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Programme for Statistics and Data

Under the proposed programme on statistics and data, the 10 implementing entities will work closely together to strengthen the capacities of national statistical systems in developing countries to be better able to respond to the increased demands for data resulting from the anticipated adoption of the sustainable development goals in a systematic and strategic way. The implementing entities are long-standing and trusted partners of national statistical offices and national statistical systems, and possess considerable technical expertise and experience, which places them in a unique position to provide assistance to countries in this challenge. The programme will provide guidance on improvements required to strengthen the institutional settings and arrangements within the national statistical offices, including the related statistical business processes. Such guidance will then need to be adapted to the specificities of each country’s current official statistical arrangements. The programme will also address data gaps in specific thematic areas, combining a cross-cutting approach with sector-specific demands, as identified by Member States.

Supporting Member States in developing and strengthening environment statistics and integrated environmental-economic accounting for improved monitoring of sustainable development

High quality statistics and integrated information are important inputs into evidence based policy and decision-making. They are also key to monitoring internationally agreed goals, sustainable development, and the post-2015 development agenda. Given the critical role of high quality environment statistics, and their integration with socio-economic statistics the overall objective is to strengthen national capacities of developing countries for the sustained, regular production of a priority set of environmental statistics, environmental-economic accounts, and the resulting indicators, in order to measure progress towards sustainable development. The project is composed of two complementary modules, developed in a harmonized manner.Module A will work with countries that are in the early stages of developing environment statistics. It will be executed through a set of activities including organizing an initial sub-regional capacity-building workshop to train the countries using the FDES and the Basic Set of Environment Statistics, applying the Environment Statistics Self-Assessment Tool, developing national work plans, providing technical assistance and organizing national workshops for the participating countries, promoting inter-institutional platforms and data-sharing protocols at the national level, and organizing a closing sub-regional workshop to share progress, lessons learned and discuss the way forward. Module B will work with countries that expressed interest in implementing the SEEA. It will be executed through a set of activities including developing diagnostic tools for the self-assessment on institutional environment and data availability for compiling environmental-economic accounts, organizing two expert group meetings to discuss diagnostic tools and compilation guidelines, organizing four sub-regional workshops to build capacity in countries and develop national strategies, developing regional implementation strategies for environmental-economic accounting, organizing four pilot projects, and developing compilation guidelines.

Enhancing national statistical capacity to measure, monitor, assess and report on progress on achieving post-2015 goals and targets for sustainable development

Recognizing the importance of high quality statistics and their effective use in promoting evidence-based socio-economic policies and achieving internationally and nationally agreed goals, the overall objective of the project is to strengthen national statistical systems in select developing countries in their capacity to measure, monitor, assess and report on progress on achieving post-2015 goals and targets for sustainable development. This will in turn improve availability to users, especially policy decision makers, of timely and reliable statistics that are policy relevant and meet the increasing demand for high quality information to ensure development goals at both the national and international levels are achieved.
The project will be delivered through a set of activities including desk studies of the countries’ current statistical capacity to monitor and report on these goals and targets, workshops and in-country technical assistance missions to increase awareness regarding the monitoring and reporting requirements of the SDGs and post-2015 goals and targets, to discuss priorities, to assess national capacities and gaps, to assist in the creation of implementation plans for monitoring and reporting and to build capacity for their implementation.
The project will provide assistance to national statistical offices in 6 pilot countries. The results will be shared on a regional level, allowing other countries to benefit from and to follow the experiences of the pilot counties. A Steering Committee composed of representatives of the participating statistical offices and co-operating agencies will guide the overall execution of the project.

Promoting Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST) in Asia – Formulation of National EST Strategies vis-à-vis Capacity Building for Socio-economic Concerns

In the context of the Post-2015 Development Agenda and of the 2020 World Population and Housing Census Programme, the time is ripe to: (i) take stock of the current state of affairs regarding disability measurement from the point of view of those developing guidelines and also from the national perspective in terms of how data are collected, and (ii) to offer countries more practical guidance for collecting and utilizing quality and reliable statistics on persons with disabilities. For inclusive development leaving no one behind, the census is an ideal vehicle for data collection. As censuses embody total coverage of a country, they are a vital source of data that can be disaggregated by age, sex, geography, disability status, and socio-economic characteristics for comparative analysis of the situation of persons with and without disabilities in terms of equalization of opportunities. In this respect, country participation in the 2020 census round is very important. In the context of collecting adequate and relevant data for all inclusive development planning and monitoring taking into account the situation of persons with disabilities, it is equally important that countries also plan for and conduct more detailed studies mainly through sample surveys. 17. A review of experiences of countries in collecting data on disability through censuses and surveys will be necessary in order to identify good practices and also challenges that countries still face in this regard so that, if necessary revisions/updates can be done on existing international guidelines for disability measurement. Also in the context of reviewing past national experiences it will be important for UNSD to collect, collate and disseminate disability data that countries have collected during censuses of the 2010 round and also through recent sample household surveys and other nationally-representative data sources. 18. The project aims to enhance the capacity of national statistical offices to produce and disseminate good quality and fit-for-purpose statistics on disability for evidence-based policy making and monitoring. In so doing, this project will build on the work of the Washington Group, taking into account other initiatives on developing disability measurements.

Evidence and Data for Gender Equality (EDGE) joint programme

1. The Evidence and Data for Gender Equality (EDGE) Initiative is a new partnership that seeks to accelerate existing efforts to generate comparable gender indicators on health, education, employment, entrepreneurship and asset ownership. This initiative was launched in May 2011 by the United States at the OECD Ministerial Session on Gender and Development and builds on the work of the United Nations Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Gender Statistics.

2. In 1995, the UN Beijing Platform for Action identified 12 critical areas of concern, and urged Governments to regularly collect statistics related to each of these areas, to serve as a basis for monitoring progress and evaluating the impact of policies. Despite this and other commitments in intergovernmental processes, there remain major gaps in the availability, quality and comparability of gender statistics. The EDGE initiative aims to fill some of these gaps.

3. Initially, this initiative will cover the period from July 2012 to December 2015. Activities during this first phase will include three elements: (1) the development of a platform for international data and metadata compilation covering basic health, education and employment indicators; (2) the development of standards and guidelines for measuring entrepreneurship and assets indicators; and (3) piloting data collection on entrepreneurship and assets in several countries.

4. This initiative contributes to implementing UN Women’s management results framework, as outlined in its Strategic Plan 2011-2013, specifically to institutionalize a strong culture of results-based management, reporting, knowledge management and evaluation and to enhance organizational effectiveness. It also contributes to the UN Statistics Division’s global gender statistics programme, including its components of international data compilation and development of metadata, as requested by the UN Statistical Commission.

5. Consistent with these results, and the clear imperative for evidence-based policy-making, the longer-term aim of this initiative is to gradually build a cost-effective and sustainable model to integrate gender issues into regular statistical production and to build countries’ capacity to produce gender data in all policy areas. For example, while this first phase focuses initially on the aforementioned areas, the same model could be used to collect data on important yet often neglected areas such as violence against women.

6. To achieve these goals, the proposed initiative will establish a participatory mechanism that will be guided by a steering committee, composed of members of the UN Statistical Commission mandated Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Gender Statistics, regional commissions, regional development banks and key agencies that coordinate statistical work including the World Bank and the OECD. In particular, the World Bank will play a key role in helping developing countries mainstream gender statistics into national statistical systems, including strengthening data collection necessary to inform critical gender policy issues. The OECD, on the basis of their extensive work on indicators on gender equality in education, employment and entrepreneurship, will contribute to data compilation by sharing statistics and metadata, and will contribute to the methodological work related to the development of new indicators, particularly in the area of women’s entrepreneurship. The project will also benefit from strong guidance from the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC) and the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). To create further leverage, this initiative will also foster a culture of dynamic knowledge sharing, by promoting networking and facilitating technical collaboration between project countries.

7. The estimated cost of the programme over three years is approximately US$ 6,000,000 which will include costs related to methodological development of international standards for measuring entrepreneurship and asset ownership, with related capacity building and pilot data collection in five countries. Once these standards are developed, we anticipate that data collection in each additional country not included during the first phase will cost on average approximately US$ 150,000 to cover training, data processing, data analysis and publication and dissemination of results.

8. Given that available funds currently consist of US$ 3.66 million, the initial budget covers five pilot countries and a reduced scope for some planned activities. However, resource mobilisation efforts are underway to generate additional funds, which will enable the full EDGE programme, including 10 pilot countries, to be implemented.

Natural Capital Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services

To engage at national level with five strategic partners where biodiversity is at stake, so as to enhance their knowledge of valuation of ecosystems and their services. Building on an internationally-agreed methodology and EU-agreed methodology where relevant, and on the development of national competences, the project will initiate pilot testing in each country. The outputs are expected to influence policy-makers at national, regional and local level to take action in line with national environmental priorities, international commitments and EU priorities where relevant. In addition, the project will ensure awareness-raising for the private sector and the civil society.