Action plans

  • a set of identifiable steps to produce an output or a group of related outputs that are expected to lead to strategic outcomes over a defined timeline; better organized according to a structured framework of outcomes and outputs and in chronological order to be able to track achievement of results.
  • ideally prepared with costing and institutional arrangement and supported by a financing strategy, monitoring and evaluation plan, and communication plan.

Administrative data

It is the set of units and data derived from an administrative source. The equivalent of a survey but with the source of data being administrative records rather than direct contact with respondents. Data generated in the performance of administrative or regulatory functions of government and service providers; directly linked to agency mandate and specific policy area/concern and affected subpopulation (e.g., business registration to industry and investment promotion, health surveillance to public health policies and programs, enrolment and participation rates to universal access policies, etc.); often covered by legislative framework.  

Annual agency statistical work plans

Provide a yearly reference and guide for the implementation of action plans as committed by the ministry/agency in the NSDS Implementation Plan.

Big Data

It is described as “data sets that are impossible to store and process using common software tools, regardless of the computing power or the physical storage at hand”  

Benefits of Open Data

  • use of new data sources accessible through other open data initiatives
  • improve trust in official statistics
  • improve quality of official statistics
  • make data sets available for research, analysis, and other social and economic uses
  • making data more accessible to users
  • increase recognition of official statistics as a public good and as an economic resource  

Citizen-generated data

Citizen-generated data are data produced by non-state actors under the active consent of citizens to tackle social issues explicitly. This definition denotes three distinguishing features of CGD that help NSOs and other stakeholders to identify and understand the nature of CGD.  

Civil registration

The continuous, permanent, compulsory, and universal recording of the occurrence and characteristics of vital events (live births, deaths, fetal deaths, marriages, and divorces) and other civil status events pertaining to the population as provided by decree, law or regulation, in accordance with the legal requirements in each country.

Client/user satisfaction survey

A method and tool to gather information and views of data users on the

  • quality of statistics and the products and services designed to disseminate, communicate, and facilitate use of statistics; and
  • how the NSS address data demand and interact with users, to inform areas of improvement.

Communication strategy

  • A plan to achieve communication objectives; may apply to internal communications, marketing and public relations. A communication strategy typically has four major components: communication goals, target audience, communication plan, and channels.
  • A comprehensive, detailed strategic planning document designed to guide the communications of an organization or of a significant initiative or issue; typically includes an in-depth Strategic Considerations section providing sound analysis of the internal and/or external environment.

Country Report on Support to Statistics (CRESS)

An analysis of the level and sources, patterns and trends, and strategies for financing statistics at the country level; developed and facilitated by PARIS21 and implemented in partnership with requesting countries.


  • A disruption that physical affects a system as a whole and threatens its basic assumptions, its subjective sense of self, and its existential core.  
  • “… a situation faced by an individual, group or organization which they are unable to cope with by the use of normal routine procedures and in which stress is created by sudden change.”  
  • “… a critical situation that threatens the functioning or survival of an individual, community, organization, or state. It can strike anyone, anytime, and anywhere. A crisis has three key features: it is unexpected, unique, and largely uncontrollable. It affects something or someone’s ability to function or survive. Some crises occur from natural disturbances, others arise out of technological breakdown or human misconduct.”  

Data demand

Data and statistics used, required, and/or needed by government and other stakeholders of development in the country for policy planning, monitoring and evaluation, business, and research; primarily refers to data to measure the national development indicators.

Data ecosystem

A data ecosystem includes the national statistical system along with the complex organisations of dynamic social relationships, which move and transform data/information (data infrastructure, tools, media, producers, consumers, curators and sharers).  

Data gap analysis

In official statistics, the analysis of results of mapping or matching existing (past and current) data with the required levels or standards of quality across generally-recommended quality dimensions: relevance, accuracy, reliability, timeliness, punctuality, accessibility, clarity, coherence, and comparability, including those required by data users.

Data innovation

“…the use of new or non-traditional data sources and methods to gain a more nuanced understanding of development challenges. Data innovation often combines non-traditional with traditional sources of data, such as household surveys, to reframe issues and shed new light on seemingly intractable problems. New, or non-traditional data sources may include digital data derived from social media, web content, transaction data, GPS devices (see pp 19 for more). Because combining data sources can provide more complete, more timely, and/or more granular information about an issue, data innovation can open opportunities for more cost- effective interventions, as well as provide entirely new insights that may have been overlooked through traditional approaches.”  

Data revolution

It refers to the “transformative actions needed to respond to the demands of a complex development agenda, improvements in how data is produced and used; closing data gaps to prevent discrimination; building capacity and data literacy in “small data” and “Big Data” analytics; modernizing systems of data collection; liberating data to promote transparency and accountability; and developing new targets and indicators.  

Disaster management

  • the organization, planning and application of measures preparing for, responding to and recovering from disasters.  
  • the organization and management of resources and responsibilities for dealing with all humanitarian aspects of emergencies, in particular preparedness, response and recovery in order to lessen the impact of disasters.  

Disaster preparedness

refers to measures taken to prepare for and reduce the effects of disasters. That is, to predict and, where possible, prevent disasters, mitigate their impact on vulnerable populations, and respond to and effectively cope with their consequences.  

Disaster risk

“the potential loss of life, injury, or destroyed or damaged assets which could occur to a system, society or a community in a specific period of time, determined probabilistically as a function of hazard, exposure, vulnerability and capacity.”  

Disaster risk reduction

aimed at preventing new and reducing existing disaster risk and managing residual risk, all of which contribute to strengthening resilience and therefore to the achievement of sustainable development.  

Disaster risk management

Disaster risk management is the application of disaster risk reduction policies and strategies to prevent new disaster risk, reduce existing disaster risk and manage residual risk, contributing to the strengthening of resilience and reduction of disaster losses.  

Data supply

Data and statistics produced by organizations in the NSS and the data ecosystem on a regular or periodic basis based on mandate, function, or program of work for use of government and other stakeholders of development.

Education management information system

It can be defined as ‘a system for the collection, integration, processing, maintenance and dissemination of data and information to support decision-making, policy-analysis and formulation, planning, monitoring and management at all levels of an education system. It is a system of people, technology, models, methods, processes, procedures, rules and regulations that function together to provide education leaders, decision-makers and managers at all levels with a comprehensive, integrated set of relevant, reliable, unambiguous and timely data and information to support them in completion of their responsibilities’.  


  • The systematic and objective assessment of an on-going or completed project, programme or policy, which looks at its design, implementation and results. The aim is to determine the relevance and fulfilment of objectives, development efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability. An evaluation should provide information that is credible and useful, enabling the incorporation of lessons learned into the decision–making process of both recipients and donors.
  • Evaluation also refers to the process of determining the worth or significance of an activity, policy or programme. It might involve an assessment, which is as systematic and objective as possible, of a planned,on-going or completed development intervention. (Note: evaluation in some instances involves defining appropriate standards, examining performance against those standards, assessing actual and expected results and identifying relevant lessons).  
  • An assessment, conducted as systematically and impartially as possible, of an activity, project, programme, strategy, policy, topic, theme, sector, operational area or institutional performance. It analyses the level of achievement of both expected and unexpected results by examining the results chain, processes, contextual factors and causality using appropriate criteria such as relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability. An evaluation should provide credible, useful evidence-based information that enables the timely incorporation of its findings, recommendations and lessons into the decision-making processes of organizations and stakeholders.
  • The purposes of evaluation are to promote accountability and learning. Evaluation aims to understand why — and to what extent — intended and unintended results were achieved and to analyse the implications of the results. Evaluation can inform planning, programming, budgeting, implementation and reporting and can contribute to evidence-based policymaking, development effectiveness and organizational effectiveness.  

Enabling mechanisms for Open Data

  • International Open Data Charter
    • international initiative and network launched in 2016 that aims to promote and support open data in all its aspects
    • 16 national governments, of which 10 in developing countries adopted as a statement of commitment 
    • can be applied to activities and outputs of government and academic institutions, and private activities dedicated as public goods
  • Open Government Partnership
    • Members include 75 countries, of which 25 are developing and middle-income countries
    • openness “essential for making societies more inclusive, just, and sustainable and for promoting economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights for everyone.”

Financing strategy

Sets out how an organisation plans to finance its strategic plan and operations. A financing strategy includes targets and the actions to achieve the targets over the plan period or beyond. The financing strategy also includes resource approaches and steps to mobilise resources.

Fragile region or state

“...has weak capacity to carry out basic governance functions, and lacks the ability to develop mutually constructive relations with society; fragile regions or states are also more vulnerable to internal or external shocks such as economic crises or natural disasters. In contrast, more resilient states exhibit the capacity and legitimacy for governing a population and its territory.” 

Focus group discussion (FGD)

A qualitative research approach to generate perceptions, attitudes, beliefs, opinions, or ideas through a discussion among people of similar backgrounds or experiences.

Formative evaluation

An evaluation intended to improve performance, most often conducted during the implementation phase of projects or programmes.

Generic Statistical Business Process Model (GSBPM)

“…describes and defines the set of business processes needed to produce official statistics. It provides a standard framework and harmonised terminology to help statistical organisations to modernise their statistical production processes, as well as to share methods and components. The GSBPM can also be used for integrating data and metadata standards, as a template for process documentation, for harmonising statistical computing infrastructures, and to provide a framework for process quality assessment and improvement.”  

Governance structure

Refers to the organizational structure for the management and coordination of the NSS; typically includes the highest statistical body, inter-agency sectoral and subject-matter groups, and the NSO and ministries/agencies.

Geospatial data

Geospatial data is data about objects, events, or phenomena that have a location on the surface of the earth. The location may be static in the short-term (e.g., the location of a road, an earthquake event, children living in poverty), or dynamic (e.g., a moving vehicle or pedestrian, the spread of an infectious disease). Geospatial data combines location information (usually coordinates on the earth), attribute information (the characteristics of the object, event, or phenomena concerned), and often also temporal information (the time or life span at which the location and attributes exist).

Health management information systems

They are one of the six building blocks essential for health system strengthening. HMIS is a data collection system specifically designed to support planning, management, and decision making in health facilities and organizations.  

Highest statistical authority

The highest position level in the government that has oversight function or power on statistical operations in the country. This authority refers to the senior official or head of the ministry or agency in the government that has jurisdiction over the national statistics office (e.g. Prime Minister, Minister of Planning, Parliament, national development agency, finance agency, etc.)

Highest statistical body

Any inter-agency or inter-disciplinary body that is recognized and given a distinct role in the management of statistical development and operations in the country; role can be policy/ decision-making, coordinative, technical, and/or advisory in nature; body can be statutory (created by law), regulatory, or autonomous.

Innovation in statistics

A new or improved idea, method, product or service that is introduced and used to produce, manage, disseminate, and use better quality data and statistics; includes innovative policies and practices in managing the statistical system, improved statistical business processes to increase efficiency and quality of outputs, and new statistical products and services to communicate statistics more effectively and faster to users.

Integration of geo spatial data and statistics

The integration of geospatial and statistical data or data integration is one of the most promising paths to provide more timely, reliable, relevant and detailed information. Data integration in this context should be understood as the combination of geospatial and statistical information that can result in new insights that we could not otherwise gain.  

Key issues and challenges in statistics

  • Increased data demand arising from NDPs, regional agenda and SDGs;
  • Improving subnational and sectoral statistics;
  • Modernizing the NSS;
  • Managing innovations and capacity development;
  • Rational, sustainable, indigenous financing of statistics.

Local area statistics

refers to data collected about a particular area (e.g., region, district, province, city, municipality/town, or village) by the mandated or recognized institutions based in that area.

Management response

A formal mechanism that helps ensure that evaluations are used, contributing to organizational effectiveness, learning and accountability. All UNICEF-supported evaluations should make use of a written management response mechanism.

Medium-term expenditure framework

‘..consists of a top-down resource envelope, a bottom-up estimation of the current and medium-term costs of existing policy and, ultimately, the matching of these costs with available resources... in the context of the annual budget process. The "top-down resource envelope" is fundamentally a macroeconomic model that indicates fiscal targets and estimates revenues and expenditures, including government financial obligations and high cost government-wide programs such as civil service reform. To complement the macroeconomic model, the sectors engage in "bottom-up" reviews that begin by scrutinizing sector policies and activities (similar to the zero-based budgeting approach), with an eye toward optimizing intra-sectoral allocations.’  


Detailed information about a statistical indicator, a statistics or data that indicates how well the required levels of quality across generally-recommended dimensions are fulfilled by existing data.


The continual and systematic collection of data on specified indicators to show the managers and main stakeholders how a development intervention is progressing and whether objectives are being achieved in using allocated funds.

Modern NSS

A proposed, envisioned concept of the new NSS, one that adapts the data revolution and embraces the data ecosystem; characterized by more diversified, complex, and sophisticated data users and needs; multiple, traditional and new sources and producers of statistics; and expanded and improved output --- smart statistics.

Modern NSDS

A proposed concept of the new NSDS to guide the establishment of a modern NSS; addresses the additional challenges of the data revolution and data ecosystems such as open data reforms, concrete legal instruments, innovation, capacity development, and investment to facilitate new data, data access, data protection, data quality, data integration as well as new methods and skills needed.

M&E framework

Typically described as a template based on the results framework identifying the source of data for the baseline, target and current values of the indicators, frequency of availability of data, and the institutional source of data.

M&E plan

Translates the M&E strategy into a work plan; details the M&E activities and purpose, timeline of delivery of results, costing, and the institutions mandated or designated to implement the activities and deliver the results.

Multidimensional analysis

Assessment of how well data quality requirements are fulfilled according to generally-recommended quality dimensions: relevance, accuracy, reliability, timeliness (punctuality and periodicity), accessibility comparability and coherence (UN NQAF 2019).

National development agenda

The blueprint or master plan for the development of a country with strategies and actions to achieve or effect positive outcomes for the welfare of the people

National development plan indicators

Indicators and statistics identified and agreed among stakeholders to measure outcomes of the strategies and goals in the national development plan; should integrate internationally-agreed priority development frameworks and indicators such as the SDG indicators.

National Statistical System (NSS)

The ensemble of statistical organizations and units within a country that jointly collect, process and disseminate official statistics on behalf of national government.  

NSS peer reviews

  • Evaluation of the NSS by an individual or institution (may include consultants hired by a supporting development partner) representing the NSS of one or more countries of similar profile or level of statistical development.
  • PARIS21 NSS peer reviews: a South-South learning approach in statistical development to review the NSS’ governance, organisation, strategic planning, service to users, funding, and sustainability.
  • Peer reviews in the European Statistical System (ESS): a strategy to implement the ESS Code of Practice (CoP) toward enhanced integrity, independence, and accountability of statistical authorities in the ESS.

NSDS evaluation

NSDS evaluation focal areas

  • Assess the achievement of strategic outcomes and key outputs defined in the NSDS results framework based on the SMART criteria.
  • Analyse results at end of the plan period for the NSS and in the sectors and subject-matter areas.
  • Assess implementation and management in the areas of: governance and coordination, work planning, financing, monitoring and evaluation, stakeholder engagement, reporting, and communication.
  • Evaluate sustainability of the results by analysing the identified and potential new risks, e.g., financial, socio-economic, and institutional.

NSDS evaluation report

It is the documentation of the results of the final evaluation and should contain 

  • evaluation objectives and principles,
  • evaluation methodology, assumptions, limitations, tools, and sources of data and information
  • evaluation questions on relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability, and to some extent, impact of the NSDS,
  • evaluation recommendations on relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability, and to some extent, impact of the NSDS,
  • management response

NSDS implementation plan

  • a set of identifiable steps to produce an output or a group of related outputs that are expected to lead to strategic outcomes over a defined timeline; better organized according to a structured framework of outcomes and outputs and in chronological order to be able to track achievement of results.
  • ideally prepared with costing and institutional arrangement and supported by a financing strategy, monitoring and evaluation plan, and communication plan.

NSDS training-workshop

A quick, basic training on results-based management focusing on;

  • basic concepts, approaches, and tools for strategic planning (e.g., assessment and problem analysis, theory of change and logical framework analysis, visioning, results framework, etc.), monitoring and evaluation (e.g. M&E framework, indicators, targeting, etc.), and action planning,
  • NSDS concepts and the NSDS lifecycle;
  • Emerging key developments and concerns for consideration in the NSDS, e.g., administrative data, subnational statistics, integrating open data and data revolution, innovation in statistics, data dissemination, financing statistics, capacity development framework (CD4.0), small island developing states, and selected priority development sectors and subject-matter areas (agriculture, health, education, climate change, etc.)
  • A strategic planning workshop with expected output the draft strategic framework for the NSDS; includes
  • discussion of policy basis for the NSDS, e.g., national development plan and sustainable development goals, and other relevant data demand,
  • quick assessment and problem analysis using SWOT and/or theory of change/logical framework analysis and ADAPT,
  • visioning exercise to draft the NSDS strategic framework, and
  • integrating emerging key developments and concerns.

Open data

“ data that is made available with the technical and legal characteristics necessary for it to be freely used, reused, and redistributed by anyone, anytime, anywhere.” Open data means that data is  

  • Open by default
  • Timely and comprehensive
  • Accessible and usable
  • Comparable and interoperable
  • for improved governance and citizen engagement
  • for inclusive development and innovation

Open government data

“It is a philosophy- and increasingly a set of policies - that promotes transparency, accountability and value creation by making government data available to all. Public bodies produce and commission huge quantities of data and information. By making their datasets available, public institutions become more transparent and accountable to citizens. By encouraging the use, reuse and free distribution of datasets, governments promote business creation and innovative, citizen-centric services.”  

Objective tree

A strategic planning tool that helps to analyze and graphically break down objectives into smaller and more manageable parts; derived from the parent tool, the problem tree; objectives correspond to strategic goals or outcomes.

Policy frameworks

An official statement of desired societal goals, development targets, and strategies based on the prevailing and emerging issues and challenges and the existing capacities and resources at national, regional or international level (e.g NDP, COMESA’s Medium Term Strategy, SDGs)

Population registers

An account of residents within a country. They are typically maintained via the legal requirement that both nationals and foreigners residing in the country must register with the local authorities. Aggregation of these local accounts results in a record of population and population movement at the national level.  


refers to the ability of governments, professional response organisations, communities and individuals to anticipate and respond effectively to the impact of likely, imminent or current hazards, events or conditions. It means putting in place mechanisms which will allow national authorities and relief organizations to be aware of risks and deploy staff and resources quickly once a crisis strikes.  

Problem tree analysis

A planning tool associated with the Logical Framework Approach that helps to identify a core problem and exhaustively and graphically break down that core problem into smaller, manageable parts based on cause-effect relationship.

Process evaluation

An evaluation of the internal dynamics of implementing organizations, their policy instruments, their service delivery mechanisms, their management practices and the linkages among these.

Quality dimensions

Include accuracy, relevance, reliability, timeliness, punctuality, accessibility, clarity, coherence, and comparability  

Regional integration

“… a multifaceted process, whereby sovereign nation-states establish common political, legal, economic, and social institutions for collective governance.”  

“… expands markets and input sources, better allocating resources across the region and accelerating economic growth.” “Regional economic integration is one way countries achieve national interests—only in concert with others. It expands national markets to the region.  

“… helps countries overcome divisions that impede the flow of goods, services, capital, people and ideas.” “Regional integration can be promoted through common physical and institutional infrastructure. Specifically, regional integration requires cooperation between countries in: trade, investment and domestic regulation; transport, ICT and energy infrastructure; macroeconomic and financial policy; the provision of other common public goods (e.g. shared natural resources, security, education).  

Regional cooperation

“… refers to the political and institutional mechanisms that countries in a general geographical region devise to find and strengthen common interests as well as promoting their national interests, through mutual cooperation and dialogue.”  

“… takes a number of forms. Types of formal regional cooperation include preferential trade agreements, free trade agreements, customs unions, common markets, economic unions, economic and monetary unions, full economic integration, and political unions.  

Regional cooperation and integration

a process by which national economies become more interconnected regionally.  

Regional integration/cooperation institution

refers to the association or organization of participating countries represented by their national governments, and/or the implementing institution or secretariat, e.g., 

  • African Union (AU)
  • Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), 
  • Comunidad Andina (CAN), 
  • European Union (EU)
  • Southern African Development Community (SADC),
  • South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC),
  • Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), etc.

Results-based management

A management strategy by which all actors, contributing directly or indirectly to achieving a set of results, ensure that their processes, products and services contribute to the achievement of desired results (outputs, outcomes and higher level goals or impact). The actors in turn use information and evidence on actual results to inform decision making on the design, resourcing and delivery of programmes and activities as well as for accountability and reporting.  

Results framework/matrix

A results framework or matrix explains how results are to be achieved, including causal relationships and underlying assumptions and risks. The results framework reflects strategic level thinking across an entire organization, a country programme, a programme component within a country programme, or a project.  


An assessment of the performance of an intervention, periodically or on an ad hoc basis. Note: Frequently “evaluation” is used for a more comprehensive and/or more in-depth assessment than “review”. Reviews tend to emphasise operational aspects. Sometimes the terms “review” and “evaluation” are used as synonyms. (Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation and Results Based Management, 2020, OECD)

The periodic or ad hoc, often rapid assessment of an undertaking’s performance that does not apply the due process of evaluation. Review tends to emphasize operational issues.(UNEG, 2017)

Risk factors

Internal and external factors that may hinder or prevent NSS from delivering the planned outputs and achieving strategic outcomes set out in the NSDS results framework and action plans.

Risk mitigation plans

A set of steps to eliminate or minimize the impact of risks and by offering new and alternative solutions.sectoral and subject-matter interagency groups.

Sectoral and subject-matter statistics

Data and statistics intended to measure and monitor specific thematic areas, e.g., program area, industry, etc. produced:

  • as byproduct of administrative and regulatory functions of ministries/program agencies,
  • from censuses and surveys on specific thematic areas,
  • as results of program monitoring (or surveillance) systems,
  • as results of research/scientific studies on specific thematic areas, and
  • from scientific measurements (e.g., sensor data, event-driven data).
  • May need to consider big data (e.g., trade, health, education, transportation, environment, climate change, agriculture, etc.)

Sectoral and subject-matter interagency groups

  • Consist of statistical officials/officers from the ministries/agencies with relevant knowledge and expertise and undertaking statistical activities on a specific topic, e.g., sector and subject-matter area. 
  • Discuss technical issues including concepts, standards, and methods of data and statistics in a specific sector and subject-matter area.

Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

“… include low-lying coastal countries that share similar sustainable development challenges, including small population, limited resources, remoteness, susceptibility to natural disasters, vulnerability to external shocks, and excessive dependence on international trade. Their growth and development is often further stymied by high transportation and communication costs, disproportionately expensive public administration and infrastructure due to their small size, and little to no opportunity to create economies of scale.”; currently, fifty-one small island developing States and territories are included in the list used by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in monitoring the sustainable development of SIDS. These countries are often categorized by their three regions; the Caribbean, the Pacific, and the AIMS (Africa, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea). These States and territories often work together in the United Nations through the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).  


An acronym for Specific-Measurable-Achievable-Relevant-Timebound representing a set of criteria for setting effective goals and objectives or identification of measurement or monitoring indicators.

  • Specific: Goal should target a specific area of improvement or respond to a specific need.
  • Measurable: Goal must be quantifiable or measurable, or at least allow for monitoring of progress.
  • Attainable: Goal should be realistic and practical and considers available capacities, resources, and constraints.
  • Relevant: Goal should align with the vision and mission and other objectives.
  • Time-bound: Goal must be associated with a time reference with a definite end.

Smart statistics

It is a proposed and envisioned concept of the ‘new official statistics’ based on the common desired characteristics of data by stakeholders in the data ecosystem, integrating conventional and new data sources, statistical methods and data science, and smart technology, and responding to uses of data by all types of stakeholders; consistent with the ‘leave no one behind’ principle. It covers data from improved conventional sources (censuses, surveys, and administrative data) and new sources (big data, citizen-generated data, etc.). It is based on the concept of smart data:“…generally considered to be data that is prepared and organized at the collection point such that it is ready and optimized for analytics at the highest quality and speed.”  


People who hold a stake in a decision or undertaking. In statistics, stakeholders include:

  • Data providers (citizens, households, establishments, public institutions)
  • Data users (citizens, private sector, civil society, academia, media and government) 
  • Data producers (primarily government and potentially non-government entities) as well as data development partners, and the citizens as the ultimate beneficiaries of outcomes.

Stakeholder mapping

An exercise to identify key users of statistics, generate their profile, and categorize them according to their data uses and needs.

Statistics and Data

Data and statistics are not the same thing. While the terms are frequently (and incorrectly) used inter-changeably or synonymously, they are in fact two different things. Data are basic elements or single pieces of information. Statistics are numerical data that have been organized through mathematical operations in line with conceptual frameworks.

Although both concepts share the characteristic of being observations of reality, geospatial data constitutes a set of organized and related pieces of information that usually have geocoding or coordinates to represent relationships of objects in the space. Statistics, instead, result from calculations that follow a certain conception of social, economic and environmental issues represented by numerical, and generally scalar, representations.

Statistical advocacy

A concept, a strategy, or a process that promotes and motivates support for statistics --- its use in functioning of society --- public information and governance, and its improvement to better serve those roles and uses.’ The main goals of statistical advocacy are to increase interest in, appreciation for, trust, and use of statistics (demand) and to produce quality statistics (supply), primarily for evidence-based decision making. Other important objectives of advocacy include organizational development, capacity development, and proper financing for statistics.- must be anchored on an informed description and analysis of data demand in the country, including persistent, current, and emerging statistical issues and concerns.

Statistical legislation

"The subject of statistical legislation can be reduced to two major issues: the compulsory aspect, that is, the power the government asserts through the statistical agency to collect data; and the guarantees it provides for safeguarding the confidentiality of the information collected from individual respondents…"  

Statistical law or act

It is a specific document of statistical legislation of a country passed by the legislative body (e.g., parliament, general assembly, congress, house of representatives, house of the senate, etc.) or any legally-recognized institution with similar function or power.

Strategic philosophy

In strategic planning, the summary of an organization’s aspirations and principles over a period of time; typically consists of statements of the vision, mission, and the core values to guide the organization in the formulation and implementation of plans, programs, and activities.

Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) analysis

A common strategic planning technique used to determine and define the strengths and weaknesses of an entity (individual, organization, or system) and the external opportunities and threats that may affect the same entity.

Sustainable development goals

  • also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.
  • are integrated—that is, they recognize that action in one area will affect outcomes in others, and that development must balance social, economic and environmental sustainability.  


It refers to any subnational area of a country’s geographical structure, or any of its government constituencies that is below the national level, regardless of governance system. A local area can be rural or urban, municipal, district, provincial or regional.  

Subnational statistics

It refers to statistics for the state, regional, district, and local area (e.g., provincial, city, town/municipal, and village) levels as may defined by the subnational qualifiers for a particular country;
includes data produced by regional, district, and local area (e.g., provincial, city, town/municipal, and village) institutions, national institutions (e.g., ministries/agencies), and the national statistical office through administrative, regulatory, and monitoring functions and national censuses and surveys.

Subnational statistics development strategy

Recommended considerations and steps for the preparation of a strategy to develop subnational statistics as follows:  

  • legal framework,
  • administrative authority,
  • budgetary and infrastructure constraints,
  • mainstreaming,
  • needs assessment,
  • methodological development,
  • survey requirements,
  • inter-regional consistency and comparability,
  • scope of priorities, and 
  • sharing of best-practices

Subnational qualifiers

It refers to the identification of subpopulations and stratification and classification of the country for governance and statistical purposes.  

Terms of reference

  • Revisit the results framework based on the SMART criteria and M&E reports.
  • Analyse progress towards results at the midterm and end of the plan period.
  • Assess implementation and management in the areas of: governance and coordination, work planning, financing, monitoring and evaluation, stakeholder engagement, reporting, and communication.
  • Evaluate sustainability of the results by analysing the identified and potential new risks, e.g., financial, socio-economic, and institutional.

Visioning exercise

A common strategic planning technique that gathers and consolidates views and insights of members of an organization/system, e.g., NSO staff, NSS key stakeholders, etc., to define the strategic directions or philosophy --- vision, mission, and core values, of that organization/system.

Vital statistical systems

The collection of statistics on vital events in a lifetime of a person as well as relevant characteristics of the events themselves and of the person and persons concerned. Vital statistics provide crucial and critical information on the population in a country.