World Statistics Day 20.10.2010

Celebrating the many contributions and achievements of official statistics

“Statistics are a vital tool for economic and social development, including our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. For development to succeed, we need data collection and statistical analysis. Statistics are a central consideration in justifying almost every aspect of budgets and programmes that enable hungry children to be fed or that provide shelter and emergency health care for victims of natural disasters".

Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations

The Statistics division was pleased to participate in the first World Statistics Day, to raise awareness of the many achievements of official statistics, built on the core values of service, professionalism and integrity.

The role of statistics in fostering economic and social development is especially relevant to FAO, which is the home of:

FAOSTAT – the world’s largest and most comprehensive database on food security and agriculture statistics, covering almost one million data points for 210 countries and territories.

CountrySTAT – an initiative to build country-owned statistical information systems to improve the quality, accessibility, relevance and reliability of food and agriculture statistics at national and subnational levels.

The Statistics division is also spearheading the work on the Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural Statistics, which provide the vision for national and international statistical systems to produce the basic data and information that will guide decision-making for the 21st century.

Ensuring reliability of country data is crucial both to governments and to those working with countries to reduce undernourishment and strengthen agricultural and rural development. With good and reliable data it is much easier to pinpoint where assistance is working, where it may be weak and understanding possible future needs.

Hafez Ghanem, FAO Assistant Director-General for the Economic and Social Development.

FAO will be celebrating World Statistics Day with staff at headquarters and in the field. The occasion was launched with a special dialogue with users on FAOSTAT, via the Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum), in order to measure overall satisfaction towards this global public good, better understand users’ changing needs and to identify areas for improvement.