The area-focused training course in Integrated Economic Statistics, Including SNA, for Central Asian Countries was jointly conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (SIAP), from 23 January to 23 March 2012. Eight government officials – seven from national statistical systems and one from the finance ministry with sufficient working experience in compilation or use of economic statistics from 3 countries: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan attended the course.
The main aim of the course was to improve knowledge on the concepts, principles, and macroeconomic accounting framework of the 2008 System of National Accounts (SNA) and developing skills of statistical analysis and interpretation of the participants, which would help in effective use of economic statistics in each country. Besides the main modules on economic statistics and statistical data analysis, the course included modules on training and communication techniques, to equip participants to be effective trainers of official statisticians in their respective offices. The training course was conducted by SIAP faculty members, a resource person from the Federal Statistics Services of the Russian Federation (ROSSTAT) and experts from several government agencies and the central bank of Japan, including the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and the Bank of Japan.
As a part standard component of all the SIAP-JICA training courses, each participant undertook undertakes a project work. For this course, participants focused on entailing exploratory studies on a selected field of economic statistics of their respective countries. This helped them in applying the analytical skills acquired during the course in practice. They also prepared an action plan, another standard component, which will be implemented upon return to their respective countries. The participants are now expected to take on the role of trainers and disseminate the knowledge and skills acquired during the training to their colleagues.
Visits to Japanese government statistical organisations helped the participants also in exposed participants to the advanced features of the statistical system of Japan. In addition, the participants made a field visit to Niigata, where they observed the prefectural level statistical activities. In Niigata, they also had a first-hand look into the kind of application of advanced technological made in the industries of Japan at Sato Foods Industries Co., Ltd. All participants thought the course was relevant to their work and a majority of them found it to be ‘very useful’. The participants suggested that SIAP should continue conducting similar courses for the central Asian countries in the future.