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Country Profile of Afghanistan

Main statistical agency
Main statistical agency name
Central Statistical Office (CSO)
Web address
Position in the government
The CSO is directly responsible to the Office of the president.
Organizational structure and finance
The CSO presently has more than 500 staff members nationwide with 166 in the provinces and the rest at the head office in Kabul. Provincial statistical offices were also established in 1973 in each Province. Under the current structure there are 9 departments which as follows:
1. Economics Statistics
2. National Accounts
3. Social Statistics & Demography
4. Planning and Publications
5. Finance and Administration
6. Census and Surveys
7. Provincial Supervision
8. Presidents Office
9. Internal Audit
Afghanistan government budget priority is in reconstruction; infrastructure, economic and social development, therefore most statistical activities in Afghanistan is funded by international organizations.
Main duties
Compile statistics on national accounts, prices, external trade, population, demographics, etc. to be used for monitoring economic, financial, and structural policies as well as other operations.

Brief history and other relevant background information
Brief history and other relevant background information
The CSO was assigned the responsibility for the collection, analysis and publication of secondary data – largely administrative data provided by the main sectoral Ministries. At a later stage it took on the task of compiling key statistical series such as National Accounts, Consumer Price Indices and Population and demographic data. It took on the role of coordinating statistical activities across all agencies of the Government. The CSO benefited from donor support by way of advice and training. The CSO also undertook some limited surveys on health and education as well as some sample surveys within Kabul; and was also involved in the preparation of various National Plans drawn up by the Ministry of Planning. The work of the CSO staff in the provincial offices was to collect data from the various Ministry provincial offices as well as the Provincial Government. These collections covered all economic and social data, particularly in areas such as customs data, agriculture, transport and industry.

The CSO was established in 1973; prior to that point in time there was a small Statistics Department in the Ministry of Interior. In 1992 the CSO was for intends and purposes closed. With the takeover by the Taliban, and given no interest in the functioning of the government sector, no efforts were made to rebuild the CSO. It began to be rebuilt in 2000.

Legal basis
Legal basis
The CSO is governed by the current Statistics Act, enacted in 2000 under the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. That Act superseded earlier legislation drawn up in 1975 and revised versions enacted in 1981 and 1989.

Other producers of official statistics
Other producers of official statistics
Although the CSO is the key agency to provide the bulk of the data for government Planners and International agencies, there are other agencies that generate data and must be seen as part of the overall statistical system.
A limited amount of data related work is being undertaken in the line ministries and other agencies of government. Much of the data are based on administrative records e.g. Customs, Budget data, and reporting by particular line ministries staff at Provincial levels.
Compilation of monetary statistics is the responsibility of DAB and is responsible for compiling Balance of Payments statistics. Government finance statistics are based on the data compiled by the Ministry of Finance. Ministry of Agriculture/FAAHM collects agricultural data.

Data collection
Access to administrative data
Access to all economic and social data, particularly in areas such as customs data, agriculture, transport and industry.
Data confidentiality
A ‘gap’ is the lack of a systems process that addresses various administrative issues and procedures for data dissemination and maintenance of data confidentiality. These have to be developed and implemented.

Data dissemination
Main publications
Afghanistan Statistical Yearbook, fact sheets, brochures
Languages of main publications
Dari, English
How are data disseminated (Paper, CD Rom, Website, online databases, databanks)?
Printed publication
Press conferences
CSO website (currently under construction)

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