The Statistics Division engages in a wide variety of capacity-developing activities that support National Statistical Offices and the wider National Statistical Systems. The support is intended to strengthen countries' capacity in providing high quality statistics for decision making and analytical purposes by increasing their abilities to manage the statistical system, their knowledge of statistical standards and methods and the use of new data sources and tools.

UNSD carries out capacity-building activities under its Regular Programme for Technical Cooperation and in special dedicated projects under the UN Development Account or other donor-funded projects. The development of e-learning courses is growing as part of these activities.

UNSD supports the management of national statistical systems in a variety of ways. A new development is the updating of the Handbook on Management and Organization of National Statistical Systems, supported through regional Thematic Conferences. Additional tools have also been developed to guide countries in improving their national statistical systems.

UNSD coordinates the work of the Global Network of Institutions for Statistical Training (GIST), a network of international and regional training institutions, working together to build sustainable statistical capacities through efficient, effective, and harmonized delivery of training. UNSD also maintains a global calendar of statistical events, covering members of GIST and beyond. A new Global Network of Data Officers and Statisticians has been launched by UNSD to support coordination among national statistical systems and UN system entities.

Activities that are growing in importance in UNSD's work include the development and provision of e-learning courses and the work on new innovative data sources (Big Data).

Capacity Development

What we do

Capacity Building Activities

UNSD engages in capacity-building and capacity-development activities to strengthen the statistical capacity of developing countries to measure, monitor, inform, and report on the Sustainable Development Goals and other policy areas.

Managing of National Statistical Systems

The primary objective of the Handbook on Management and Organization of Statistical Systems is to guide statistical organizations in developing and maintaining statistical capacity


UNSD's cross-divisional E-learning Task Team focuses on coordinating the development and provision of e-learning courses in different areas of statistics

Big Data

The UN Global Working Group on Big Data for Official Statistics provides a strategic vision, direction and coordination for a global programme on big data for official statistics