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(Item 6 of the Agenda)

92. Mr Parry, Statistician (SPC), outlined SPC’s corporate mission, including its stated commitment to assisting members in achieving the MDGs, and presented the mission of the Social Resources Division within SPC, and the goal shared by the Statistics and Demography and Population Programmes. Within that context he outlined SPC’s traditional approach to statistical capacity building, and its related activities in the form of: formal training courses, both “core” and special purpose courses developed in response to country requests; skills transfer during technical assistances; and training attachments, most of them at SPC Headquarters in Noumea.

93. The SPC Statistician stressed that all capacity building activities are aimed at serving the needs expressed by SPC members, and that they aimed to assist the entire NSSs rather than being limited to NSOs. All SPC statistical training activities, including long-established courses, are adapted to meet current national needs and to support forthcoming activities such as censuses and HIESs. SPC was now moving to engage a much wider range of agencies and organisations in its statistical activities, and was aiming to assist NSSs to be more actively involved in key analysis and policy formulation.

94. The workshop was informed that statistical training activities of FAO in food and agricultural statistics were targeted at poverty reduction, food security, FIVIMS and rural statistics. All phases of agricultural censuses and surveys were covered, including survey design, planning, questionnaire design, data collection, processing and tabulation, analysis and dissemination. The training covered various aspects of current agriculture statistics and concentrated on surveys for crop area and production, livestock numbers, aquaculture and fisheries, prices (producer, farm gate, wholesale, retail, etc), farm inputs, cost of production and food consumption. It was pointed out that areas of expertise also included nutrition statistics, agribusiness statistics, fishery statistics and forestry statistics.

95. Training has been conducted on special types of analyses, such as Food Balance Sheets, calculation of the number and percent of undernourished, food crop forecasts and special studies topics for the agricultural sector. Dissemination of agricultural statistics; web site design, construction and maintenance; and report preparation were also training themes.

96. It was reported that FAO provided training, formally and informally, through technical assistance missions, expert consultations, workshops/seminars and projects that were carried out in response to country requests. Most projects were financed through trust funds since FAO was not a donor agency; however, small projects with a training component had been approved through the FAO technical cooperation programme.

97. The workshop learned about the creation of the Trust Fund for Statistics Capacity Building (TFSCB) that was managed by the World Bank and was advised of the opportunity for countries to avail themselves of this potential source of funding for statistics capacity building. It was pointed out that resources for the current workshop had been provided by this fund.

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