UN distance-learning programme helps statisticians get better numbers

UN distance-learning programme helps statisticians get better numbers

Statisticians from India and Cambodia today completed the first video conferencing course provided by a new United Nations programme that aims to boost the quality of information received from Governments of developing countries.

“It has been found that there is a substantial need to improve the ability of government statisticians in data analysis and manipulation by taking advantage of statistical software,” said Chultemjamts Davaasuren, Director of the UN Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (SIAP).

“This training course addresses that need and we hope it will serve as a model for other courses throughout the region,” he added, noting that the programme has already trained about 11,000 people from more than 120 countries and territories through more conventional methods.

In the trial distance-learning course, 30 statisticians from India and Cambodia completed a nine-day training course taught by lecturers based in Japan, in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Cambodia’s National Institute of Statistics and India’s Central Statistical Organisation.

The students attended their classes in videoconferencing facilities located in local JICA offices, using an integrated statistical software package known as STATA.

SIAP, a subsidiary body of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), was created to strengthen the capability of the developing countries to collect, analyze and disseminate timely and high-quality statistics by providing fellowships, training courses and workshops, and course design and materials.

The Institute is planning to hold two similar training programmes later this year.