Statistics Canada International Engagement Strategy 2018-21: making a real difference


At Statistics Canada, we know the important role that data play every day in the lives of Canadians. Reliable and robust data are fundamental to the development of evidence-based policy and decision making in an increasingly digital world. Data are a means by which countries understand their population, measure their progress and assess their programs. Our agency is recognized as one of the world's best national statistical organizations, providing high-quality, timely and credible data that respond to Canadians' highest-priority information needs.

Canada has much to offer and much to gain from participating in activities that contribute to sound and internationally comparable statistics. For example, Statistics Canada promotes the quality and coherence of both Canadian and global statistics through collaboration with international organizations, federal departments and agencies, and the provinces and territories. As a member of the United Nations Statistical Commission, the agency endorses the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics, which help define what constitutes a good system of official statistics and what role that system should play in national governments. The importance of official statistics and data from national statistical systems has also been recognized as forming the basis for the global indicator framework supporting the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030.

In this spirit of international cooperation, Statistics Canada is renewing its International Engagement Strategy for 2018-2021.

The strategy is built on five objectives:

  • leveraging international efforts effectively to fulfill Statistics Canada's mandate
  • allocating and using resources efficiently to support international activities
  • bringing leadership and expertise to the international table
  • engaging in targeted, sustainable technical assistance
  • leading and encouraging global statistical comparability and innovation.

Whether citizens are interested in assessing the impacts arising from globalization, tourism, trade, sustainable development, health and security crises, or climate change, Statistics Canada's aim is to promote high-quality statistics for the global information system.

We strive to continue to be a leader in the global statistical community through an approach that is focused, collaborative and progressive. Our renewed strategy and implementation plan reflect those aspirations.

Anil Arora
Chief Statistician of Canada

Statistics Canada's International Mandate

Statistics Canada takes a focused, collaborative and progressive approach to engagement in international initiatives and activities to fulfill its obligations as a globally recognized leader in the domain of statistics through

  • active participation in the development of internationally comparable statistical methods, standards and techniques
  • support for strong governance and accountability
  • assistance in building statistical capacity internationally through targeted and sustainable technical assistance

What does that mean?

Our commitment to quality, unbiased data and leading-edge methodologies is well-known.  Robust national statistics are necessary to support strong, accountable governance and evidence-based decision making. Statistics Canada's promotion of sound statistical standards and international data comparability is enhanced by our renowned expertise and our reputation for quality. We are committed to the development of common concepts and classifications and modern, consistent methodologies.

Collaborating effectively in the international community enables Statistics Canada to lead by example and builds upon our strong reputation; this kind of engagement promotes the development and use of strong statistics. Thoughtful and effective international partnership also expands Canada's influence in the areas of trade, global governance and the promotion of equality.

Adherence to international standards and frameworks enables a consistent and coherent picture of the Canadian economy, society and environment. At the national level, it supports evidence-based policy and allows Canadian decision makers to draw valid and necessary comparisons between Canada's performance and that of other countries, clarifying strengths and weaknesses. It also ensures sound statistics for use in international negotiations and commitments in areas important to Canadians and other users, such as trade, investment and other key aspects of the economy, as well as migration, human rights, gender equality and the environment.

At the local level, strong, internationally comparable statistics allow Canadians to make informed decisions affecting their own lives and futures. For example, reliable statistics can help the Saskatchewan farmer to decide whether next year's crop should be wheat or canola; they can also help investors, businesses and consumers to decide what, where and how to invest in market and buy goods and services.

Knowledge and experience gained through various international activities supports the development of a modern, engaged, self-reliant and innovative work force. International knowledge-sharing offers unique opportunities for employees to explore other countries' tools and methods, and fosters innovation at Statistics Canada.

Our strategic aims

Over the next three years, Statistics Canada will show leadership in implementing a focused, collaborative and progressive international strategy in order to maximize our impact internationally and further develop our national statistical system.

The strategy is built on five objectives:

  • leveraging international efforts effectively to fulfill Statistics Canada's mandate
  • allocating and using resources efficiently to support international activities
  • bringing leadership and expertise to the international table
  • engaging in targeted sustainable technical assistance, and
  • leading and encouraging global statistical comparability and innovation.

The strategy will be implemented through a plan with measureable strategic outcomes that link directly to our international mandate. It will align with relevant corporate and Government of Canada policies and priorities, while maintaining the independence and flexibility required to adapt to a rapidly changing world.