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  1. Overview of mission statements:

    Georgia - Reliable Data for Right Decisions!

  2. INEGI-Mexico has the following comments regarding this chapter:

    5.2 Vision and goals of the national statistical office

    The table in this section refers more to advertising slogans than to institutional mission statements; at least, it is the case of Mexico.

    The box about the new role for official statistics in Estonia should be completed with its mission and vision, otherwise it seems misplaced.

    This section begins by talking about the vision and mission, but it ends by talking about strategic planning and other functions that should be addressed elsewhere.

    5.3.1 Administrative structure and finance of the national statistical office

    This section does not address the issue of finance until point 5.3.3, so it is suggested to remove it from the title. Organizing a national statistical office

    It is suggested to make more emphasis on the GSBPM, it is only mentioned at the end of the section.

    On the other hand, we think that the approach in this section is totally European. Are there references from other regions, apart from North America and Australia?

    5.3.3 Finance of the NSO

    One could also discuss the “numerical education” of the government officials (executive and legislative) and the relevance of statistics for public policies and decision-making as factors that influence budget allocations. The differences between public officials in Australia and those in some Latin American countries can be abysmal.

    5.3.4 Chief statistician

    The concept of Chief Statistician seems to be of English origin, and in any case European, but it is hardly found in other cultures. As the text says, in many countries it is difficult to identify him unless he is the head of the National Statistical Office.

    Again, the entire focus of this section is essentially European, so we suggest including other cases since there are only a few brief mentions in the bullets.                                                                                    

    Use of the intranet

    It is important to mention that INEGI also uses social networks for internal communication and the Yammer programme for organizational communication to all staff.

  3. INEGI-Mexico would like to share some additional comments and suggestions for Chapter V:

    • This chapter outlines and describes in a very clear and effective way the different structural and functional models for NSOs, with pertinent examples from different countries, including the advantages and challenges of each model to achieve an NSO’s mission and vision. These examples can be very useful to countries looking to improve and restructure its National Statistical Systems and Offices.

    • As effective as it is to point to the advantages of providing a panoramic view of the diversity of NSOs around the world, and the importance of benchmarking with other countries on many aspects, including internal structure, staffing, project management, financing and functions, it is still somewhat a limited and inward-looking conception of NSOs.

    • In particular, it does not contemplate certain areas of convergence with other agencies/areas, such as geospatial information, which have become complementary to, and thus inextricably linked with, Official Statistics – either as part of the same organization (as in Mexico and Brazil), or in close collaboration (as in the US, Colombia, China and Australia). An example of this relationship is the UN System itself, with a specialised unit within UNSD, and a Committee of Experts (UN-GGIM), as a close integovernmental partner to the UN Statistical Commission.

    • Another example is government, security and justice statistics, which are not mentioned as part of the main thematic areas/pillars/dimensions (“essential demographic, economic, social, and environmental information” – Section 5.2 Vision and Goals) of official statistics, but have an increasingly relevant and prevalent role among these

    • In this regard, while there is a dedicated section (5.4.2) to the role of NSOs in national planning and coordination, most examples in the current version of Chapter V are elsewhere, and seem to lead to a fairly solitary, exclusive and isolated vision for NSOs in the production of official statistics and information of national importance. Coordination at the national and subnational level is a rather essential role of NSOs including standardization, integration, curation and validation of information generated at other agencies and levels of government/State. This section could include specific examples illustrating and guiding NSOs crucial function, on how to make it compatible and complementary with its other fundamental roles.

    • Examples of coordination could include the roles embedded in NSO’s mission (INEGI in Mexico, has a legal mandate to coordinate the National System of Statistics and Geography, involving all branches and levels of the State). Also, in other countries, where official statistics are produced by several agencies, in an atomized but well-orchestrated structure, such as in the United States and the United Kingdom. Within the UN System, broad agreements such as the Agenda 2030 and the monitoring of the SDGs have led to major reform and collaboration among UN agencies, funds and programmes (among others), with a key coordinating role by UNSD at the Secretariat, and the UN StatCom at the intergovernmental level.

    • Regarding coordination, there could be a mention on models and examples of how countries and the UN interact with non-State actors – such as the private/corporate sector, academia and civil society. This encompasses institutional collaborations, synergies and partnerships, including good practices and challenges on how to share, complement and validate information (which also ties in with some mentions to non-State actors in the production of official statistics in Chapter 3 – Section 3.1.2). As a related topic, it would be very useful to include some references to the use of alternative and/or novel sources of information – such as Satellite, Earth Observations, and Big Data, particularly from private sources (linked with data confidentiality and privacy), or experimental methods, and data from academic or private research.

    • Chapter V could also include more guidance and examples on how to deal with cross-cutting/interdisciplinary and emerging processes more broadly, but also with some depth and insight. Certain topics (such as climate change, environmental accounts and globalization) are rightly mentioned as examples, but only in passing. These will become more prevalent and frequent in time, and directly involve NSOs as key focal points, as also exemplified by equally cross-cutting and relevant issues – such as Gender Equality, Migration, Ecosystem Accounts, or the monitoring of integrative, multilateral processes and agreements, such as the SDGs. NSOs across the world would greatly benefit from advice and perspective on how to address these challenges, involving convergence and intersection, both from a substantive and an organizational perspective.

    • As much as NSOs should be able to face and adjust to emergent issues, technologies and information requirements, other situations may also pose significant challenges. A clear and stark example is the current global COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted life and for all, including the ways in which NSOs function. This juncture should be an example of the need for a balance between constancy and adaptability of NSOs to local and global emergencies and challenges, in order to keep fulfilling their key functions of providing essential information to their countries in a reliable and dynamic fashion. And the way each one adapts to these circumstances may be useful examples and good practices for all in the future.

    • A section illustrating this (constancy-reliability-opportunity-adaptability) balance, at the time of the current pandemic, could be an interesting and helpful addition to the manual. Section 5.4.2, which deals with different aspects of communication, information sharing, hierarchies and relationships within NSOs, is one of the main areas that would be (and have been) affected during contingencies. But also the production, processing and dissemination of information, as well as inter-agency coordination.
    1. Dear Pilar thank you for your comments. We will try to address them during our editorial phase. Of course each chapter must remain rather generic and should not reflect too much the orientation and experiences of one or the other countries. What I believe is missing is a few sections on the other producers of official statistics.. There is probably something that could be done in trying to merge partially Chapter III and IV as well as some sections of Chapter IV with V. Basically to go from 3 chapters down to 2 and also avoid some repetition. I can't promise anything so far, but we will try hard