Representatives of national statistical training institutes, academic institutions and international agencies participating in the Fifth Workshop on Forging Partnerships in Statistical Training in Asia and the Pacific: Making e-Learning Work for Us , recommended establishing a collaborative partnership of statistical training providers for effective delivery of e-learning courses on official statistics through a network of platforms under the umbrella of a central portal. The Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (SIAP) in collaboration with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, government of Japan, organized the workshop held in Chiba, Japan from 24-26 June 2013.
The central portal will provide a common platform for sharing, jointly developing and delivering e-learning courses for reaching a wide range and a large number of trainees. The collaborative partnership is also expected to accelerate the expansion of e-learning as a modality for training in official statistics in countries and the assuring of quality in e-learning courses. The idea behind the establishment of a central portal is an adaptation of the massive open online course (MOOC) philosophy that takes into account the requirements of training on official statistics.
The workshop constructed a road map for setting up the common platform and deliberated on collaboration mechanisms to be adopted, including the sharing of infrastructure, existing courseware, expertise, course-designing tools and other related tasks of developing and running courses.
SIAP, with the support of partner international agencies Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information Communication Technology for Development (ESCAP-APCICT), will initiate the task of establishing the founding partners group for developing the common platform and defining its terms of reference. Representatives from Australian Bureau of Statistics, National Academy of Statistical Administration (India), Education and Training Centre (Statistics Indonesia), Statistical Research and Training Centre (Philippines) and Federal State Statistics Service (Russian Federation), Korea National Open University, Japanese Inter-university Network for Statistical Education (JINSE), and University of South Pacific expressed readiness to get involved right away. Other participants, including from the National Bureau of Statistics (China), Statistical Centre of Iran, Statistical Research and Training Institute (Japan), National Statistical Office (Thailand) and Institute of Statistical Science (Vietnam), would seek their respective management support for participating in the common platform.
The workshop also recommended that a course on basic data analysis could be developed by SIAP, KNOU and ESCAP-APCICT as a pilot course to be offered through the common platform.