Areas of Cooperation

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SAARCSTAT

 

Cooperation in the field of Statistics

The Thirtieth Session of the Standing Committee (Islamabad, 18-19 July 2004) approved the proposal for cooperation in the area of statistics among Member States. 

Subsequently, the Twelfth Meeting of the Committee on Economic Cooperation (Islamabad, 20-21 November 2004) welcomed the offer of India to host the First Meeting of the Heads of Statistical Organisations of SAARC Member States to examine the possibility of initiating cooperation in the field of statistics with a view to finalizing standard formats for exchange of statistical data in various economic and social fields. 

Accordingly, in order to pursue and concretize cooperation in the field of statistics, the Heads of SAARC Statistical Organisations in their Meeting at Kolkata, Indiaon 26-27 May 2005 which formed a permanent “SAARC Group on Statistics”, namely, SAARCSTAT; the Second Meeting of SAARCSTAT was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 17 April 2008 and the Third Meeting was held at Paro, Bhutan on 18-19 November 2010.   The details of other Meetings held so far in the field of Statistics are given below:

a.         Workshop on Classification and SNA (New Delhi, 5-6 June 2006

b.         First Meeting of SAARCSTAT Technical Sub-Groups (Dhaka, 16 April 2008)

The First Meeting of SAARCSTAT formed following Technical Sub-Groups to focus attention on specific issues:

S.No.

Technical Sub-Groups

Coordinator

1

SAARC Statistical Yearbook

Bangladesh

2

Informal Sector

India

3

CapacityBuilding

India

4

SAARCSTAT Action Plan

India

5

SAARCSTAT Website

Pakistan

6

Classification

Pakistan

7

SNA93

Sri Lanka

 

The first electronic version of SAARC Statistical Yearbook (2008) has been ibrought out by Bangladesh as Coordinator. The second issue is about to be published with the updated data of all SAARC Member States.

The First Meeting of SAARCSTAT also welcomed the offer of India to take up and fund a Project on Concepts, Definitions and Standards of Health Statistics for the SAARC region.

A virtual group was also formed on Disability Statistics with Pakistan as Chairperson.

At the Third Meeting of SAARCSTAT held in Paro, Bhutan on 18-19 November 2010, the first electronic version of the SAARC Statistical Yearbook was presented by the delegation of Pakistan. In order to come out with an updated version, some information gaps need to be filled which the Member States have been requested to do so.  The delegation of Pakistan made a presentation on the SAARCSTAT Website which will be finalised on receipt of comments from the Member States.  The Meeting reviewed the progress in the implementation of its earlier decisions including introduction of Exchange programme of expert Statisticians through MOU; Project on Concepts, Definitions and Standards of Health Statistics for the SAARC region; development of institutional framework for data collection on Trade in Services; and SAARC forum for disability statistics.

 

The Fourth Meeting of Heads of SAARC Statistical Organisations (SAARCSTAT) was held in Islamabad on 24-25 October 2011 to review progress, inter-alia, in launching the SAARCSTAT website, publication of second issue of SAARC Statistical Yearbook,  publication of SAARC Catalogue of Statistical Publications, SAARC Directory of Statistical Experts, SAARC Classification, Project on Concepts, Definitions and Standards of Health Statistics for the SAARC region, development of institutional framework for Data Collection on Trade in Services and discussion on SAARC forum for Disability Statistics.

As mandated by the Thirty-eighth Session of the Standing Committee, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) was approached by the SAARC Secretariat to provide financial and technical assistance for development of web-based, user-protected interface and institution of a designated Statistics Cell at the Secretariat for coordinating all statistical data or requirements thereof. A Study on these issues has already been conducted by a Consultant with the financial and technical assistance of ADB, a Draft of which was presented by the Consultant at a SAARC-ADB Workshop held at the SAARC Secretariat, Kathmandu on 23 June 2012. The final Study incorporating the views expressed by the delegations during the Workshop has also been received from the Consultant and circulated among the Member States.

The Fifth Meeting of SAARCSTAT held in the Maldives on 4-5 November 2012 reviewed the progress on above issues and also made its recommendations on the SAARCSTAT Study for consideration of higher SAARC bodies.

The websites of SAARC Member States on Statistics may be accessed through the following links:

Afghanistan

Bangladesh

Bhutan

India

Maldives

Nepal

Pakistan

Sri Lanka