SCAD and the AEC reiterated their commitment to fostering closer ties in all areas of statistical work, share relevant information and organize joint events and activities; and agreed to form a joint committee to develop mechanisms for implementing the memorandum and determining methods of communication.
The two sides remarked that the memorandum provides for the exchange of all means of mutual technical support on the development and application of work methodologies in compliance with standard international classifications and definitions in such aspects as the design of survey questionnaires and the methods and tools used in the collection of statistical data. They also agreed to share expertise to support all departments of two centres with technical advice and information of interest in building databases.
Under the MoU, the parties will also share publications and awareness materials, exchange visits for familiarization with developments in areas of interest, exchange invitations to conferences, seminars and workshops, regularly, exchange of information, statistics, research, reports and agreements related to their activities, carry out joint studies and surveys and cooperate in the field of statistical training.
SCAD's renewed its desire to engage in full cooperation with government, semi-government and private agencies and universities and research centres in improving data collection and management methods, adding that the two sides will be exploring the prospect of creating up-to-date, state-of-the-art databases.
SCAD takes part in the accompanying exhibition
SCAD took part in the third session of Ajman Statistical Forum, which was organized by Ajman Executive Council, under the auspices of HH Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman, as a platform that attracts statistical experts. Two exhibitions were held on the sidelines of the Forum: the first was dedicated to products of statistical agencies nationwide, while the second displayed the contributions of local and federal government agencies.
SCAD's affirmed its commitment to its strategic plan and future vision, and all the objectives and initiatives it involves in order to bring the statistical system of Abu Dhabi into line with developed nations in terms of relevance, accuracy and timeliness of the statistics compiled.
During the event, SCAD's distributed printed copies of its publications, which cover a wide range economic, investment, industrial, demographic, environmental, infrastructure and other themes to reflect development in all areas, painting a panoramic picture of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. In addition, a CD containing the full range of the Centre's publications for 2011 was distributed to the conference guests.
Additionally, the members of SCAD's delegation welcomed visitors and officials and guests at the Centres stand and answered their questions, underscoring SCAD's awareness about the importance of statistics in formulating the Emirate's future development plans.
Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi organized a lecture entitled "Statistical Bureaus: Aligning Outputs with Needs" on Tuesday 23 October 2012, presented by Dr. Heli Sundström, former Director General of Statistics Finland. The event was held at the Sheikh Khalifa Hall at the National Center for Documentation and Research, and attended by H.E. Butti Ahmed Mohammed Bin Butti Al Qubaisi, Director of Statistics Centre − Abu Dhabi, and the Centre's senior officials and staff members. The lecture was part of a series of specialized lectures that SCAD organizes in support of its key strategic initiative to "Promote Statistical Awareness".
The lecturer addressed two main themes: the first focused on how statistical bureaus can respond to change, and the second part dealt with the Finnish experience in use of statistical registers.
At the outset Dr. Sundström expressed her pleasure to visit the UAE and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, commending the progress the Emirate has achieved and emphasizing the role of SCAD in development .
Responding to change
The lecture dealt with ways to help statistical bureaus produce outputs that suit the needs of the areas they serve. Dr. Heli pointed to the diverse and never ending needs of data users, which includes various economic, social and population statistics, etc., with users representing an expanding circle of individuals, media institutions, the public and private sectors, organizations, etc.
She explained that to ensuring continued relevance of statistical products to the needs of society is a matter closely related to the management strategy of any statistical office, quality management and the approach the agency follows in managing relations with strategic partners, adding that the aforesaid aspects have a direct bearing on the quality of statistical outputs. The lecturer then reviewed the Quality Assurance Framework currently being developed by the United Nations.
Dr. Sundström further added that statistical offices are confronted with host of challenge in predicting rapid changes in society and how to constantly develop their services to keep up with these changes, such as the shift to a knowledge-based society, globalization, demographic, social and environmental changes, as there is growing recognition of the importance of statistical information in making decisions on policies, and statistical authorities have to uphold the various aspects of sovereignty, impartiality and credibility.
The lecturer also noted that there are so many trade-offs in statistical work, for instance, increasing the information collected represents an added burden on the data source, the society's right to information clashes the individuals' right to privacy, accuracy cannot always be reconciled with timeliness in order to accomplish various statistics on time, and so on.
The lecturer also stressed the need on the part of statistical bureaus to have up-to-date strategies, flexible and effective systems for the management of quality, adequate knowledge and competencies, dynamic relationships with stakeholders and sufficient funding. It is also important to participate in international cooperation in the field of statistics and to benchmark the performance of the agency.
The Finnish experience
In the second part of the lecture Dr. Heli Sundström addressed the topic of administrative registers as a source of data, indicating their use helps to reduce the burden on respondents, cut the costs of production of statistics, while improving their quality, as they cover the entire target population rather than just a sample of it. This allows the use of more detailed classifications and provides better services to end users. She touched on the experience of Statistics Finland, which runs an integrated system of administrative register that the office to relies on as a source of 96% of its data. Furthermore, the second office in the world runs a fully register-based census.
The lecturer answered the questions posed by the attendees, commending Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi for its notable achievements in the service of all sectors of development. She also pointed that the centre has recently been able to achieve qualitative milestones, stressing the high ambitions of SCAD's strategy and business plan, and asserting her belief in SCAD's ability to carry out its plans as long as it continues to proceed at its current progress rate.
In conclusion H.E. Butti Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Qubaisi, Director of Statistics Centre − Abu Dhabi thanked the presenter and the audience, stressing SCAD's aspiration to establish continued cooperation with leading statisticians worldwide. He also stressed SCAD's desire to continue to present such important lectures in support of its plan to "promote of statistical awareness".
The Statistics Center - Abu Dhabi launched this lecture series with a lecture presented by Professor Brian Pink, Chief Government Statistician in Australia and Director of the Australian Bureau of Statistics, who was on an official visit to SCAD, followed by a lecture by Professor Paul Cheung, Director of the Statistics Division of the United Nations. Last month, SCAD hosted a lecture presented by Dr. Mohammed Taamouti Director of Statistics, High Commission for Planning in Morocco.