United Nations Statistical Commission

Overview   51st Session (2020)   Side Events

Collaborative efforts to enhance statistical training

Including launch of UN SDG:Learn statistics gateway

A Side Event at the United Nations Statistics Commission
  • Monday, 2 March 2020
  • 1:15 – 2:30 pm
  • Conference Room E

Meeting organized by Global Network on Institutions for Statistical Training (GIST) and United Nations Statistics Division

Concept Note


The range and depth of data demands emerging out of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are unprecedented and present a substantial challenge for national statistical systems in all countries. Significant efforts are required to strengthen national statistical capacities to provide the necessary data and statistics for the full implementation of the 2030 agenda, as recognized by the UN General Assembly, in its resolution 71/313. The Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Data also highlights statistical training as an essential action area.

Statistical training is key in strengthening countries' statistical capacities. Many international and regional institutions work in this area, but due to limited coordination, there is still overlap in available courses and use of diverse approaches. The Global Network of Institutions for Statistical Training (GIST) was therefore established in 2018 to facilitate more coordination and help harmonize statistical training offerings. GIST is a network of international and regional training institutions, as well as a selection of countries, which provides statistical training to jointly build sustainable statistical capacities through efficient, effective, and harmonized delivery of training. For more information on GIST, see: https://unstats.un.org/GIST

GIST has in the last year been working on three main topics; i) how to better address needs of statistical offices in a coordinated manner; ii) online gateway and e-community of practice and iii) statistical literacy. This session will present some of the work done so far by the group.

The most prominent result of the work of the network is the online gateway for statistical training courses, which will be launched at this event (www.unsdglearn.org/statistics). It is a dedicated landing page for statistics courses provided by various GIST members. The overall aim of the tool is to make it easier for those who are in need of training in statistics to see what is available by only visiting one page instead of having to visit various portals. It will also help the training community to better coordinate their work.

In addition to the gateway, members of GIST have discussed other potential areas of coordination and cooperation and have shared their experiences. The work of the group has also led to a better understanding of overlaps and gaps in the current offer of statistical training. Moving forward, the group will aim at addressing some of these issues so that training resources can be used more efficiently.

The event will also give the audience an opportunity to ask questions and provide input and guidance on areas GIST could focus on in their future work.


  1. Introduce and promote the new statistics courses gateway to the statistics community (using the UN SDG:Learn platform)
  2. Share other aspects of the work of GIST
  3. Share experiences of GIST members – what have been the benefits of discussions and exchange so far
  4. Get feedback from participants on what would be useful that GIST addresses movingforward


  1. Moderator: Vibeke Oestreich Nielsen, UNSD

     1:15 pmOpening by Moderator – highlighting key aspects of work of GIST
     1:20 pmOpening speech by Helen MacGillivray – Chair of GIST – launch of UN SDG:Learn
     1:30 pm Demonstration of the UN SDG:Learn – Statistics page (Elena Proden, UNITAR)
     1:40 pm Perspectives of GIST members – usefulness of GIST for collaboration and experience exchange)
    1. - International agency (Mr Rafael Diez de Medina, ILO)
    2. - Regional training institute (HE Mr. Nebil Dabur, SESRIC)
    3. - National statistical office (Ms. Ellen Kiosterud, Statistics Norway)

     2:00 pm Q & A
     2:30 pm Event closes

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