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Statistics at FAO

FAO develops methods and standards for food and agriculture statistics, provides technical assistance services and disseminates data for global monitoring. Statistical activities at FAO include the development and implementation of methodologies and standards for data collection, validation, processing and analysis. FAO also plays a vital part in the global compilation, processing and dissemination of food and agriculture statistics, and provides essential statistical capacity development to member countries.

FAO has a decentralized statistical system and statistical activities cover the areas of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, land and water resources and use, climate, environment, population, gender, nutrition, poverty, rural development, education and health as well as many others.

FAO Statistical Programme of Work

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The FAO Statistical Programme of Work is a collaborative effort that is overseen by the Chief Statistician and supported by the Inter-Departmental Working Group on Statistics. These two mechanisms ensure strengthened coordination and cooperation on statistical matters and guarantee the high quality of FAO data.

The Statistical Programme of Work provides a summary of all of the principal statistical activities at FAO, and a detailed description of all the individual statistical activities carried out by FAO Divisions active in the field of statistics. It presents the organization’s operational activities according to different statistical categories and domains.

It is an important tool for improving effective coordination, reducing duplication in data collection and methodological work, and for stimulating joint efforts among international organizations in many areas.

Statistics in the new Strategic Framework

The emphasis on evidence-based decision-making in governments and organizations at all levels puts a greater focus on statistics, and their role in measuring and monitoring progress towards national and international development goals and targets.

Statistics has a dual function in the new FAO Strategic Framework, both in directly contributing to the outputs and activities of the Strategic Objectives, as well as in creating the environments which facilitate the delivery of the individual Strategic Objectives. Statistics are needed to help drive the outcomes of the objectives, as well as to measure progress towards those outcomes.

Cooperation Framework Agreement

In April 2013, the Cooperation Framework Agreement between FAO and the Regional Commissions was formalized to strengthen joint work relating to agricultural and rural development, food and nutrition security, and sustainable management of natural resources, including land, water and forests.

The Agreement will specifically improve the collection, analysis and dissemination of relevant data and statistics in these areas. In terms of FAO statistical activities, long-standing collaboration is ongoing with the Regional Commissions with regard to data collection.

Recently joint work has also taken place through the capacity development activities of the Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics, where the Regional Commissions lead the implementation of the Regional Action Plans. This is an essential step in improving data quality and availability at the national level.