 13 workshops to strengthen the technical capacities of national experts in various areas, such as geographical names, water accounting, tourism statistics, economic statistics, business registers, energy statistics, environment statistics, economic and social classifications, vital statistics, gender statistics and MDG related statistics. In total, the capacities of 1,299 national experts were strengthened through these workshops. Further, over 100 fellowships and study tours were funded to give national experts additional opportunities to gain knowledge and experience. In addition, 97 advisory services were provided, of which 14 Advisory Services in the following areas: statistical data processing, environmental-economic accounting and population and housing censuses planning and management. The capacity building of the subprogramme has immediate impact on the ongoing 2010 round of population censuses, as well as on the monitoring of the progress to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. In this respect, the workshops and missions to improve the quality of census and MDG data are timely and relevant. Moreover, changes in the international standards of the system of national accounts and various areas of economic statistics have increased the importance and impact of the technical capacity building activities in these areas. It is anticipated that the percentage of Member States that will implement recommendations on statistical methodologies and best practices will increase to 65% in 2008-09 and to 70% in the 2010-11 biennium