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Improving Official Statistics

President’s Message September 2020

Dear colleagues

Nominations for IAOS Executive CommitteeI am pleased to inform you that the Nominating Committee for the IAOS Executive Committee members (2021-23) has been set up with Mario Palma as Chair and Ola Awad, Oliver Chinganya, Angela Me and Shigeru Kawasaki as members. The duty of the Nominating Committee is to make nominations for the posts of President Elect and four executive members for the next term under the Presidency of Mr. Misha Belkindas.

The Executive Committee is the main leadership group for the IAOS. I have been fortunate during my term as President to be supported by a talented, committed and diverse group of colleagues. Please think hard about individuals who could make a valuable contribution to serve the IAOS in this way. The task is important but not necessarily onerous: the Executive Committee meets only a few times a year. For those who can get more deeply involved there are also plenty of opportunities through our conferences and webinars, journal, the Young Statisticians prize and other activities.

You are invited to make nominations (including self-nominations) for the IAOS Executive Committee by 20 November. Submissions should contain the CV and contact details of the proposed candidates and should be sent to contactiaos@gmail.com

Upcoming Webinar MISUSE OF STATISTICS: TIME TO SPEAK OUT — Tuesday 6th October 2020, 14.00-16.00 CET 

This webinar focuses on Fundamental Principle 4: Prevention of misuse, which states that the statistical agencies are entitled to comment on erroneous interpretation and misuse of statistics. It features leading figures in the statistical world with direct personal experiences of applying Principle 4 (Ed Humpherson, Martine Durand, Pali Lehohla, Andreas Georgiou and Hernan Munoz). There will be time for open discussion and reflection on future actions.  Registration is open at MISUSE OF STATISTICS: TIME TO SPEAK OUT

2021 IAOS Young Statisticians Prize is now open.  The Prize is awarded for the best paper in the field of official statistics written by a young statistician. 

In addition to monetary prizes, the first-place winner will receive travel funds to present the paper at an international conference.  Due to COVID-19, details of the conference will be decided in conjunction with the winner and may include the rescheduled IAOS 2020 Conference or a 2021 ISI World Statistics Congress Satellite Conference in memory of Fred Smith and Chris Skinner being held in Southampton, UK, 8-10 July 2021.

You can find the relevant information in all UN official languages here. I would appreciate it if you would share information about the competition in your office and the wider National Statistical System in your country.  More information is available at http://www.iaos-isi.org/index.php/latestnews/277-2021-iaos-young-statisticians-prize  The closing date is 12 February 2021. 

Zambia IAOS 2020 ConferenceBetter Lives 2030: mobilising the power of data for Africa and the world – This conference was previously planned for May 2020. It is now expected that the conference will be held in September 2021 in Livingstone, Zambia.  Updates will be posted at [ Conferences ]. 

The new world order and official statistics in Africa – a webinar on this topic is scheduled for 22 October 2020. More information is available on the website here and registration is now open via this link

SJIAOS – The September issue has a special theme on The Future of Economic and Business Statistics, building on the work of the Friends of the Chair Group on Economic Statistics, commissioned by the UN Statistical Commission. This issue will also set the scene for the fifth discussion on the Official Statistics discussion platform – www.officialstatistics.com.  The June issue contains articles from some of the sessions at the ISI World Statistics Conference 2019, including articles on pre-release access of official statistics  which formed the basis for the fourth discussion on the Official Statistics discussion platform www.officialstatistics.com.  This issue is open access. Our thanks to IOS Press for their support.

The Official Statistics platform – www.officialstatistics.com is proving to be an important place for all parts of the official statistics community to discuss current issues. The discussion on  “Pre-release access to official statistics”, has been very active and I encourage everyone to take part in this and other discussions. 

Finally, thanks to those that were able to attend the virtual General Assembly in late August.  The minutes of that meeting are available here


John Pullinger

IAOS President