NEWS24 September 2019

UK leads international effort to track value of official data

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UK – The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has begun work to lead a UN project that aims to define and measure the value of global statistics.

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Today ( 24 September), organisations from around the world will gather in London to attempt to track the monetary value of metrics such as gross domestic product (GDP), migration and trade statistics.

The event follows a set of recommendations published by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) from a UK-led international task force.

David Norgrove, chair of the UK Statistics Authority, said: “Official statistics are needed to help policy makers make better decisions and improve lives. By evaluating their worth, we hope to prove their importance to society here in the UK and elsewhere.”

The task force includes representatives from the US, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Denmark, Poland, Israel, Namibia and the Gulf Arab States.

Fiona Willis-Núñez, statistician at the UNECE, said: “We know our products are important, but being able to prove this to decision makers relies on having quantifiable evidence of our efficiency and value for money.

“International cooperation is fundamental. The immense variety of possible ways countries could measure the value and impact of their statistics means that finding a final answer will prove to be a massive task. We are grateful to the UK for taking a lead on this subject and helping to drive this programme with other countries.”

The final recommendations from the work will be presented to the Conference of European Statisticians in 2021.