COHESIVELY ENHANCING CAPACITY OF ASEAN COMMUNITY STATISTICAL SYSTEM TO BE MORE RESPONSIVE TO GREATER DATA NEEDS                                                                                                                                                                           CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF THE ASEAN COMMUNITY STATISTICAL SYSTEM

The Sixth Session of the ASEAN Community Statistical System (ACSS) Committee

On 1-3 November 2016, in Vientiane, Lao PDR, the Sixth Session of the ASEAN Community Statistical System Committee (ACSS6), hosted by Lao Statistics Bureau (LSB), Ministry of Planning and Investment, was chaired by Dr. Samaychanh Boupha, Head of LSB and Vice Minister. Dr. Lisa Grace S. Bersales, National Statistician and Civil Registrar General of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), served as Co-chairperson.

2016 recorded the ACSS’s remarkable achievements as follows:

(1) Institutional strengthening, enhancement of ACSS and its sustainability: In pursuit of the ACSS Vision of “A responsive ASEAN Community Statistical System providing high quality statistics”, the ASEAN Member States (AMSs) made great efforts to further strengthen statistical cooperation with many initiatives. To ensure good governance and accountability, the ACSS Committee endorsed the key performance indicators of the ACSS Strategic Plan 2016-2025, the ACSS Communication Strategy, and the Implementation Plan on the Policies and Guidelines on Confidentiality, Data Sharing, Analysis, and Dissemination to measure and monitor outcomes in the process of building robust statistical systems at both regional and national levels.

(2) Improvement of response to greater ASEAN data needs: The Working Groups on International Investment Statistics, Statistics of International Trade in Services, and the International Merchandise Trade Statistics had the continuing initiatives to comply with internationally agreed frameworks in the harmonization of 2 ASEAN statistics and the implementation of the ACSS Code of Practice Assessment Measures on Statistical Process and Statistical Output. The Working Group on the System of National Accounts (SNA) was established to oversee ASEAN SNA-related data requirements. The ACSS Committee endorsed the revised Broad Framework for the Sustainable Development of ASEAN Statistics to better respond to developments arising from ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and to incorporate these new regional priorities into the ASEAN statistical framework. The ACSS Committee also resolved to continue to support ASEAN integration monitoring effort, including in support of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2025 Monitoring and Evaluation Framework that has been endorsed by the ASEAN Economic Ministers and the AEC Council.

(3) Response to emerging global initiatives: In a commitment to the global call for the effective implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030, the ACSS Committee endorsed the Terms of Reference of the Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators in the development of ASEAN SDG indicators. The on-going national open data initiatives were created along with the application of advanced tools and technology to ease data access by general public users.

(4) Enhancement of dissemination, communication, visibility, and use of ASEAN statistics: The ACSS achieved the progress at the national and regional levels, in the dissemination and communication of statistics with the launch of new websites, use of interactive tools and infographics, and new communication channels including the social media to reach a wider target group of data users. The Working Group on Data Sharing, Analysis and Dissemination of ASEAN Statistics made efforts to improve dissemination and communication of statistics including the development of a Glossary for Laymen for the ASEANstats webpage, illustrating key regional statistics and definitions in simple terms in infographics.

(5) Bridging the gaps toward sustainable development in ASEAN statistics: The ACSS Committee has embarked on the development of the ASEAN Statistical Training Agenda which aims to identify the needs and capacities of the NSS on the proposed organization of statistical trainings in the framework of ASEAN-Help-ASEAN cooperation and envisaged to complement the programs of international institutions and donor-projects.

(6) Expanding statistical cooperation: The ACSS has received the assistance from Development Partners and International Organizations towards the journey as “A responsive ASEAN Community Statistical System providing high quality statistics.”

At the end of the Session, the ACSS Committee expressed its sincere gratitude to the Government of Lao PDR, through the LSB, for its warm hospitality and excellent arrangements of the 6th Session of the ACSS Committee. At the same time, the Committee welcomed the Chairmanship of the Philippine Statistics Authority at the 7th Session of the ACSS Committee in October 2017.