It is no easy matter to devise a conclusion to this compendium, given the range and number of topics and issues covered. However, we could conclude by focusing, one last time, on the key elements that national statistical offices should try to implement to create winning conditions so that they can continually improve and strengthen their statistical system:
- Adopting, communicating and implementing a clear medium- and long-term strategic vision that considers the need to invest in statistical infrastructure and capabilities on an ongoing, consistent and optimal basis. This vision should, among other things, give priority to allocating resources strategically, based on all the statistical needs to be met, rather than responding to requests and producing surveys on a case-by-case basis. With this in mind, statistical offices should press for the development of skilled, mobile and innovative staff and the implementation of an integrated statistical infrastructure of information systems, production processes and generalized tools to sustainably strengthen the effectiveness, coherence and efficiency of the statistical system.
- Managers' commitment to the sound and effective management of the organization and their active participation in conveying the desired vision, values and culture to employees. Senior management must, in the interests of the organization, maintain credibility, trust and an image and reputation of excellence. They must also make informed, ethical and responsible decisions. Their role is also to ensure consistency between the strategic directions and the actions to implement them. Consequently, managers must not only give the necessary support to employees in fulfilling the vision, but they must also institute controls to guarantee the conformity and cohesion of practices within the organization.
- The existence of a well-established and coherent governance structure based on the creation of management committees, committees of experts from different areas of the organization, and finally advisory committees whose members are external. This governance structure will avoid the silo effect in decision-making, which is not optimal for the organization; it must be well known to employees and transparent through the publication of minutes, and it must be supported by clear and comprehensive governance frameworks and instruments. Establishing governance instruments, including policies, directives, standards and guidelines, is crucial for the effective, coherent and transparent functioning of a national statistical system. Thus, all the practices, processes, measures, instructions and roles and responsibilities must be clearly and explicitly stated to be respected by all concerned.
- Management mechanisms, practices and principles that are rigorous, coherent and effective with respect to integrated strategic planning, project management, quality management, financial management, talent management, internal communications and internal controls.
- The ability to mobilize financial resources that will be reinvested in new programs or in the system's statistical capabilities and infrastructures. This is made possible, first, by tackling performance problems and developing innovative and integrated solutions that will achieve efficiencies within the system. Second, strategic and proactive management of key partnerships will stimulate the investments needed to meet statistical needs. Finally, the development of an integrated system and a mobile workforce may also make it possible to carry out cost-recovery projects that, in turn, will strengthen the statistical infrastructures and capabilities over the medium and long term.
- A value-based corporate culture rooted in respect, integrity and confidentiality, and which encourages co-operation, innovation and team spirit. Along these lines, appropriate strategies for internal communications, human resources management and leadership by managers will further engage employees in the desired business culture and the creation of esprit de corps within the organization.
- An approach based on harmonization, dialogue, listening and maintaining partnerships. In its dealings with key partners and data users, and with data suppliers and survey respondents, a national statistical office must be attentive to their needs and concerns. Otherwise, without key partners and data users, the data would be neither useful nor used; and without data suppliers and survey respondents, they would simply not be produced. To maintain the relevance and quality of its data, a statistical office must make those data central to its concerns. Lastly, all statistical offices must maintain and strengthen their co-operation with the national statistical offices of other countries and with international bodies. These forums of collaboration, networking and discussion offer invaluable opportunities to share international standards, lessons learned and best practices in improving and strengthening statistical systems.
- Date modified: