ADB Joins Hands with ESCAP in Statistical Capacity Building for Achieving Internationally Agreed Development Goals

The recent global economic crisis poses an unprecedented threat to development that is negatively affecting the MDGs achievement so far made by member States. The convergence of these threats has exacerbated an already difficult situation for many countries, particularly the LDCs, LLDCs and several SIDS.

The United Nations Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (SIAP), ESCAP’s training arm in statistics, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) through its Development Indicator and Policy Research Division (ERDI) in the Economic Research Department jointly organized a three week training workshop on Analysis, Interpretation and Dissemination of Official Statistics which concluded on 23 April 2010 at SIAP in Chiba, Japan.

“Persistent weaknesses in the availability and quality of MDG related data and statistical capacity in many developing countries are major constraints in developing and implementing pro-MDG policies and programmes,” said Davaasuren Chultemjamts, Director of SIAP. "This training therefore aimed at strengthening capabilities of the participating countries in the analysis, interpretation, report writing, presentation and dissemination of official statistics, with particular focus on social statistics including the MDG indicators" said Douglas Brooks, Assistant Chief Economist, ERDI, ADB from Manila.

This specialized workshop included several components on social statistics to complement the Institute’s Tokyo Metropolitan Area (TMA) based group training courses. The training workshop introduced the standard techniques and methodologies of generating good quality indicators, analysis and interpretation of data to monitor the progress made over time on the human development and the achievement of MDGs. There were ample opportunities for all participants to explore the relevant subject areas, through discussion on various issues, and sharing of country experiences in the compilation, analysis, interpretation and dissemination of social statistics. The workshop curriculum covered the following topics: Poverty, Education, Health, Gender, Labour , and Environment Statistics under the umbrella of MDGs. In addition, the course included sessions on survey data analysis, report writing and presentation of results. Towards the end of the course, participants carried out project work in groups using their own country data to practice what they learnt during the classroom sessions. They made presentations on their findings before the faculty members of SIAP and received feedback on how to improve on their work.

The training workshop was attended by 14 statisticians from developing member countries in the region namely Afghanistan, Cambodia, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, and Timor-Leste who have improved their knowledge and skills in producing and analyzing statistical data relevant for monitoring progress of MDGs.

SIAP and ADB will work together to foster the statistical capacity building of the countries in the region through similar collaborative efforts. SIAP has successfully conducted five Country Training Workshops on ‘MDGs and Use of Administrative Data Systems for Statistical Purposes’ jointly with ADB under RETA6356 project in 2008 and 2009. The present workshop can be seen as a continuation of the effective collaboration between two agencies.