Nineteen (19) middle level government statisticians from 13 countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Kosovo, Lao PDR, Mozambique, Myanmar, Philippines, Senegal, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tonga, and Vietnam) successfully completed the Third Group Training Course on Analysis, Interpretation and Use of Official Statistics (Economic Statistics) conducted by the Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (SIAP) from 21 January to 22 March 2013. The course was conducted in cooperation with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication (MIC) of the Government of Japan.
During the course, participants gained knowledge and skills of analysis, interpretation and use of national accounts and other economic statistics. They increased their understanding of the nature, sources and techniques of analysis of national accounts, prices, financial, monetary, agricultural and environmental data and improved their skills to analyse and interpret related key official statistics and indicators in support of policy making for MDGs.
As a part of the training curriculum, the participants carried out individual projects featuring research on analysis and interpretation of appropriate primary and secondary data of their countries covering seasonal adjustments of quarterly GDP and price indices, contribution of R&D activities, poverty measurement, household consumption expenditure, unemployment and migration, balance of trade, and gender and employment. This gave the participants an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills on concepts, statistical methods and use of statistical software, such as R - Software. The course also included sessions on analytical concepts and research methods to help the participants in carrying out their project work and the ability to write and present an analytical report.
With the objective of extending the benefits of individual training to their respective institutions, each participant committed to an action plan for sharing knowledge and experience gained from the course, such as through training, to be implemented upon return to their home offices. Heads of their institutions also committed to provide the needed support to their trainees in the implementation of the action plans. The training included sessions on training and communication techniques, to facilitate the implementation of training activities.
Participants also observed the prefectural level statistical activities of Akita Prefecture and experienced the rich culture of the prefecture. Field visits to several Japanese government statistical organisations were organized for the participants to acquaint them with the advanced features of statistical system of Japan. ,br> Experts from Japan (Cabinet Office, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Cabinet Office, Bank of Japan and Hosei University), international agencies (Asian Development Bank, Statistical Department of International Monetary Fund and ESCAP Statistics Division) and National Statistical Coordination Board, Philippines served as resource persons for the course.