Flexible Multi-Partner Mechanism (FMM)
Maximizing impact of data through improved access

Maximizing impact of data through improved access

Setting up a comprehensive data dissemination programme is fundamental for any national statistical system (NSS). The first United Nations Fundamental Principle of Official Statistics clearly sets forth the responsibility of national statistical offices (NSOs) of releasing information to the public: “Official statistics provide an indispensable element in the information system of a democratic society, serving the Government, the economy and the public with data about the economic, demographic, social and environmental situation. To this end, official statistics that meet the test of practical utility are to be compiled and made available on an impartial basis by official statistical agencies to honour citizens’ entitlement to public information”.

This responsibility of releasing statistical data to support a country’s public and private decision-making is exacerbated by the fact that the production of statistical data is an enormous enterprise generally supported by public funds. Thus, ensuring maximum return from this investment by promoting the use of this data should be a major concern for NSS.

For these reasons, FAO is working with countries at strengthening their statistical dissemination programmes. Recognizing the existence of different needs for different user profiles, FAO is supporting the adoption of dissemination strategies that provide for a wide range of formats, including statistical reports, statistical databases but also survey and census micro-data files. Unlocking access to micro-data files for users is a cost-effective and efficient way of multiplying and diversifying the analysis and use of existing information.

In October 2019, FAO provided technical assistance with the set-up of a NADA platform at Armstat. This newly built Armstat Microdata Library serves as a portal for researchers to browse, search, compare, apply for access, and download relevant census or survey datasets, questionnaires, reports and other information. The library has already been populated by the following surveys:

  • Household's Surveys
  • Population Census and Demography
  • Labour Market
  • Agricultural Census 2014

Through this initiative, the FMM subprogramme on ‘Closing the agricultural data gap’ is advancing toward successfully strengthening national capacities for improved policies to disseminate data in partner governments.

So far, the work of the subprogramme has been particularly successful due to the following:

  1. Being open source, NADA is a free-of-charge microdata cataloguing application, which has been adopted by over 85 statistical offices worldwide. By joining to the list, Armenia is contributing toward more integration at international level. The multiplication of different and non-integrated platform solutions with overlapping functionalities has been pointed as inefficient, including due to (i) duplication of workload for already resource-constrained NSOs who have to maintain several data portals and update information manually, (ii) confusion for users who consult the various data portals with often conflicting results, and (iii) overall high costs for demonstrably low usage of these portals.
  2. NADA is a DDI-compliant cataloguing tool. FAO is also supporting countries with the adoption of DDI metadata standard, an XML-based metadata standard that provides a structural framework for organizing the content, presentation, transfer and preservation of metadata.
  3. Increased visibility as ARMSTAT Microdata catalogue can be referenced on international microdata libraries like the FAO Food and Agriculture Microdata (FAM) Catalogue.

Programme

1. Evidence-based policy, global instruments and knowledge products

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