FORUM ECONOMIC MINISTERS MEETING
FORUM ECONOMIC OFFICIALS MEETING
25-27 April 2018
STANDING AGENDA ITEM
REGIONAL INITIATIVES TO IMPROVE STATISTICAL SERVICES FOR PACIFIC COUNTRIES
|Summary of Issue|
|This paper which has been prepared by the IMF’s Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre (PFTAC) and the Pacific Community (SPC), provides a joint update from on their respective regional initiatives for strengthening economic and social statistics in Pacific Island Countries and Territories, through the implementation of the Ten Year Pacific Statistics Strategy (TYPSS) 2011-2020.|
The following are statistical issues noted by PFTAC and the SPC. Addressing these issues is critical to the success of the compilation of better economic statistics and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicators:
Figure 1: PFTAC and SPC member countries
Module 1: Sustain and expand the Financial Access Survey
Module 2: Address data needs and quality concerns via submodules for:
Module 3: Online learning via eight bespoke courses
Module 4: Provision of IT support for data systems and software
SPC has developed the NSDSs in partnership with the Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21).
Table 1: NSDS Progress among member countries
|Papua New Guinea||Completed|
|Marshall Is||Not yet planned|
|Niue||Not yet planned|
|Palau||Not yet planned|
Strengthened the development and use of standards and classifications
TYPPS phase 3 centres on four development objectives:
Furthermore, the strategic focus identifies five strategic organisational objectives:
The Outcomes Document can be viewed on http://hops.spc.int/
Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre (PFTAC) and the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva
3 April 2018
ANNEX 1: DETAILED SUBMISSION BY PFTAC
Regional Statistics Initiatives
Status report, March 2018
Table A1: PFTAC technical assistance by country/topic, calendar year 2017
|Cook Islands||Data for quarterly GFS; proposals for development of new chart of accounts. [July (5 days)]||Progress towards rebasing; assistance compiling latest quarterly estimates. [March (21 days)]||Development of estimates for 2015; reduction in data gaps, especially primary income flows. [March, September (41 days)]|
|Fiji||Data needed for the compilation of GFS for the general government. [April (12 days)]||Further development of new quarterly measure of GDP by production. [April, May, June (15 days)]|
|Federated States of Micronesia||Compilation of budgetary central government and state government data for the GFS Yearbook. [Remote (5 days)]|
|Kiribati||Refer to the note on workshops. [August (4 days)]||Further development of GDP by production and forthcoming measure of GDP by expenditure [August (21 days)]|
|Marshall Islands||Compilation of budgetary central government data for the GFS Yearbook. [Remote (5 days)]||Local system training and independent GDP compilation practice. [October (10 days)]|
|Nauru||Public sector delineation; bridge table, GFS data time series and budget summary statement compiled. [September (16 days)]||Supplementation to produce latest GDP estimates plus data/methods improvements. [September (12 days)]|
|Niue||Supplementation to produce latest GDP estimates plus data/methods improvements. [February (16 days)]||Compilation of basic balance of payments estimates. [February (4 days)]|
|Papua New Guinea||Improved GFS budget summary tables and expanded coverage. [October (12 days)]||System review; improved use of administrative data; organizational training. [February, November (23 days)]||Data improvements; development of international investment position. [February (21 days)]|
|Palau||Compilation of budgetary central government data for the GFS Yearbook. [Remote (5 days)]||Local system training and independent GDP compilation practice. [October (10 days)]|
|Samoa||Improved data for budgetary central government; updates to recording of intergovernmental grants. [September (12 days)]||Assistance in rebasing GDP by production. [June, October (23 days)]|
|Solomon Islands||Assistance in rebasing GDP by production. [March (8 days)]|
|Timor-Leste||Classification, compilation and dissemination of GFS for the general government. [February (20 days)]|
|Tokelau||Creation of new GDP system and time series of GDP by production plus system training. [March (21 days)]|
|Tonga||Improved coverage of institutions, transactions and stocks; construction of bridge tables. [June (11days)]||Improvements to use of tax data in GDP; further development of business register. [February (12 days)]|
|Tuvalu||Supplementation to produce latest GDP estimates plus data/methods improvements. [February (23 days)]|
|Vanuatu||Streamlined interagency GFS compilation; compilation of core GFS dataset and expanded coverage. [November (20 days)]||Updates to industry data and methods in GDP by production plus core training. [August (12 days)]|
|Workshops||GFS consolidation and fiscal analysis of data; also, TA for Kiribati on public sector coverage, updates to general government. [August (22 days)]||GDP compilation and forecasting multisector events held in FSM and Fiji. [April, October (10 days)]|
ANNEX 2: DETAILED SUBMISSION BY SPC
Regional Statistics Initiatives
Status report, March 2018 by Statistics for Development Division
The Pacific Community (SPC), in line with the mandate from the Pacific Plan and guided by the Ten-Year Pacific Statistics Strategy (TYPSS) 2011–2020, provides technical assistance, including professional development of national counterparts, to its member countries in statistics. It does this through workshops, attachments, in-country visits, and the facilitation of South-South cooperation. On many occasions, particularly with the smallest Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS), SPC provides capacity supplementation to National Statistical Organisations (NSOs).
Fifth meeting of HOPS was held at the SPC Headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia from 14 to 16 November 2017. Representatives from Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) NSOs and Planning Offices, development partners and international organisations and SPCs metropolitan members, Australia, France and New Zealand attended.
The Outcomes Document can be viewed on http://hops.spc.int/
TYPPS third phase 2018-2020 was endorsed at HOPS. SPC’s Statistics for Development Divisions (SDDs) current strategic plan covering this period focuses on:
Four development objectives:
Five strategic organisational objectives:
The Pacific Statistics Standing Committee (PSSC) monitors the progress of TYPPS on behalf of the HOPS, the secretariat of which is SPC.
One of the objectives for TYPSS is for all countries and territories to have in place some form of national statistics strategy in the line with their national development strategies. The Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21) continued to work in partnership with Statistics for Development (SDD) in the development of member countries’ National Strategy for Development of Statistics (NSDS).
Progress in NSDS across member countries has been quite strong during TYPSS Phase 2 (2015-2017) with 5 member countries having a NSDS in place, 4 under development and 2 planned. The plan is to try and have NSDSs for most of the member countries by the end of the current TYPSS. Progress in the development of NSDS is outlined in the table below:
Table B1: NSDS Progress among member countries
|Papua New Guinea||Completed|
|Marshall Is||Not yet planned|
|Niue||Not yet planned|
|Palau||Not yet planned|
SPC continues to collaborate with technical agencies to strengthen technical assistance in the Pacific whilst at the same time ensuring there is no overlap of work between them through the Pacific Economic Statistics Technical Assistance Coordination Group (PESTAC).
A Coordination paper has been developed and posted on the SDD Website http://sdd.spc.int/en/sdd-programmes/economic-statistics.
The Coordination Matrix extracted from the paper is given in Table B2.
Table B2: Areas of Lead and Secondary Technical Assistance Responsibility: Summary Table
|ABS||ADB||IMF/PFTAC||SPC||SNZ||US Graduate School||UNSD/ESCAP||SIAP||USP|
|Strategic planning for Economic Statistics (National strategy for the development of statistics)||S||S||L||S||√|
|Economic Data dissemination||S||S||S||L||S|
|Setting-up of statistical business registers||S||S||L||S||S||√|
|Regional standards and classifications||S||S||L||S||√|
|Inter-agency data sharing||L||S||S|
|Prices and costs|
|Consumer Price Index||S||S||S||L||S||S||√||√|
|Producer Price Index||S||S||L||S||√|
|Trade Price Index||S||S||L||S||S||√|
|Demand and output|
|International Merchandise Trade Statistics||L||S||S||S||√|
|Income and wealth|
|External Sector Statistics (Balance of payments, International investment position (IIP) and External debt)||L||S||√|
|Money and banking|
|Monetary Statistics (Broad money and credit aggregates)||L||S||√|
|Government Finance Statistics (General government operations and General government debt)||S||L||S||√|
|Natural resources and the environment|
|Environmental Economic Accounting (Natural resources)||S||L||√||√|
|Number of staff||*||5||5||2||1||2||5||4||4|
L= Lead agency; S=supporting agency
√= discipline in which learning opportunities are provided
*= Mix of economic statisticians work in the region and other ABS staff assist in conjunction with their domestic work program.
SDDs key technical partners include various United Nations (UN) agencies, such as the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (SIAP), the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO); the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre (PFTAC), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the World Bank; the University of the South Pacific (USP); the Oceania Customs Organisation (OCO); the World Customs Organisation (WCO); the Melanesian Spearhead Group Secretariat (MSG); the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS); the Pacific Island Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO); the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and Statistics New Zealand (SNZ).
SPC Economic Statisticians:
SPC strives for greater harmonisation of statistical standards, classifications and systems to enable PICTs to use common tools/regional standards for statistical collections, compilations and dissemination. Using common tools/regional standards allows data to be compared both, regionally and internationally. Highlights include:
Some of the highlights of the 2020 round of population censuses in the Pacific are the use of tablets for data collection, which has improved data quality and timeliness. Other highlights are the adoption of the Pacific Core Set Questionnaire, metadata documentation through the Pacific data archive and dissemination of information through PopGIS.
SPC provided TA to Solomon Islands on their DHS 2014/2015. All work have been completed and the full 2015 Solomon Island Demographic and Health Survey Report was released in June 2017, along with topic based factsheets and indicators.
The Pacific Strategic Plan for Agricultural and Fisheries Statistics (P-SPAFS) is a ten-year plan that aims to guide the development of agricultural and fisheries statistics in the PSIDS and to address unprecedented data demand for monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The plan will thereby increase the quality of evidence-based policymaking through collaborative efforts of national governments and the donor community.
P-SPAFS was conceived and developed by representatives from Pacific Island’s National Statistics Offices and Ministries of Agriculture and Fisheries. It was subsequently developed by a Technical Working Group (TWG) that represented different geographic regions and statistical scope and capacity in the region. P-SPAFS development was supported through partnership between the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and SPC.
The Pacific Statistical Standing Committee (PSSC) endorsed the Vision, Mission and Objectives of the Strategic Plan in May 2016. Heads of Fisheries endorsed P-SPAFS in March 2017 and Ministers of Agriculture endorsed P-SPAFS in October 2017. Final endorsement for P-SPAFS was provided at the 5th meeting of HOPS in November 2017.
P-SPAFS will be officially launched at the Asia Pacific Commission of Agricultural Statistics in March 2018 and the FAO/SPC jointly published plan will be subsequently made available.
SPC’s SDD is working with SPC’s Land Resources Division and FAO on the following activities:
Technical assistance to Solomon Islands’ agricultural survey. Field operations for this survey concluded in October 2017 and the data have been aggregated and cleaned. FAO is producing the survey report in the first half of 2018.
Technical assistance to the Fiji Ministry of Agriculture in survey data editing and tabulation.
SPC assists NSOs from the design, collection, analysis to the dissemination of HIES.
The standard methodology recommends field operations of 12-months, including in-field data entry. In consideration of this, the HIES project runs for approximately 30 to 36 months, which includes:
The post-enumeration activities, especially the data editing is greatly facilitated if HIES field operations are well managed and in-field data entry is conducted according to defined timelines. It is aimed that the HIES report will be produced within 12-months of finalising field work, which usually includes NSO attachments to build capacity in data processing and analysis.
SPC, in collaboration with the World Bank, FAO and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), will conduct a HIES experiment in the Marshall Islands, which will test the following:
The results of the experiment will guide the future recommended regional HIES methodology and will give consideration to identifying methods that produce high quality data at a minimum cost.
Scoping/Feasibility assessment of project for Pacific CPI database as part of SDD’s dissemination strategy.
Initiation of CPI rebase tentatively planned for: Niue, Tuvalu and Cook Islands.
TA Missions to American Samoa:
Provision of TA to Tonga on their business survey.
A Pacific IMTS compilation guide is in progress, the review of which will be done by the UN. The finalisation of the compilation guide has been slightly delayed to accommodate developments/ improvements in the standards and classification taking place in the Region, in particular the regionalisation of the HS classification and the proposed commodity database.
The Pacific Community, in partnership with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, the Oceania Customs Organisation, and the Melanesian Spearhead Group Secretariat, will be conducting a technical workshop entitled International merchandise trade statistics: Focusing on goods traded under the preferential trade agreements, from 26 February to 2 March 2018 at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in Suva.
Use of administrative records for the compilation of statistics presents a number of advantages to a NSO, however, prior to their use, SPC assists NSOs to ensure that the data are fit for purpose.
Customs is the best and the preferred source for data on IMTS.
SPC assists countries in strengthening the collection and analysis of civil registration data as a fundamental source of population data.
The establishment of a regional Education Management Information Systems (EMIS) support facility in 2015 has seen during the lifetime of the project, headline achievements. These include the facilitation of national education statistics reports in a variety of formats, capacity building and data quality improvement in annual national education data collection, Pacific compliance with international reporting requirements, strengthening of technical EMIS and national capacity to work with EMIS data, and an increased demand for high quality data by senior decision makers.
Demographic measures of fertility and mortality are routinely required by governments to understand changes in the size, structure and characteristics of populations. This data forms the core of national socio-economic planning. It is crucial for guiding the allocation of national resources and in predicting future needs of the population such as food availability, housing, road infrastructure, schools and health facilities and services among others.
While countries have multiple sources of demographic data, administrative data sources, and in particular civil registration systems are universally recognised for their fundamental function of providing governments with a continuous and permanent source of population data and statistics. Civil registration systems collect information on vital events (primarily on births, deaths) as they occur, making it possible to derive annual, sub-annual and geographically disaggregated population data and statistics.
The advantages posed by well-functioning civil registration systems extend beyond the robustness and the frequency of the data that they collect, to their economic value; being possibly the most cost effective national sources of population data. While the initial costs of establishment of civil registration systems are not well established, save for their operational costs, their attributes of permanence and continuity means that they do not require heavy recurring resource investments as with census and survey operations. With the call for more rigorous reporting and inclusive of data by the 2030 sustainable development agenda, civil registration systems stand out as an ideal and recommended investment for governments.
Most Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) have incomplete systems of civil registration, and are faced with numerous challenges in establishing well-functioning systems, ranging from outdated legislation, inadequate infrastructure (including storage and archival facilities), inaccessibility of registration services by the population, inadequate human resource capacity, and weak organisational arrangements among others.
To address these weaknesses, over the past few years, PICTs have made resounding commitments and efforts towards the development of civil registration systems. In 2014, Pacific Ministers responsible for civil registration committed to the Asia Pacific decade for civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS), and the Regional Action framework for CRVS, which calls for: (i) universal registration of births, deaths and causes of death (ii) legal certification of all vital events and (iii) production of vital statistics from civil registration data. The Ten Year Pacific Statistics Strategy (TYPSS), and the Pacific Vital statistics Action plan (PVSAP) (coordinated by SPC with the support of Brisbane Accord Group) further underline these commitments.
In the past year, the Brisbane Accord Group worked closely with PICTs in building capacity on CRVS through: (i) training, (ii) direct technical support missions based on specific country needs; (iii) development of CRVS knowledge products; (iv) supporting opportunities for peer-peer learning, through South to South country exchange visits and; (v) hosting regional experience sharing workshops. These activities are elaborated in the paragraph below:
There have been significant improvements in CRVS systems of a number of PICTs, evidenced through the improvement of birth and death completeness rates in a number of countries. PICT governments are encouraged to continue to make financial investments into CRVS systems, while closely monitoring the performance of the systems
SPC and PIFS have led the regional process amongst the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP), United Nation agencies and Pacific Statistics Steering Committee (PSSC) members, to review and agree on a list of Pacific SDG Indicators for the 17 SDG Goals. A total of 132 out of 230+ SDG indicators were considered most relevant for the Pacific, including measures relating to climate change and oceans. Relevance to existing regional and national policy frameworks, including the SAMOA Pathway and the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, guided consultations on the indicators.
The set of regional sustainable development indicators is shown in Table 1 and was endorsed by Leaders at the 48th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting in Samoa, in 2017, as part of the Pacific Roadmap for Sustainable Development.
Table B3: Pacific Sustainable Development Indicators
|Goal Number||Sustainable Development Goal||Number of Indicators|
|3||Good Health and Wellbeing||16|
|6||Clean Water and Sanitation||3|
|7||Affordable and Clean Energy||4|
|8||Decent Work and Economic Growth||9|
|9||Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure||3|
|11||Sustainable Cities and Communities||5|
|12||Responsible Consumption and Production||4|
|14||Life below Water||9|
|15||Life on Land||6|
|16||Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions||7|
|17||Partnerships for the Goals||18|
This indicator set is not prescriptive for PICTs to report against. It is intended to guide efforts in further strengthening of data collection, analysis and contextualisation in the Pacific region.
The first regional sustainable development report for the Pacific is being prepared for the next Leaders Forum in 2018. This will be a joint project between PIFS, SPC, and member countries SDG Taskforces, under the governance of the Pacific SDG Taskforce.
The World Bank, through the Trust Fund for Statistical Capacity Building, is funding and overseeing a SDD implemented project that will lead to improved documentation and preservation of data sets, increased data use and dissemination through harmonisation and more significant data production through improved sample design and methods. The project has three components:
Standardization of survey and census datasets (ex-post harmonization); and
Development of an optimized sampling strategy.
Work completed: PopGIS applications recently launched were:
Work in progress
SPC aspires to be the preferred info source in the Pacific region, from which other users may draw data avoiding overlaps, though recognizes the complexities of this vision within the context of major existing and planned data initiatives from other international organizations active in the region.
 See https://www.pftac.org/content/dam/PFTAC/Documents/About%20PFTAC/PFTAC%20Steering%20Committee/2017/PFTAC_SC2017_IMF_Statistics.pdf
Available at: https://teamup.com/ks656ccca05dfae4b3
 Melanesia: Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu. Micronesia: Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Kiribati, Northern Marianas, Marshall Islands, Nauru and Palau. Polynesia: American Samoa, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Niue, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Tokelau, Pitcairn and Wallis and Futuna.
 Previously known as the Pacific Statistics Steering Committee
 Including cause of death information
 The Brisbane Accord Group
 The Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP) brings together several regional inter-governmental agencies:
the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) (formerly the South Pacific Commission),
the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA),
the South Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP),
the Pacific Islands Development Program (PIDP),
the South Pacific Travel Organisation (SPTO),
the University of the South Pacific (USP),
the Pacific Aviation Safety Organisation, and
the Pacific Power Association.
The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat acts as CROP’s permanent chair and provides secretariat support.