September 2021 - UNITAR, as the member of the Global Network of Institutions for Statistical Training (GIST), has recently published an article entitled “Strengthening the competencies of policymakers for better use of data in public policy design” in the Statistical Journal of the International Association for Official Statistics (IAOS).
The article presents the results of a survey conducted by the GIST Task Team on Statistical Literacy in 2018. Drawing inspiration from earlier work of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on the statistical literacy competencies, through this survey GIST Task Team wanted to learn more about how policymakers use data and statistics in the decision-making process. The survey was circulated among all ministries coordinating the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in all United Nations Member States. This survey allowed to identify core data competencies for the policy makers that included “data awareness, the ability to understand statistical concepts, the ability to analyse, interpret and assess the quality and fitness-for-purpose of data, the ability to communicate statistical information, the ability to use effectively and accurately different data sources, and the ability to use data to inform the design of a policy, and the monitoring and evaluation of its implementation”.
Later, UNITAR jointly with the UN Statistics Division and UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) with support from the Swiss Government developed a self-paced e-learning course “Understanding data and statistics better for effective SDG decision-making” to strengthen these competencies core competencies among the policymakers.
Lastly, the article talks about the ongoing work of GIST on developing a new online inventory of statistical literacy initiatives to strengthen the statistical literacy of societies in general.
The article has been submitted by Ms. Elena Proden, Senior Specialist, Strategic Implementation of the 2030 Agenda Unit, UNITAR. You can access the article for free here.