The global statistical system presents the UK with a range of important obligations and opportunities. It is essential for:
- the development of international standards in official statistics, facilitating international comparability of UK official statistics
- sharing good practice with and learning from our international peers
- sharing resources in developing statistical architecture and methodologies, the challenges face by UK statistics are rarely unique
- a network of personal and institutional support from organisations that share our ethos, perspectives and challenges; NSIs have no domestic comparators in this space, so we must look Internationally for this support
- promoting the use of statistics as part of the policy dialogue with national governments
- the coordination of statistical capacity building activities in developing countries
The system consists of international bodies, other national statistical organisations, non-government organisations and professional bodies. Some of the main bodies which we work with include:
The UN provides the only framework for statistical cooperation between nearly all world nations. Its main decision-making body is the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC), of which the UK is currently a member. Its decisions are ratified by Member States’ governments through the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly.
The UN is responsible for developing and helping to implement non-obligatory but authoritative global statistical standards. Some recent and important programmes which the UK is actively contributing to include:
- System of National Accounts (SNA) 2008 Update
- System of Environmental Economic Accounts (SEEA)
- High-level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity-Building (HLG-PCCB)
- Inter-Agency Expert Group on SDGs (IAEG)
- UN Committee of Experts on Big Data and Data Science for Official Statistics (UN-CEBD)
The UNECE is the regional commission for Europe, North America, Australasia, and other interested countries such as South Korea. Commission decisions (INSRT other Regionals) are also ratified by the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly.
The Conference of European Statisticians (CES) and its Bureau, of which the UK is a member, drives statistical work within the region. Its activities are to endorse guidelines, recommendations and standards developed by networks of experts. The CES also takes stock of good practice and reviews emerging issues in statistics, these are usually discussed at the CES annual plenary meeting. Some recent and important programmes which the UK is actively contributing to include:
- High Level Group for the Modernisation of Official Statistics (HLG-MOS)
- UN Global Geospatial Information Managements Europe (UN-GGIM)
- UNECE Expert Forum for Producers and Users of Climate Change statistics
- UNECE guidelines on the Value of Official Statistics and Common Elements of Statistical Law.
The UK is one of 36 Member States of the OECD drawn from a pool of developed world countries that are deemed to meet relatively high standards of governance, including in statistics.
Statistical work in the OECD aims to support its goal of promoting policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world and is guided by its Committee on Statistics and Statistical Policy (CSSP). The Committee is driven by a Bureau of nominated Member States, of which the UK is currently a member.
Some recent and important programmes, run by the Statistics and Data Directorate (SDD) and Well-Being, Inclusion, Sustainability and Equal Opportunity Centre (WISE), which the UK is actively contributing to include:
- Working Part on National Accounts (WPNA)
- Working Party on International Trade in Goods and Services Statistics (WTPGS)
- Working Party on Measurement and Analysis of The Digital Economy (WPMADE)
- Horizontal Project on Climate and Economics Resilience
- Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21)
- WISE Task Force on Monitoring a Strong, Resilient, Green and Inclusive Future
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
The IMF leads in assisting member countries in banking statistics, balance of payments, government finance statistics, national accounts and prices. In these areas it also produces and implements standards for data dissemination and assesses data quality and statistical capacity.
Some recent and important programmes which the UK is actively contributing to include:
- G20 Data Gaps Initiative (DGI-2)
- Balance of Payments (BPM6) Review
- Cross-government participation in IMF data reviews
Professional Statistical Organisations
There are professional statistical organisations such as the International Association for Official Statistics (IAOS) and International Statistical Institute (ISI). Whilst they are not part of the system of production support the global system in a similar way to the RSS in the UK.
Forums for discussion, methods, techniques – UK active participation – UK is a corporate member and we encourage our statisticians to attend.
Other International Engagement
The European Statistical System (ESS)
The ESS is a partnership between the statistical systems of the EU Member States, the statistical systems of the EFTA countries and the statistical office of the Commission (Eurostat). Its primary purpose is to cooperate in the development of EU statistical laws and other agreed policies of joint action.
The UK still maintains an effective working relationship with Eurostat and the wider European Statistical System.
The UK works closely with our counterparts in other Commonwealth nations. Following the UK hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in April 2018, we have an ambition to further develop the priorities agreed by Commonwealth Heads of Government, which will cover environmental statistics, education statistics, statistical leadership, and the future of the Commonwealth Statistical Community.
The World Bank
The WB offers technical assistance and financial support for statistical development to its member governments. The focus is on developing countries, and therefore it is a key stakeholder for the GSS, especially in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the UKSA International Development Team.