Access and Partnerships

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Introduction

The statistical community has the obligation of exploring the use of new data sources, such as Big Data, to meet the expectation of the society for enhanced products and improved and more efficient ways of working. Big Data could also support the monitoring of the Post-2015 development goals by improving timeliness and relevance of indicators without compromising their impartiality and methodological soundness. The report of the Global Working Group (GWG) to the Statistical Commission (E/CN.3/2015/4) provides additional background to the work of the task team.

The task team on access and partnerships (TTAP) is one of eight task teams created for carrying out the Terms of Reference of the GWG, but each task team also has its own Terms of Reference. The task teams will be coordinated by a group consisting of the chairs of the eight Task Teams.

Access to Big Data sources and forging partnerships with other public and private organisations in order to work with Big Data is becoming ever more important to national statistical systems (NSS) for fulfilling their mission in society. The national statistical systems (NSS) should collaborate rather than compete with the private sector, in order to advance the potential of official statistics. At the same time, the NSS should remain impartial and independent, and invest in communicating the advantages of exploiting the wealth of available digital data to the benefit of the people. Building public trust will be the key to success.

Objectives

The objectives of the TTAP are to facilitate access to Big Data sources for official statistics and facilitate forming partnerships with other public and private organisations in order to work with Big Data. This should be done in a way that reflects a mutual understanding with partners of what is reasonable to expect from each other, by respecting each other’s position, role, aims, business model, social responsibilities, limitations and possibilities.

Deliverables

  1. Identification of good practices of data access, covering the most promising Big Data sources, in particular those already identified by the GWG, for countries in all stages of economic development. Where possible, recommendations are formulated. This includes recommendations on building partnerships aimed at developing tools and skills that can facililtate data access.
  2. A set of principles setting conditions for access to Big Data sources. These principles cover rights and obligations of data providers, including globally operating data providers, as well as rights and obligations of national and international statistical organisations. The principles also cover the issues of data confidentiality and privacy protection and must link to the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics of the UN Economic and Social Council.
  3. Templates for memorandums of understanding (MOUs) or service agreements with global data providers, covering the most promising Big Data sources, in particular those already identified by the GWG.
  4. Identification of good practices in respect of partnerships, covering the most relevant types of partnerships, for countries in all stages of economic development. Partnerships can be categorised according to subject (e.g., knowledge sharing) and to type of partnering institution (e.g., research institute). Where possible, recommendations are formulated and templates provided.

Members

Countries

  • Cameroon
  • China
  • Mexico
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands

International Institutions

  • Eurostat
  • ITU
  • UN Global Pulse
  • UNSD
  • World Bank