Official statistics provide an indispensable element in the information system of any country, serving the government, the economy and the public with data about the economic, demographic, social and environmental situation. National statistical systems also play a vital role in measuring countries’ progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
UNECE today published a report on the implementation of international statistical standards and good practices in Uzbekistan. The report is the result of a joint overview exercise conducted by UNECE in partnership with the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Statistics, the European Commission (Eurostat) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
The report contains the observations and recommendations of a team of international experts from these organizations, led by the UNECE Regional Adviser in Statistics. It covers three main areas: compliance with the United Nations Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics, institutional issues, and the main statistical subject-matter areas, including statistics for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The international experts were impressed by the level of development of the national statistical system of Uzbekistan. Considerable efforts have been made in recent years to modernize statistical production and implement international standards. There remains some work to do to ensure full compliance with the latest versions of international standards and good practices in certain areas, but in most cases this work has started and there are clear plans in place to complete it in the near future.
The greatest challenge identified by the international experts was that the last population census in Uzbekistan was conducted in 1989. Censuses are essential as a source of basic population data against which to measure economic and social change. There is an urgent need for new baseline census data to produce reliable statistics to monitor progress towards the SDGs. Therefore, among the 57 recommendations in the report, one of the most critical is that preparations for the proposed population census in 2022 should be given a high priority and full support at the highest political levels.
The importance of this recommendation has already been taken to heart, as a Presidential Decree on 5 February announced that a census will indeed take place in 2022. The impact of the joint review exercise in bringing this about is plain to see.
UNECE looks forward to building on this excellent collaboration with the State Committee on Statistics, working in partnership with other international organizations. There is work to do to implement the recommendations in the report, and to further strengthen the national statistical system of Uzbekistan, but this work is clearly on the right track.
The Joint Overview of the implementation of international statistical standards and good practices in the Republic of Uzbekistan is available at: http://www.unece.org/statcoop/ga.html