IAOS Members newsletter - February, 2017

News from the International Association for Official Statistics (IAOS)

February 2017

Dear IAOS members and supporters,

Welcome to the IAOS newsletter.  On behalf of the IAOS, I hope you and your families have had a good start to 2017.

2016 ended with the IAOS conference in Abu Dhabi and there is more about this in the newsletter. My thanks again to the IAOS Programme Committee (chaired by Eric Rancourt, Statistics Canada) and the Local Programme Committee in Abu Dhabi (under the leadership of HE Butti Al Qubaisi of SCAD, our hosts), the speakers, chairs, discussants and participants for their contributions. A special thanks to the World Bank for their support for a number of delegates.

 

We are also seeking member feedback on the conference. Feedback closes on 28 February. See below for more information.

 

As we all know, 2017 is already proving to be an interesting year on the global stage, and this is also true for the world of official statistics. January saw the UN World Data Forum in Cape Town. Participants from across Official Statistics, NGOs and the Private Sector attended. SCORUS organised a very interesting session on some of the challenges of providing SDGs at the local level.

 

The meeting of the UN Statistics Commission in March 2017, will include discussions on the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics, as well as the Cape Town Action Plan - a key output from the World Data Forum in January 2017. If you have views on or any other items on the UNSC agenda, from the perspective of the IAOS,  email the IAOS President at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

While much of the focus of the IAOS in late 2016 was on the conference, other activities included the launch of the December 2016 quarter's SJIAOS.  Our thanks again to Dr Kirsten West and her team. (There is also more about this issue and some information about the March 2017 quarter issue later in the newsletter.)

 

The committee also agreed to extend the closing date for the YSP 2017 competition.  Please continue to encourage and mentor Young Statisticians to enter the 2017 competition.  This  now closes on February 15, 2017. (See below for more information.)

 

The IAOS will also be extensively involved in the World Statistical Congress in Marrakech, Morocco in July 2017.  The 2017 General Assembly will also take place during the WSC.

 

There are also many interesting satellite meetings of interest to IAOS members, and other conferences coming up in 2017. And of course, IAOS with our partner OECD has started planning for the IAOS 2018 conference in Paris in September 2018.

 

The newsletter contains a wide range of information on these items and other topics of interest to those involved in official statistics. On behalf of the IAOS Executive, I thank you for your support and encourage you to continue to participate in our Association activities.

 

Key Dates for Members

Final closing date for 2017 YSP - 15 February 2017

WSC Contributed Papers - close 15 February 2017

United Nations Statistical Commission , 7 -10 March 2017

WSC Early bird Registration closes 19 April 2017

WSC Final date for Registration for Presenters, Chairs, Discussants 22 May 2017

IASE -IAOS 2017 Satellite Meeting - 11 - 14 July 2017

WSC 2017, 17-21 July 2017

IAOS  General Assembly 18 July 2017

IAOS 18 , September 19-21, 2018

 

IAOS16 Conference - brief report

After two years of planning and preparation from many people, over 500 people from across the world gathered together in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates for the IAOS 16 conference. The Programme Committee led by Eric  Rancourt (Statistics Canada) and the local Organising team ( chaired by HE Butti Al Qubaisi) put on a great mix of scientific and social events.  The final programme was comprised of 30 sessions including two keynote presentations, one special session, 12 invited paper sessions, ten contributed paper sessions, a lunchtime roundtable session, two educational seminars and two sessions for young statisticians prizes (IAOS and local).

The conference was launched in great style by the hosts - H.E. Butti Al Qubaisi Director General , Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi (SCAD), UAE Minister H.E. Reem Al Hashimy; together with the IAOS President Ola Awad..  HE Butti Al Qubaisi stressed the importance of sharing experiences and understanding innovation.  In continuing this theme, HE Reem Al Hashimy stressed the importance of Innovation in the United Arab Emirates.  She also noted that for a country to have Innovation, it must build up statistical capability. 

 

President Ola Awad emphasised the importance of Official Statistics, and noted that the values of official statistics remained relevant in the modern world. In inviting delegates to be challenged, inspired and excited; Ola reminded attendees that the conference was an opportunity to discuss priorities, share successes and discuss the challenges of keeping pace with evolving needs. 

 

IAOS President Ola Awad, during the Opening Ceremony

 

This was then followed by two and a half days of presentations and discussions; where delegates focused on  a wide range of official statistical topics. Topics included debates on Implementing the Fundamental Principles, Challenges in Statistical Geography, Data Dissemination, Statistical Innovation in the GCC, Modernising the National Statistical System, Modernisation Processes, Partnerships, and experiences of Administrative and Big Data, and more.

Key note speakers - Ola Rosling on Day 1, and Dr Johannes Jutting on Day 3 presented a range of different views on current issues.  Ola Rosling reminded the audience that while Statistics can help people see the world,  presentation was key to ensuring they were understood and used. Dr Johannes Jutting  emphasised the importance of partnerships and outlined some emerging business models on working in partnership with the Private Sector.

Day 2 began with a Special Session on Measuring Progress for Arab Women.  A distinguished panel of senior women leaders in the Arab World, including Ola Awad, HE Noura Al Kaabi, HE Mona Al Daas and HE Zahira Kamal was assembled. They presented the audience with perspectives on the challenges of measuring progress of Arab women in the context of the different societies and experiences in the Arab region.

Among the new innovations for the conference were two courses presented by SJIAOS Editor in Chief, Kirsten West.  These well attended courses on Presentations and Publishing in Refereed Journals, provided valuable training.   The IAOS Executive also organised a lunchtime session to debate the Future of Official Statistics. This very well attended session provided useful views from a range of speakers and participants.

 

Many of the conference highlights can be seen  on the IAOS website - http://www.iaos-isi.org/index.php/Photo  or in this YouTube video

 

  

 

However the conference was not all work.  Participants were treated to a great Cultural Event, and were able to get a taste of the culture and heritage of the UAE.  This  theme continued through the Gala Dinner.( See here for some of the highlights.)

 

 

 

The IAOS Executive would again like to thank SCAD, the Programme Committee, the World Bank, presenters, chairs, discussants and attendees for their contributions.

 

Feedback  on the IAOS 16 conference

We would also like to get your feedback on the IAOS 2016 conference. This helps us continuously improve IAOS conferences. Please take a few minutes to provide your responses to the following questions:

1)  Did you participate in the IAOS 2016 in Abu Dhabi?

2) If not, why not?

For those that attended..

3)  Do you have any comment on the communications and planning of the conference?

4)  What did you like most about the conference?

5)  What did you like the least about the conference?

6)  On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate the IAOS 2016 conference (10 being the highest)?

7) What improvements would you suggest for the next conferences?

 Please send your answers to Eric Rancourt, Program Chair, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 28 February 2017.

 

2016 IAOS General Assembly

An important part of the IAOS Conference is the General Assembly.  Approximately 70 members and supporters attended the 2016 General Assembly.  In presenting the 2016 Annual Report, Ola took the opportunity to share with members, some of the highlights of the last year.   These included

  • the 20% increase in the number of IAOS members

  • Conferences including the IAOS16, participation in the 2017 WSC and preparations for the joint conference with the IAOS18

  • YSP competitions (YSP 16 and YSP 17)

  • New IAOS website and new IAOS brochure

  • Development of strategy for attracting more student members

 

The discussion on the annual report was accompanied by a short presentation by Dr Kirsten West, SJIAOS Editor in Chief, on the activities in the SJIAOS over 2016.  Dr West reminded the Assembly that the aim of the SJIAOS is to publish papers of wide interest to both users and producers of official statistics. She noted that four issues had been published in 2016, comprising 86 manuscripts ( papers, comments, interviews, and conversations), which translated into more than 700 pages.  However, she stressed that it was not just about volume, as the number of manuscripts of publication quality is also increasing.

 

The General Assembly also took the opportunity to publicly acknowledge the contributions of Emeritus Editor, Dr Fritz Scheuren., to the journal and the wider work of the IAOS.

 

President Ola Awad, acknowledging the efforts of Dr Fritz Scheuren, SJIAOS Emeritus Editor

 

Some of the members and supporters who attend the 2017 IAOS General Assembly.

 

 

 

 

 

IAOS 18 conference

Work preparing for the IAOS18 conference is well underway.  This joint event in conjunction with the OECD has the theme of Better Statistics Better Lives and will be held in Paris from September 19-21 2018.

 

During the IAOS16 conference, Martine Durand, Director of Statistics at the OECD welcomed by video IAOS members and others interested in official statistics to attend the conference in Paris.  In the closing ceremony for IAOS16, Mario Palma, President Elect IAOS and Marco d'Ercole, OECD  personally extended this welcome. 

 

There will be more about the conference on the IAOS website.  In the meantime, if you have any questions about the IAOS18 conference, please  contact President- elect Mario Palma This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

WSC 2017 Scientific Programme

WSC is still accepting Contributed Papers - these close on 15 February 2017.  See  here for more information

 

IAOS 2017 General Assembly

The 2017 IAOS General Assembly will be on 18 July, 2017 during the WSC.

 

Lunchtime Roundtable on Future of Official Statistics

IAOS has organised a Lunchtime Roundtable on the Future of Official Statistics. Come and join us.

 

Key Dates for the WSC

Contributed Paper submission closes

15 February 2017

Notification about Contributed Paper acceptance

31 March 2017

Discount registration closes

19 April 2017

Registration for organisers, chairs, presenting authors and discussants closes

22 May 2017

Online and student registration closes

07 July 2017

 

Our thanks again to Rolando Ocampo, INEGI (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for his valuable contributions to the WSC on behalf of IAOS members.

 

SJIAOS - Update Overall

As Dr Kirsten West reported to the IAOS2016 General Assembly, four issues were published in 2016. These covered a wide range of topics including:

      Data: Big data, synthetic data, administrative data

      Data quality: linkage error, fabrication (special theme)

      Data issues: disclosure and protection (special theme), confidentiality

      Data collection: census taking (2020 U.S. Decennial Census special theme)

      Data management: statistical systems

      Integration of statistical and geospatial information

      Indigenous populations

 

The SJIAOS also published interviews with senior statisticians and managers around the world. The goal is to connect official statisticians globally, but especially within the IAOS by getting to know the person in the position a little bit better. These interviews reminded us how much we have in common in both our professional and private lives no matter what country we come from, what language we speak at home or where we live and work.

 

December 2016 issue

The December 2016 issue of SJIAOS has a special section compiled by Gemma van Halderen from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in tribute to Mr. Shigeru Kawasaki, IAOS president from 2013-15. The manuscripts covered integration of statistical and geospatial information and data. The issue also featured the winning paper of the 2015 IAOS YSP, "Big Data and Semantic Technology: A Future for Data Integration, Exploration and Visualization," by Andreas Mayer and Andrew Harwood (Australia). A rich selection of other topics of relevance to official statistics are also included in this issue.

 

March 2017 issue

Preparations are underway for the March 2017 issue.. This is will honour Dr Arthur Kennickell--a soon to be retired economist working for the Board of Governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve System. Dr. Kennickell's contributions to Official Statistics, are widely recognized. In particular, his name is associated with the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). The SCF is a critical source of information on the U.S. national economy and the economic livelihood of American households and is used as a model by many other statistics offices.

 

Contributing manuscripts to the Journal

The main aim of the journal is to support the IAOS mission by publishing articles to promote the understanding and advancement of official statistics and to foster the development of effective and efficient official statistical services on a global basis. The journal publishes papers on current and emerging issues and challenges related to the management, production and use of official statistics and related public policy matters. All papers are refereed.  For manuscript submission and author instructions, please go to http://www.iospress.nl/journal/statistical-journal-of-the-iaos/

 

Be even more involved.  Become a special issue editor

Do  you have an idea for a topic you would like to see covered in the Journal ? Consider  becoming a guest editor for a special issue or a special section of an issue. All manuscripts will go through the usual SJIAOS review process. The editorial staff will be available to assist you. For more information, contact  the  SJIAOS Editor-in-Chief - Dr Kirsten West at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Young Statistician Prize YSP 2016

The results of the 2016 IAOS Prize for Young Statisticians were officially announced during the IAOS 2016 conference.

First Prize Balancing Input-Output tables with Bayesian Slave-raiding ants by: Rolando Gonzales Martinez (Bolivia)

Second Prize: Variance reduction using a non-informative sampling design by: Thomas Zimmerman (Germany)

 Third Prize: CURIOS: A framework to optimize CAPI surveys using paradata  by: Antoine Rebecq and Thomas Merly-Alpa (France)

 

IAOS President Ola Awad with IAOS Young Statistician Prize 2016 Winner Rolando Gonzales Martinez (Bolivia)

IAOS President Ola Awad with Tomas Zimmerman (Germany), Second Prize Winner of the IAOS Young Statistician Prize 2016

 

Our congratulations again to all the winners of the YSP 2016 competition.

 

YSP 2017 competition

The closing date for the YSP 2017 competition  was extended to February 15, 2017.  Information on the announcement and the technical guidelines  can be found on the IAOS website  - see http://iaos-isi.org/index.php/statistics-prize .

 

Apart from attractive prizes, the winning paper will be presented at the World Statistics Congress in  Marrakech, Morocco.  Publicity material, including posters in all of the six UN languages are also available on the IAOS website.  Please use these to share information about the competition.

 

SCORUS Update

As part of the UN World Data Forum held in Cape Town in January 2017 SCORUS organised a session at the Forum, entitled “Data needs at the local level: ‘Leaving no one behind’ – the geographical dimension and the new urban agenda”.  This forum, the first of its kind focused on SDGs.  SDG's are underpinned by 170 targets, and accompanying statistics and indicators that will need to be collected and monitored by all member states. Many of these need to be measured not only at the national level, but for regions, cities, urban and rural areas, local areas and neighbourhoods.

The session highlighted the statistical challenges of measuring levels and changes over time at local levels, and showcased innovative new developments to help meet the challenges. The session  included presentations from national and international organisations (including UN-Habitat, European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC),  OECD , Statistics South Africa, Statistics Netherlands  and KTH Sweden.) It also included a young researcher working at the city level in South Africa, who shared innovative ways of using data from sources such as electricity usage.

The key messages from the session in Cape Town can be seen on the SCORUS website. SCORUS will also be organizing a session at the ISI conference in Marrakech, in July 2017.

 

SCORUS session at the World Data Forum, Cape Town, January 2017

  United Nations Statistical Commission

The 2017 United Nations Statistical Commission will be held from 7 -10 March 2017.  There are a number of topics of interest to IAOS members, including

  • Data and indicators for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

  • Transformative agenda for official statistics

  • Big data for official statistics

  • Quality assurance in the global statistical system

  • Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics

 

If you have an IAOS perspective on any of the agenda items, please send your thoughts to the President at to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Global Partnership on Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD)

GPSDD involves public and private sector, as well as NGOs and academics.  This has the potential to change the arrangements for how information, including official statistics are used to inform and monitor decisions.

 

If you are interested in the GPSDD, and keen to bring an official statistics perspective to its work, contact Nancy McBeth (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

 

IAOS Executive Meetings

The Executive met during the IAOS 2016 conference. This was a chance to review the IAOS 16 conference and review progress with the planning of the IAOS18 conference.

 

 

 

Executive Members during the IAOS Executive

(Left to Right)Teodora Brandmueller (SCORUS), Dr Kirsten West (Editor in Chief, SJIAOS), Nancy McBeth, Mario Palma (President Elect), Ola Awad (President), Eric Rancourt (Chair, IAOS16 Programme Committee), Sybille von Oppeln Bronikowski, Ada Van Krimpen

Apologies - Leslie Tang, Oliver Chinganya

The Executive will be meeting again during the UNSC.  If you have an item for discussion, contact the IAOS President Ola Awad ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  ).

 

Upcoming conferences of interest to members

New Techniques and Technologies for Statistics (NTTS 2017) - 14-16 March 2017, Brussels

2017 Channel Network Conference of the International Biometric Society (IBS) - 24-26 April, 2017

2017 ISI Satellite Meeting on Small Area Estimation (SAE2017) - 10-12 July 2017, Paris

IASE Satellite - Teaching Statistics in a Data Rich World,  -  11-14 July 2017, Rabat, Morocco - see http://iase-web.org/conference/satellite17/

WSC 2017 - 16-21 July 2017, Marrakech, Morocco, see http://www.isi2017.org/

Fifth European Establishment Statistics Workshop (EESW17) 30 August to 1 September 2017, ), to be held in Southampton, UK  - see here

IAOS 18 - September 19-21, 2018, Paris, France

 

Professional Development

Summer Institute in Survey Research Techniques, University of Michigan - June 5 to July 28, 2017

The Summer Institute provides graduate training in all phases of survey research.. Graduate-level courses through the Program in Survey Methodology will be offered in two consecutive four-week sessions, from June 5 through June 30 and from July 3 through July 28. There are a number of one and three week courses, as well, that may be elected in each session.  This programme is available for US and International Students.  For more information see  http://si.isr.umich.edu/

 

Invitation to share other items of interest to members.

We welcome short items of interest to members of the IAOS, official statisticians, providers and users of official statistics for publication in this newsletter and/or on the IAOS website. Please send your contributions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Finally I really welcome any feedback and suggestions that you may have on matters relating to Official Statistics and the work of the IAOS in particular. Thank you for  your continued interest and support in the IAOS activities. I look forward to seeing you in Marrakech in July 2017.

Thank you again for your support

 

Ola Awad

President IAOS

 

Contact names and email addresses:

Ola Awad (President)                                                                        This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mario Palma (President Elect)                                                              This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Kirsten West (Editor-in-Chief,  SJIAOS)                                               This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rolando Ocampo (IAOS representative on the 2017 WSC)                    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Nancy McBeth (IAOS Website Editor)                                                This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.