FAO statistics coordination mechanisms

In order to improve inter-divisional coordination and to promote better cooperation with regional offices, two changes have recently been made to FAO statistics governance mechanisms, namely the creation of the position of Chief Statistician, and the establishment of an Inter-Departmental Working Group on Statistics. These changes build on steps already taken to bring coordination and coherence to the operations of the FAO statistical system in light of recommendations made in the Independent Evaluation of FAO’s Role and Work in Statistics (2008).

Stronger governance
In this context, the Chief Statistician ensures stronger governance of FAO statistical systems by fostering the consistency of the overall FAO Statistical Programme, guaranteeing statistical excellence through the implementation of statistical standards, quality assurance mechanisms and best practices, and by strengthening FAO presence in statistical discussions at global level.

Inter-divisional coordination
The IDWG on Statistics has replaced the Statistical Programme Steering Committee (SPSC) and Statistics Coordination Working Group (SCWG) as a more formal statistics coordination mechanism with the recognized authority to make decisions of corporate relevance. The membership comprises all units within FAO concerned with the collection, compilation & dissemination of statistics including the Regional Offices. It promotes inter-divisional coordination and cooperation on statistical programmes, as well as corporate consistency and alignment in statistical practices. It also endorses methodologies, common conceptual frameworks and innovations and ensures the implementation of corporate standards. Furthermore, the IDWG oversees and coordinates corporate statistical work and provides guidance on the implementation of the statistical components of FAO projects.

The IDWG on Statistics is supported by the Technical Task Force who meet on a monthly basis, and who focus on technical issues.

Programme of work
FAO has a decentralized statistical system involving 15 divisions in eight departments. In 2010, the first consolidated FAO Statistical Programme of Work 2010/11 was compiled to provide a clear overview of ongoing statistical work at FAO. This has now become a regular activity and a second version was written in 2012. The Programme provides a summary of all of the principal statistical activities, and a detailed description of all the individual statistical activities carried out by the Statistics Division and all other FAO Divisions active in the field of statistics. Both Programmes of Work, and an abbreviated version of the FAO Statistical Programme of Work 2012/13, are available on this webpage.