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    Methodological publications in statistics

Introduction to the Web site on Methodological work in statistics

1. At its thirtieth session (New York, 1-5 March 1999), the Statistical Commission requested the United Nations Statistics Division to proceed with the work on the global integrated presentation of the work plans of the international organizations in statistical methodology, and requested all organizations to participate in that endeavour, In addition, the Commission requested the Division to prepare an annotated list of previously adopted statistical standards as a companion document to the integrated presentation and to report to the Statistical Commission on the implementation of the work at its next session.

2. At the thirty-third session of the ACC Subcommittee on Statistical Activities (Madrid, 14-16 September 1999), the Subcommittee took note of the work of the United Nations Statistics Division in the development of the web site for the global integrated presentation of the work of the international organizations in statistical methodology, and recognized that there were some questions of coverage that were unique to individual organizations and that the definition of what should be included would be refined in the light of experience. It was agreed that the Division would send a request to organizations specifying the information required to complete the database, and that organizations would, as far as possible, provide the information within 60 days. It was also agreed that the database would be updated on an annual basis. The Subcommittee recommended that the Division approach the Bureau of the Conference of European Statisticians (CES) with a view to rationalizing the information requirements on current methodological work between the integrated presentation of the CES and the Commission (see ACC/1999/19, para. 2 (d)).

3. Following consultations with the United Nations Statistics Division, the Bureau of CES agreed in its meeting in November 1999 to slightly adapt its format of presentation in order to harmonize it with the template of the Division's database and thus facilitate the extraction of relevant information. The present report describes the content of the web site database on the global integrated presentation prior to November 1999. The Commission will receive an oral update on how the new reporting format of CES affects the work on the United Nations Statistics Division database.

4. The United Nations Statistics Division has entered information into the database on its methodological work in progress in economic, social, demographic and environment statistics. The Division has entered into the database the available information on the work in progress by the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) in economic, social, demographic and environment statistics. Additional information will need to be obtained from these organizations on their projects in order to be able to complete the work in progress template and present a more complete description of their ongoing, work in statistical methodology. Information on work in progress undertaken by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank which was available from the pilot study has also been included in the database.

5. Information on its completed work in the areas of economic, social, demographic and environment statistics has been entered by the United Nations Statistics Division, covering publications issued since 1949. The sources of the information include an annotated bibliography of methodological publications issued prior to 1985, based on inputs provided by many of the organizations, which was prepared by the Division in the late 1980s the 1993 United Nations statistical publications and documents catalogue; and descriptions contained in various Division documents.

6. To the extent that information on the completed work of ECE, Eurostat and OECD is available in the documents of CES on the integrated presentation of the programmes of international statistical work in the ECE region, the Division has entered it in the database. Nevertheless, since CES documents do not aim at providing detailed or comprehensive information on publications already issued and cover recent years only, the information currently contained in the database on publications by ECE, Eurostat and OECD cannot be considered to be complete. Additional information will need to be obtained from these organizations on their publications.

7. Information on work completed prior to 1985 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), ILO, IMF, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and the World Health Organization (WHO) is available in the above-mentioned annotated bibliography of methodological publications, and has been entered into the database by the United Nations Statistics Division. Information on the organizations' completed work subsequent to 1985, however, needs to be obtained.

ACC Programmes Classification - as amended in July 1999
All work in progress and completed work contained in the database is classified into one of the following "subjects of interest":

030 General statistics

031 Demographic and social statistics
   1. Demographic statistics
   2. Population statistics
       i. Population censuses
      ii. Statistics on population groups of special interest
   3. Housing statistics
       i. Housing Censuses
      ii. Other housing statistics
   4. Labour statistics
   5. Education and training statistics
   6. Culture statistics including mass communication
   7. Statistics of household income and expenditure and their distribution
   8. Social security statistics
   9. Health statistics
  10. Gender statistics
  11. Other social, demographic and related statistics

032 Economic statistics
   1. National accounts
   2. Agriculture statistics
   3. Forestry and fishery statistics
   4. Industrial statistics
   5. Energy statistics
   6. Distributive trade statistics
   7. International trade statistics
       i. Trade in goods
      ii. Trade in services
   8. Transport statistics
   9. Communication statistics
  10. Tourism statistics
  11. Statistics of services not included elsewhere
  12. Money, finance and insurance statistics
  13. Fiscal statistics
  14. Balance of payments statistics
  15. Prices statistics
  16. Statistics of science, technology and patents
  17. Other economic statistics

033 Natural resources and environment statistics
   1. Natural resources and environment statistics
   2. Natural resources and environment accounting
   3. Meteorology statistics

034 Activities not classified by field
   1. Organization and operation of statistical services
   2. Technical infrastructure and other cross-cutting issues
   3. Dissemination and support for secretariat activities
   4. Other activities not classified by field