President's message November 2020

President’s message November 2020


Dear IAOS members

In this latest newsletter, we cover upcoming deadlines for IAOS activities, highlights of the recent IAOS webinars, key decisions made in the recent IAOS Executive committee meeting, and an update on the SJIAOS.

Upcoming deadlines

Nominations for the 2021-2023 IAOS Executive – close 20 November

The Nominations Committee chaired by Mario Palma is still seeking nominations for the 2021-2023 Executive, which will be led by President Elect Misha Belkindas.  Submissions should contain the CV and contact details of the proposed candidates and be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  by 20 November.

2021 World Statistical Congress –Invited Paper Session Proposals close 30 November 2020

The 63rd ISI World Statistical Congress 2021 will be a virtual event, to be held from 11 - 16 July 2021.  Proposals close on 30 November 2020, through the submission system - see  Contact Jan Robert Suesser, IAOS representative on the Programme Committee for more information too (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

YSP 2021

Reminder that submissions close on 12 February 2021. See  Remember too that mentoring younger colleagues can also be a great way to help contribute.

Recent IAOS Webinars

Since early October, IAOS has coordinated a range of webinars, which despite the busy international webinar agenda have enjoyed active support.  These have included:

IAOS and IASS Joint webinar to celebrate World Statistics Day: On the importance to Society of High Quality Public Statistics - 5 November 2020

Eurostat and SCORUS: Regional and local statistics for more informed policy making - 26 - 27 October 2020

New World Order and Official Statistics in Nigeria - 22 October 2020

Misuse of Statistics: Time to Speak Out - 6 October 2020

Our thanks again to speakers and attendees.  Presentations and links to the Video Recordings are at

Proposals welcome for future webinars

Do you have an idea for a webinar related to current issues in official statistics?  IAOS, with the support of the ISI Head Office are looking for ideas for webinars in early 2021. Please send suggestions, including possible speakers to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Key decisions made by the Executive Committee

Zambia 2020 Conference

The Executive confirmed the importance of holding the Zambia 2020 conference, as soon as practical.  The Executive, in conjunction with the ISI and the Zambia Statistics office, expect to make a decision in early 2021.

Follow up on Misuse of statistics webinar

The Executive is actively looking at ways to progress many of the fundamental issues discussed in the Misuse of statistics webinar. This will include articles in the March 2021 issue of the SJIAOS, as well as another webinar.  If you want to contribute, or have ideas on how the IAOS can progress this work, contact John Pullinger at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Possible contributions to the SJIAOS on this topic should be sent to the SJIAOS editor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Membership – and outstanding Membership fees

The Executive reviewed the latest report from the ISI Head Office on membership.  While membership numbers are up slightly since the previous year although a number of people have not yet paid their membership fees for 2020.  If this applies to you, renew asap.  Remember our membership fees are key to many of our activities including the YSP, running of webinars, planning and preparation for conferences.

Upcoming SJIAOS issues

December 2020, Volume 36, Issue 4

The issue includes articles on Covid-19, in particular the impact on official statistics production.  In parallel there is a discussion on this item on the Official Statistics discussion platform (  Other articles in the December issue include a section with 13 papers from younger official statisticians from the Asia-Pacific Statistics week,  a section  on ’Governing by the numbers (Data4Policy) ’, along with three of the winning manuscripts from the 2020 YSP.  Beyond these, some 15 more articles deal with a variety of topics. This issue also includes an article closing the first discussion ("You say you want a [data] Revolution”) of the Official Statistics discussion platform.

Supplement to Volume 36: Extra issue in 2020 ‘‘Official statistics in Africa’ 

While the 2020 Zambia conference has been delayed, it was decided to go ahead with an extra issue of the Journal to not lose the momentum of the extra attention on statistics in Africa. This extra issue contains around 15 manuscripts from the African region. These will be pre-published (on-line) on the Journal’s website and it is expected that the paper issue of the supplement of the Vol 36 of the Journal will also be available at the end of the 4th quarter of 2020.

Call for Papers for future SJIAOS issues

The SJIAOS welcomes papers for future issues. If you have a possible paper, or even an idea for a paper, contact Pieter Everaers, the SJIAOS editor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SJIAOS Website Discussion Platform

Remember that the Discussion platform is the ideal venue to discuss and debate many of the current issues in official statistics.  Discussions are based on statements from key papers in the SJIAOS.  In June a discussion on ‘Pre-release access to official statistics is not consistent with professional ethics’ was launched.  This was followed in September by two discussions - Crises, politics and statistics: Official statistics in the context of the Covid-19 crisis and a discussion on The Future of economic statistics

The December issue of the SJIAOS will also launch a discussion on Successes and challenges of regional cooperation and capacity building in Statistics: the example of the Asia-Pacific region 


John Pullinger

IAOS President

Joint IAOS-IASS webinar Thursday 5 November 12:00 pm CET

To celebrate World Statistics Day: On the importance to society of high quality public statistics.

Denise Britz do Nascimento Silva, IASS President, and John Pullinger, IAOS President, will introduce the Webinar and say a few words about the recent World Statistics Day.

Dr. Walter J. Radermacher, former Director General of Eurostat and Chief Statistician of the European Union from 2008 to 2016 will talk about the importance of official/public statistics for society.

Eric Rancourt has worked at Statistics Canada for 30 years and has occupied the role of Director General will talk about how such statistics are supported by innovations in survey methods.

Register to join the webinar here.


Promoting Statistical Literacy across the World

International Statistical Literacy Project (ISLP) 


The International Statistical Literacy Project (ISLP) is a project initiated by the International Association for Statistical Education(IASE), the education section of the ISI.  The main objective of the ISLP is to contribute to promoting statistical literacy across the world, among young and adults in all walks of life.

The project is currently led by Reija Helenius, a member of both IAOS and IASE.  Reija is also a candidate in the 2021-2025 ISI Council elections.


The ISLP is looking for new Country coordinators to promote statistical literacy all around the world, through organising different activities.   For more information, please see  


The ISLP International Poster Competition 2020-2021 is currently underway.  The competition invites school and university students from around the world to design a statistical poster. The topic is environment, biology or sustainable development.  For more details, see :   Please share information about the competition with your colleagues and networks.


Finally, the ISLP publishes a Newsletter, and welcomes articles regarding the promotion of statistical literacy.  Previous newsletters are at  The deadline for articles for the upcoming newsletter is 15 October 2020.

ISI World Statistics Conference 2021 - Invited sessions proposal is now open

Invitation to Propose Invited Sessions for WSC 2021

Proposals due: 15 November 2020

The 63rd ISI WSC 2021 will be held 11-16 July as a virtual conference. The WSC theme “Statistics and Data Science for a Better World” highlights the developments and contributions of statistics and data science in various domains of application that impact all aspects of life.

The Chair of the Scientific Programme Committee (SPC), Nalini Ravishanker, invites the statistical community to submit proposals for Invited Paper Sessions (IPS). Please use the Submission System.

The 63rd ISI WSC 2021 will host talks and presentations on a wide variety of topics, with the overall goal of presenting a balanced programme that provides a sense of the current state and future direction of statistics, data science and their applications. The programme will span sectors of practice including academia, business, industry, government and official statistics along with the breadth of ISI and Associations affiliated with ISI. Topics include but are not limited to official statistics, survey statistics, environmental statistics, business and industrial applications of statistics, mathematical statistics, probability, statistics and data science education, statistical literacy and statistical computing and data visualization.

Accepted Invited Sessions will be held either live-streamed or pre-recorded, details will be given later. The pre-recorded sessions will have a time to have live interactions with attendees. The SPC will determine which IPS will be offered in which modality, but all submissions should be willing to do either.

President's Message September 2020

President’s Message September 2020


Dear colleagues

Nominations for IAOS Executive CommitteeI am pleased to inform you that the Nominating Committee for the IAOS Executive Committee members (2021-23) has been set up with Mario Palma as Chair and Ola Awad, Oliver Chinganya, Angela Me and Shigeru Kawasaki as members. The duty of the Nominating Committee is to make nominations for the posts of President Elect and four executive members for the next term under the Presidency of Mr. Misha Belkindas.

The Executive Committee is the main leadership group for the IAOS. I have been fortunate during my term as President to be supported by a talented, committed and diverse group of colleagues. Please think hard about individuals who could make a valuable contribution to serve the IAOS in this way. The task is important but not necessarily onerous: the Executive Committee meets only a few times a year. For those who can get more deeply involved there are also plenty of opportunities through our conferences and webinars, journal, the Young Statisticians prize and other activities.

You are invited to make nominations (including self-nominations) for the IAOS Executive Committee by 20 November. Submissions should contain the CV and contact details of the proposed candidates and should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . 

Upcoming Webinar - MISUSE OF STATISTICS: TIME TO SPEAK OUT -- Tuesday 6th October 2020, 14.00-16.00 CET 

This webinar focuses on Fundamental Principle 4: Prevention of misuse, which states that the statistical agencies are entitled to comment on erroneous interpretation and misuse of statistics. It features leading figures in the statistical world with direct personal experiences of applying Principle 4 (Ed Humpherson, Martine Durand, Pali Lehohla, Andreas Georgiou and Hernan Munoz). There will be time for open discussion and reflection on future actions.  Registration is open at 

2021 IAOS Young Statisticians Prize is now open.  The Prize is awarded for the best paper in the field of official statistics written by a young statistician. 

In addition to monetary prizes, the first-place winner will receive travel funds to present the paper at an international conference.  Due to COVID-19, details of the conference will be decided in conjunction with the winner and may include the rescheduled IAOS 2020 Conference or a 2021 ISI World Statistics Congress Satellite Conference in memory of Fred Smith and Chris Skinner being held in Southampton, UK, 8-10 July 2021.

You can find the relevant information in all UN official languages here. I would appreciate it if you would share information about the competition in your office and the wider National Statistical System in your country.  More information is available at  The closing date is 12 February 2021. 

Zambia IAOS 2020 Conference - Better Lives 2030: mobilising the power of data for Africa and the world – This conference was previously planned for May 2020. It is now expected that the conference will be held in September 2021 in Livingstone, Zambia.  Updates will be posted at  

The new world order and official statistics in Africa – a webinar on this topic is scheduled for 22 October 2020. More information is available on the website here and registration is now open via this link. 

SJIAOS - The September issue has a special theme on The Future of Economic and Business Statistics, building on the work of the Friends of the Chair Group on Economic Statistics, commissioned by the UN Statistical Commission. This issue will also set the scene for the fifth discussion on the Official Statistics discussion platform -  The June issue contains articles from some of the sessions at the ISI World Statistics Conference 2019, including articles on pre-release access of official statistics  which formed the basis for the fourth discussion on the Official Statistics discussion platform  This issue is open access. Our thanks to IOS Press for their support.

The Official Statistics platform is proving to be an important place for all parts of the official statistics community to discuss current issues. The discussion on  “Pre-release access to official statistics”, has been very active and I encourage everyone to take part in this and other discussions. 

Finally, thanks to those that were able to attend the virtual General Assembly in late August.  The minutes of that meeting are available here. 

John Pullinger

IAOS President