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Presentation 4H3. International Statistics for Public and Private Decision Makers: New Tools to Improve the OECD Communication Policy

Enrico Giovannini (Italy)


Presentation Abstract
The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation Development) currently has a high reputation for both the quality of its analytical work and for the statistics that underpin that work. The Secretariat requires a wide range of comparable statistics for its ongoing work of monitoring developments in Member countries and in key non-Member countries. The OECD also disseminates a very large amount of statistics to external users. The Organisation is often called upon to develop recommendations in emerging areas of policy interest to governments. In many instances this requires the development of new types of statistics, new statistical standards, and statistical systems, very often in co-operation with national statistical offices (NSOs), central banks, other government agencies and other international organisations.

The accountability of the OECD is largely based on the quality of its statistics. In fact, statistical information is the base for analytical studies, and for this reason it is necessary to inform users about the quality of the statistical data. In addition, because the activities of the OECD are decided (and financed) by Member countries, it is fundamental to inform them about research projects, new outcomes and developments.

The OECD has recently defined a "new vision" for its statistical activities, and has resolved to develop a new statistical information system based on a "corporate strategy". One of the targets of this strategy is to increase the positive perception of OECD statistical work within the Organisation, and with users in Member countries (primarily in ministerial authorities, OECD Delegations, national statistical offices, media) and in other international organisations. To achieve this target, one of the actions already initiated by the OECD has been the definition of a new policy for increasing the external communication to users and policy makers about the statistical activities and results. This policy is based on:

- a re-design of the OECD's Internet statistics home page. It should be a "portal" which will give users the possibility to navigate through web pages related to research themes and statistical data and metadata;
- the development of a new OECD Statistical Activities Newsletter, open to contributions coming from experts involved in the OECD statistical network;
- the creation of a new publication called Statistics Brief, a brief publication which would focus on statistical themes relevant for policy makers;
- the creation of OECD Working Papers in Statistics, where statistical research conducted by OECD staff, consultants or statisticians of Member countries could be published;
- the development of a calendar of statistical releases across the Organisation.

To develop these instruments several problems have been discussed inside the Organisation and managed through a wide range of consultations and co-operations across OECD Directorates. The paper will describe the characteristics of this new strategy of communication, focusing on the aspects more relevant for the relationships with private and public decision-makers.


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