Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities
-Training Objectives and Action Plan-
During the 5th meeting of the Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities (CCSA) in New York on February 28, 2005, agreement was reached to prepare a paper on training in statistics for staff of international organizations. The resulting survey paper, entitled “Training Statisticians at Select International Organizations: A Work in Progress” (document SA/2005/14), was presented to the 6th CCSA meeting in Rome during September 12–14, 2005. The paper concluded that CCSA organizations had significant scope to undertake coordination in training, particularly in utilizing the internet to share information, including training materials.
The CCSA took note of these findings, and in a follow-up action, the 7th CCSA meeting in New York on March 6, 2006 discussed five proposals in the “Note on the Proposed Action Plan on Training in Statistics for Staff of International Organizations” (document SA/2006/4), namely: (1) arranging to establish a group of training contacts; (2) setting up a CCSA website to facilitate the sharing of information and statistical training materials; (3) ascertaining how to set up arrangements to allow staff from CCSA organizations to attend courses/seminars in other member organizations or for the interchange of staff; (4) encouraging the establishment of focus groups in each organization to promote internal statistical training; and (5) exploring opportunities for better funding for greater awareness of statistical training internally and across organizations.
Further preparatory work to launch the CCSA website was undertaken at the CCSA side meeting during the 54th Plenary Session of the Conference for European Statisticians (CES) in Paris in June 2006. Coincidentally, the CES included a seminar on Human Resources and Training, which made recommendations for stepped-up efforts to strengthen training and human resource development among national and international statistical agencies. This development gave further impetus to the CCSA’s own efforts to strengthen coordination in training, among other things, by launching a training website.
Objectives of the CCSA Training Website
The importance of good statistics to monitor international development and to manage the global economy is being increasingly recognized. Many development agencies are actively working to improve the coverage and quality of international statistics, both directly as part of their mandate and by supporting improvements in the source data from countries. The CCSA training initiative is a contribution to this process, recognizing that international organizations themselves have to take active steps to ensure that their staff have the appropriate skills and expertise and that they are able to keep abreast of best practice and new knowledge.
As noted above, the establishment of the CCSA training website is part of a broader action plan to promote coordination of training activities among member organizations. The objective of the website is to foster the exchange of information, including training materials, among CCSA organizations. The resulting easier access to a pool of training information should allow organizations to increase their awareness of and use of current best practices in training, and reduce the cost of developing relevant training programs. With increasing means and ability to train their staff, CCSA organizations should also enhance their delivery of services to member countries and contribute more effectively to the production and dissemination of better statistics in an increasingly global community.