The United Nations Statistical Commission during its 48th session, 7-10 March 2017, in its decision 48/109 endorsed the International Classification of Activities for Time -Use Statistics (ICATUS 2016) for use as an international statistical classification and supported the proposal to develop methodological guidelines on how to operationalize ICATUS 2016 and produce time-use statistics using the latest technologies. It also urged countries to give high priority to time-use statistics, given their increased demand and their critical role in the review and monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals. It finally recognized the need to provide technical assistance to countries, particularly in developing regions.
Reliable time use statistics have been critical for (a) the measurement and analysis of quality of life or general well-being; (b) a more comprehensive measurement of all forms of work, including unpaid work and non-market production and the development of household production accounts; and for (c) producing data to inform and monitor gender policies. Time-use statistics can further supplement information to other statistical areas, such as: education (learning patterns), health (physical activity patterns, feeding patters, sleep patterns, etc.), culture (involvement), environment (access to water, sanitation and clean energy), social behaviors, involvement in civic activities, use of ICT, etc.
It is in this context that the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) organized an Expert Group Meeting on Innovative and Effective ways to collect Time-Use Statistics (TUS), in line with ICATUS 2016 and other international standards and in support of SDGs monitoring on 20-22 June 2018 in New York (under the component on Gender Statistics and Indicators – Component 4 – of the DA10 Statistics and Data Project supporting the “EA5 Enhanced capacity of target countries to adopt and apply statistical methods to assess gender gaps in selected key areas of women’s empowerment, classified as Tier II indicators in the SDG framework” – Activity A.5.1), to take stock of countries’ best practices in producing time use data, and to discuss the content and update of the UN Guide to Producing Statistics on Time Use: Measuring Paid and Unpaid Work.