Statistical Journal of the IAOS

Volume 37 (2021) 3:

Special issue:

New Developments in Training in Official Statistics

The Statistical Journal of the IAOS can be read via the printed version and online via the official statistics website: The website offers beyond the on-line versions of the articles also a discussion platform, news and interviews.

The latest version of the Statistical Journal of the IAOS (SJIAOS)

September 2021, Volume 37, no. 3, Special Issue with a theme

New Developments in Training in Official Statistics


This Third issue of Volume 37 of the Journal contains  22 high quality contributions from authors from all over the world focussing on New Development in Training in Official Statistics.

A timely SJIAOS issue on ‘New Developments in Training in Official Statistics‘

This issue of the Statistical Journal of the IAOS anticipates on these developments by describing the recent trends in the training in official statistics of those producing and those using results of official statistics, with the aim to develop respectively their specific knowledge, skills and competencies and to increase the ‘statistical thinking’.

The first section (i) of this issue deals with foundations and background for the need for training and contains two articles that state the necessity to improve statistical literacy via training in official statistics and a third that introduces the global response, the Global Network of Institutions for Statistical Training (GIST) on this challenge for more effective training. The second section (II) addresses the extended training demand from the perspective of the emerging data science.

The manuscript in the third section (III) describes the Tool for Assessing Statistical Capacity (TASC) as an example of a tool for assessing the need for training and capacity building.

In section four (IV) six articles give examples of training initiatives in official statistics, varying from the approach in the GIST strengthening the competencies of policy makers for better use of data in public policy design;  the design and current situation of training of official statisticians at universities via the European Master in Official Statistics (EMOS);  and in the second manuscript the challenge for the EMOS program to adapt to new developments and demands; the fourth and fifth manuscript describe experiences of training in  official Statisticians in Africa and Australia. The sixth manuscript in this section describes the efforts and experiences in training in official statistics and statistical literacy in the Greek National Statistical System.

In the fifth section (V) four articles are presented that illustrate a variety of learning and teaching methods for training in official statistics. Finally in the sixth section (VI), six manuscripts illustrate how training in a specific  statistical domain or theme is organized. This varies from household surveys and census, National Accounts, trade statistics, food and agricultural statistics, computations and IT use, and finally a data skills training model to develop capacity to deliver the SDGs.

The issue is compiled by a guest editorial team of experts overseeing the field of training in official statistics. A big word of thanks goes to Pedro Campos (Portugal), Helen  MacGillivray (New Zealand), Reija Helenius (Finland), Hugues Kouadio (Ivory Cost), and Steve MacFeely (Ireland). They supported with their expertise the preparation and review of the manuscripts of this special issue. The issue also reports on the international initiative for global cooperation in training in official statistics, the so called Global Network of Institutions for Statistical Training (GIST), as well as refers to the activities of the International Statistical Literacy Project (ISLP). Several of the manuscripts in this issue are based on presentations from  the ISLP webinar (June 2021) and from sessions at the (virtual) ISI World Statistics Conference (July 2021 in The Hague).

A word of thanks also goes to Stefan Schweinfest (Director of the UN Statistics Division) for his guest editorial, emphasizing the importance of training in official statistics and statistical thinking.

The ninth discussion on the SJIAOS discussion platform will center around statements on ‘New Developments in Training in Official Statistics’.

The ninth discussion on the SJIAOS discussion platform is based on seven statements.  Readers are invited to react on individual statements and of course can also choose to react on a combination of these statements, or simple comment on the overall theme.

See the discussion platform on:

Additional to these statements readers/commenters are invited to give specific examples of new modern training methods as they or their organization has developed, they have experienced or they have been participating in during the last two year

The SJIAOS discussion platform invites to contribute to important discussions at a time of own choosing.  With each release of an issue of the Statistical Journal, a new discussion topic is launched via a leading article or based on a section in the Journal. Each discussion runs for a year and is closed with a concluding commentary by the article author(s). In this issue two discussions are formally closed with a closing article.

This ninth discussion will come on line, with specific statements around the 15th of September 2021. See

Several other discussions are also on line on the SJIAOS Discussion platform (

Special discussions on the COVID-19 Impact

Crises, politics and statistics:  Official statistics in the context of the Covid-19 crisis. The Covid-19 discussion is rejuvenated with new statements.


The seventh discussion On Misuse of Statistics, based on the section on Misuse of Statistics in Volume 37 (2021), Nr. 1: Misuse of Statistics; Time to speak out:

The seventh discussion focuses on Misuse of Statistics. It aims to centre around comments and contributions around the need for trustworthy information to guide decision making and enable citizens to understand issues that affect their health and livelihoods.

The sixth discussion on the discussion platform: Successes and challenges of regional cooperation and capacity building in Statistics: the example of the Asia-Pacific region

The sixth discussion on the discussion platform centers around innovations and transformations in official statistics production and dissemination. The four statements are based on experiences from Asia-Pacific countries as reflected in the special section on the Asia-Pacific Statistics week in Volume 36 (2020), Nr. 4:

The fifth discussion on the discussion platform centers around statements taken from Volume 36 (2020), Nr. 3: The Future of economic statistics:

The discussion focuses on the four inter-related and mutually reinforcing building blocks of the emerging new statistical business model for economic statistics: outreach and user consultation; statistical framework;  institutional and statistical operations, and data stewardship; and statistical infrastructure and data solutions.

Pre-release practice to official statistics varies across and within countries, with pre-release practiced widely: pre-release access by government and pre-release access by the press. In defending their policies and practices countries argue for and against specific pre-release options. Relevant questions in this discussion will be for example if advertised pre-release access by policy makers preclude the possibility of pressure (or the perception thereof) on the independent production of statistics to serve political/policy interests? Is pre-release to government impartial when it gives at least a head start to the party in power relative to its opposition? Does pre-release access by the press adequately protect the level playing field for market participants, and does not lead to profiteering by some? Do the benefits of pre-release outweigh the costs associated with the risks? Is there a need for strengthening the existing movement away from pre-release access and a tightening of the guidelines in codes of practice for official statistics?’

You are invited to contribute to the discussions on:

Earlier (closed) discussions

The first discussion, kicked of in September 2019 is closed for contributions. The closing article for this discussion is published in the December 2020 issue (Vol36, 2020, Nr. 4, pp 1299-1306).


The second discussion kicked of in December 2019, Reflections on the future of official statistics in a digital and globalized societyis also closed for discussion.  The closing article is in this issue  (Vol37, 2021, Nr. 2).

The third discussion kicked of in March 2020 on the Population and Housing Censuses is also closed. The closing article can also be found in this issue (Vol37, 2021, Nr. 2).

The fourth discussion was launched in June 2020, and centered around statements taken from the article by Andreas Georgiou ‘Pre-release access to official statistics is not consistent with professional ethics’ . This discussion is also closed and will be reported on in one of the next issues.

Also the second special discussion: 'Official statistics methods need investments to be robust enough to maintain sufficient product quality in times of economic downturns' is closed. There is no further reporting foreseen for this discussion.


Some background on the SJIAOS discussion platform

In August 2019 the Statistical Journal of the International Association for Official Statistics (SJIAOS) launched the new on-line  platform for discussion on topics of significant relevance for official statistics ( as part of the SJIAOS website. The discussion platform invites you to contribute to important discussions at a time of your own choosing.

The ISI World Statistics Conference, the IAOS conference and Journals like the Statistical Journal of the IAOS, are the traditional platforms where views on new developments and important issues in Official Statistics are exchanged. However, conferences occur only a few times per year, journal issues are released maybe four times per year and typically only reach  specific interest groups. This new on-line discussion platform of the SJIAOS is an opportunity for anyone working or interested in official statistics, to contribute to topical discussions, at your own convenience.

Every three months there is a new discussion item. With each issue of the SJIAOS, a new discussion topic will be launched via a leading article. Statements from this article will then invite you to post your opinion and arguments. Each discussion will run for a year and be closed with a concluding commentary by the article author(s). When fully up and running (after four journal issues), there will be four different discussions topics open for your contribution at any one time.

The discussion platform can be found on a prominent place on the new SJIAOS website ( Contributions have to be in English, have to be clear and concise, specifically addressing one of the statements and should not exceed 25 lines. When considered useful, references to a longer text (article, paper) can be added as an attachment. Contributors are required to register on the discussion platform. Anonymous contributions are not appreciated.

The SJIAOS discussion platform editor (James Whitworth) moderates the discussions and the quality of the contributions (but of course not on the positions taken), takes decisions on the integrity of the arguments and is available for support when needed.

The Statistical Journal of the IAOS

The flagship of the IAOS is the ‘Statistical Journal of the IAOS’. The Journal is expected to be widely circulated and subscribed to by individuals and institutions in all parts of the world. The journal has four regular issues per year, each with in average around 25 articles focussing on current and emerging issues and challenges related to the management, production and use of official statistics and related public policy matters. The ‘Journal’  is available on-line and via a printed publication and is supported by a website

Beyond the link to the on-line version of the Journal the website provides a permanent platform for news, information on events. A main feature of the website is the discussion platform. This discussion platform facilitates in parallel to and based on articles in the Journal discussions on important topics for official statistics.

Submit a Paper

The success of the Statistical Journal of the IAOS depends upon the contributions of IAOS members and authors. All papers are subject to anonymous review. For a full description of the publication’s editorial aims and scope, and how to submit manuscripts, go to or to IOSPress. For more information on the journal in general, submission, review and revision procedures or specific manuscripts, do not hesitate to contact the Editor in Chief, Pieter Everaers at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Papers are expected to be of wide interest to readers. Such papers may or may not contain strictly original material. All papers are refereed. The journal has an Editor-in-Chief who is responsible for ensuring its content and quality. For the review process he is supported by an editorial board of circa 30 eminent official statisticians and for the strategy of the Journal by a small Advisory Board The journal should publish papers of wide interest to both users and producers of official statistics. The journal should encourage papers with a focus on the basic principles for official statistics covering areas such as the importance of applying the best scientific methods, the need for statistical independence, balancing the needs of users with the burden on respondents, the continuing challenges around confidentiality, and the growing need for consistency and coherence across statistical domains and over time and for international comparability

SJIAOS Access for IAOS Members

IAOS members have unlimited on-line access to all the articles in the SJIAOS, including previous issues. Staff from International Organizations that are institutional members of the ISI/IAOS can be a member of IAOS and have free access to the Journal for an annual fee of 10 Euro.

Members are asked to register themselves at IOS Press (go to the register tab) and once done, to send an email to Ms. Kim Willems (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). She will activate your complimentary access upon receiving your email.

For more information contact Margaret de Ruiter-Molloy at the ISI membership office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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