Sunday, February 13, 2011

In a Effort to Boost Joint Cooperation Abu Dhabi Statistics Signs an MoU with the Australian Bureau of Statistics

Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The MoU, which will be effective for two years, is intended to manage and enhance all forms of mutual support and cooperation between the parties in the field of official statistics.

The MoU was signed at the headquarters of SCAD in Abu Dhabi by HE Butti Ahmed Mohammed Bin Butti Al Qubaisi, Director-General of SCAD and HE Brian Pink, Australian Statistician on behalf of the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The MoU aims to promote, support and manage cooperation between SCAD and the ABS in such areas as the development of human resources, technical support, sharing of knowledge and data, etc.

The parties emphasized the need to promote the development of human resources and joint training activities. In this regard, SCAD and the ABS agreed on the exchange staff on a temporary basis. The conditions under which these exchanges will take place shall be agreed between the parties as well as the employees concerned. The aim of this form of collaboration is to increase the technical knowledge and professional experience of SCAD and ABS staff.

In the area of joint training activities, SCAD and the ABS agreed to inform each other about their respective opportunities for participation in the workshops and training courses they might organize and to look into the possibility of organizing joint training activities.

SCAD and the ABS also agreed to promote mutual technical support through audit works and study visits. In this regard, each side will audit as requested the work done by the other party in the field of official statistics. This audit works may include, but are not limited to a review of the methods and procedures followed in the production of official statistics. Furthermore, the parties agreed to facilitate the exchange of visits and the sharing of relevant information and experience.

Both sides also stressed the need to support the exchange of statistical knowledge, experiences, ideas and best practices in all areas of activity in order to strengthen and improve the performance of ABS and SCAD and optimize the use of new technologies in the field of official statistics, with due care being taken by both sides to protect the confidentiality of shared data.

Al Qubaisi and Brian Pink reiterated the desire of both sides to foster closer cooperation between the two institutions and to forge a fruitful strategic partnership through the development of an overall framework for collaboration in different statistical areas to benefit from shared experiences and research and to improve the quality of statistical work.

HE Al Qubaisi commended the agreement, adding that it would be extremely beneficial to SCAD’s official statistics, given the fact that the Australian Bureau of Statistics is the body responsible for the preparation of official statistics and all related activities in Australia, pointing to the significant timing of the memorandum, as SCAD gears up to embark on a wide range of statistical projects as part of the centre’s first strategic plan (2010 - 2014), which aims to develop an advanced statistical system for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi that meets the highest standards of excellence worldwide in terms of accuracy, reliability and timeliness of statistics and their relevance to the needs of users at various levels.

For his part Mr. Brian Pink, Australian Statistician and Head of the ABS, expressed his delight at the signing of the MoU with Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi, pointing out that the memo represents a continuance of existing cooperation with SCAD, the official body responsible for the collection of statistical data pertaining to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the formulation of statistical plans that serve the emirate’s development programs, in addition to conducting social, demographic, economic, environmental and cultural surveys across the emirate.

A high-level delegation from SCAD headed by HE Al Qubaisi had visited Australia last October in the context of the strategic policy of Abu Dhabi Government for adopting the best international practices to learn from exemplary international experiences in upgrading the standard of work in the local departments and putting it on a par with developed nations.

The delegation discussed ways of enhancing joint cooperation for the development of statistics and all areas of statistical research in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The talks also touched on a number of issues related to the latest statistical systems and practices in the conduct of field surveys and censuses, statistical reporting and questionnaire design, to ensure the accuracy of the data collected, since it represents the basis for the statistical analyses that guide decision making.

During the visit, the delegation was briefed on the ABS work systems and the technology it applies in conducting field work, the bureau’s experience in the application of the latest communication technology to statistical surveys and the various monitoring and evaluation processes. The discussion also dealt with Bureau’s style in coordinating with the institutions concerned, methods of measuring the quality of statistical products, questionnaires, publication calendar and programmes for enhancement of statistical awareness among data providers and users.

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