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Improving Official Statistics

The Statistical Journal of the IAOS

The flagship of the IAOS is the ‘Statistical Journal of the IAOS’. The journal has four regular issues per year, each with an average of around 15-20 articles, focusing on current and emerging issues and challenges related to the management, production and use of official statistics and related public policy matters. The Journal is widely circulated and subscribed to by individuals and institutions in all parts of the world. The ‘Journal’  is available on-line and via a printed publication and is supported by a website www.officialstatistics.com. The website also offers a discussion platform, news, and interviews.

The discussion platform provides an opportunity for the official statistical community to discuss important topics in  official statistics. The discussions are based on articles in the Journal.

The Editor in Chief of the SJIAOS is Pietro Gennari, who can be contacted at gennari.sjiaos@gmail.com or you can follow him on LinkedIn. The SJIAOS has also a Twitter (X) account where posts on the Journal are published (see https://twitter.com/OfficialStat1).

Latest Version of the SJIAOS - Volume 39, no. 4 - December 2023

Content of the issue includes:

The editorial discusses the “Present and Future of the European Master in Official Statistics (EMOS)”, a label awarded by the European Statistical System Committee to 34 accredited Master programmes offered by universities in 18 European countries that, in line with the EMOS learning outcomes, train students on the system of official statistics, production models, statistical methods, and dissemination.  The programme has had a key role in meeting the recruitment needs of national and international statistical institutions.

The editorial reports on the first outcomes of the 9th EMOS workshop, organized last October by Eurostat, the Prague University of Economics and Business, and the Czech Statistical Office to discuss the achievements and challenges of EMOS to date and explore ideas for its future development. The need to adapt the learning outcomes of the EMOS curriculum to the new data ecosystem and the new roles of statistical offices by incorporating, for example, data science and computing skills.  The editorial also discusses the suggestion to forge stronger ties not only with European national statistical institutes but also with entities such as national central banks, international organizations, research institutes, and private companies.  Both are seen as pivotal in order to enhance the employment opportunities of EMOS graduates and position EMOS in a supporting role of international capacity development programmes.

A rich section of the journal is dedicated to the winning papers of the 2023 Young Statistician Prize (YSP). Today’s young statisticians are tomorrow’s leaders, and they inspire the community to think about the current and new frontiers in official statistics, promoting dynamic and innovative professional cooperation.

Another section comprises five papers on Innovative Statistical Methods that complement the articles on new methods and techniques that were awarded  in the 2023 Young Statistician Prize. These papers include the use of network structures to explain the relationship between household financial distress and socio-related problems of both youth and adult population groups, the production of detailed and more timely official statistics on spatial and demographic distributions of personal insolvency obtained by combining web scraping and text-mining techniques on an untapped large administrative database; the use of web scraping data to produce more timely official statistics of the Philippines’ consumer price index, the utilization of a random forest algorithm to correct for overcounts in administrative register data and obtain reliable estimate of the resident population; and, finally, to the use of machine learning techniques to combine a variety of data sources for estimating the 2020 per capita household expenditure in three districts of Indonesia with the objective of addressing the problem of poverty targeting.

The issue also features articles on specific themes in official statistics, such as the Impact of COVID-19, a topic present in every issue since 2020; Hidden and Hard-to-Measure Population Groups, a topic extremely important to enable NSOs to produce reliable disaggregated data for many SDG indicators; Register-based Population Statistics and Open-Source Software Tools.

Vol 39/2
Special theme:
Special theme: Statistics on Governance, Peace and Security (Praia Group)
Manuscript Author(s)
Editorial Pieter Everaers
Interview with George Sciadas, about his book ‘Number Savvy: From the Invention of Numbers to the Future of Data’ Walter Radermacher, George Sciadas
The impact of COVID-19 on Official statistics
Governments measure during the Covid crisis and statistical implications in national accounts: the case of tax deferrals Luisa Sciandra, Susanna Riccioni
Statistics on Governance, Peace and Security
Guest editorial Jean-LucLTavernier, Joao Cardoso
General introduction to the special issue Governance Statistics and the UN Praia City Group Thomas. Calvo, Jean-Pierre Cling, Mireille Razafindrakato, Francois Roubaud, A. Sougane
Now is the Time to Close Gaps in Governance Statistics – And the Praia Group is ready for the challenge Marie Laberge, Joao de Pina Cardoso, Francois Roubaud, Arvinn Gadgil
Public sector governance statistics in Brazil. Challenges and perspectives, and focus on transparency Leonardo Athias, Luanda Botelho
An annual multi-mode survey to measure victimisation in France T. Razafindranovona, Sandra Zilloniz, Helene Guedj
Measuring violence in war-torn countries: a political challenge for development, peace and security M.-A. Pérouse de Montclos
Perceptions and Experiences in Madagascar: Origins of Differences in Terms of Corruption, Criminal Violence and Discrimination Yvan Andriameva Assany, Faly Hery Rakotomanana
Overview of discrimination in Cameroon in 2014: between perception and experience, predominance of the phenomenon G.F. Ndeffo, R. Niekou, J. Tedou
Youth and civic participation in Côte d’Ivoire Agodio C.J. Boga
Sense of Insecurity and Profile of Crime Victims in Mali from 2014 to 2020 S. Cissé, A. Coulibaly, D.A. Fané, S. Haïïdara, A. Sougané
Measuring Governance, Democracy and Participation: Lessons from Two Decades of Experience in Peru Javier Herrera, Nancy Hidalgo, Francois Roubaud, Mireille Razafindrakato
Governance of Official Statistics
Statistical quality assurance and the new data ecosystem and implications of the difference between data and statistics Matthias Reister
AI Tools: A Powerful New Weapon to Combat the Misuse of Statistics Kate Wilkinson, Emily Barrington
Quality Framework for combining survey, administrative and big data for official statistics Yvonne A.P.M. Gootzen, Piet Days, Arnout van Delden
When Is There Enough Data to Create a Global Statistic? Daniel Mahler, Umar Serajuddin, Hiroko Made
Data sources, methodologies and techniques  
Data Reconciliation and Estimation in an Agricultural Survey Habtamu Kassa Benecha, Denise A Abreu, Rachael Jennings, Linda J Young
Integration of remote sensing data into national statistical office sampling designs for agriculture Luis Ambrosio, Luis Iglesias, Carmen Marin, Nicolas Deffense
Perception of insecurity in municipalities of Mexico. A Small Area Estimation approach Mario Santillana, José Antonio Gallegos, Alma Itzel Garcia, Elizabeth Diaz, Daniel Gutiérrez, Nancy Letticia Gonzalez
Developing and hosting web data apps in R programming for official statistics Stratos Moschidis, Athanasios Thanapoulos, Christina Karamichalakou
Automatizing model selection in an annual review of seasonal adjustment: a machine learning inspired approach Yingfu Xie
Discussion platform
16 th discussion P.C.J. Everaers

SJIAOS Discussions

Launch of the 18th discussion – “Are Data Scientists Going to Replace Statisticians?”

With the release of this issue of the Journal, we have  launched the 18th discussion forum, “Are Data Scientists Going to Replace Statisticians?”. You are all invited to provide your opinion on the future ‘job’ profile and required skills of the professionals contributing to the production and dissemination of official statistics at the following link (SJIAOS website): www.officialstatistics.com

17th discussion: “Artificial intelligence: an opportunity, a challenge or a threat for official statistics?”

With the release of the September 2023 issue, we launched the discussion forum on “Artificial intelligence: an opportunity, a challenge or a threat for official statistics?”. This is a great opportunity to provide your opinion on the impact of AI on the production and, especially, on the use of official statistics.

16th discussion: “The impact of AI and the availability of data in the so-called Data ecosystem on the development of official statistics”’

The June 2023 issue saw the release of the 16th discussion on the topic of “The impact of AI and the availability of data in the so-called Data ecosystem on the development of official statistics”  This discussion focuses on the issues associated with the possible impact of AI on the data ecosystem, including the governance of official statistics will change thanks to these developments.  The discussion includes contributions on views on how statistical offices will function by the end of the decade.

You are invited to contribute to the discussions on: www.officialstatistics.com

Call for Papers

Assessing the Value of Official Statistics

We are inviting authors to submit manuscripts on “Assessing the Value of Official Statistics” for a forthcoming Special Issue of the SJIAOS.

With declining budgets, increasing demands and a proliferation of alternative players in the arena of statistics, producers of official statistics are under ever more pressure to stake their claim on public funds, by proving and even quantifying the value of their products. But recent work under the Conference of European Statisticians suggests that in order to prove that something has value, organizations need to properly understand what value means. Value means different things to different people, necessitating decisions about which needs, and whose needs, we are trying to fulfil, how, and why. Any indicators we use to quantify value must be clearly grounded in the concepts they’re supposed to measure. Contributions are sought on how the value of official statistics can be understood, as well as on national and international examples of attempts to assess value in practice, the challenges faced in doing so, and how the resulting information can be harnessed.

The key questions are: How are statistical organizations defining and assessing fulfilment of their goal to add value to society? How do statistical organizations determine the value they are providing to society? How is impact identified and quantified? How can a business case be built for justifying an investment in a major statistical operation?

Submit your articles to https://www.editorialmanager.com/sji/default2.aspx

SJIAOS Access for IAOS Members

IAOS members have unlimited online access to all the articles in the SJIAOS, including previous issues.

Members are asked to register themselves at IOS Press (go to the register tab) and once done, to send an email to Ms. Kim Willems (k.willemsn@iospress.nl). She will activate your complimentary access upon receiving your email.

For more information contact Margaret de Ruiter-Molloy at the ISI membership office at m.deruitermolloy@cbs.nl.

Earlier issues