The United Nation Statistics Department decided to designate 20 October 2010 as the first World Statistics Day aimed at “celebrating the many achievements of official statistics” and strengthening the awareness and trust of the public in statistics.
This will contribute to: give visibility to a well-structured and capable statistical system; develop high quality statistics independently; promote quality among all data producers belonging to the national statistical systems; rectify the loss of confidence which is felt at the global level and support statisticians working in different cultures and contexts.
The decision to hold a World Statistics Day is in line with the objective pursued by the international statistical community of creating a supranational identity and strengthen statistics producers’ autonomy within their respective countries. Similar steps in this direction have already been taken with the “Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics” and “The Code of Practise”, adopted by the United Nations in 1994 and by the European Commission in 2005.
In Italy, the World Statistics Day offers the occasion to remind that Istat is the main, but not the only data producer. Over three thousand bodies participate in the National Statistical System with their statistical offices, including State central administrations (Ministries), autonomous institutions and large national bodies (INPS, INAIL, CNR etc.). It is precisely because of the size of the system and its potential that, where possible, it is important to promote partnerships or shared programs.
Actions planned for the event within ISTAT strategy
In line with its strategy, activities and projects, Istat proposes the following initiatives for the World Statistics Day:
1. Institutional activities
- Message from the President of the Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, which deserves special focus for the underlying authority and its strong resonance
- The Minister for Public Administration, should convey messages on the day of 20 October to central and local Governments. The sponsorship of the Minister should serve to break through in the administrators, who are mostly closed to the enhancement of statistical skills of their staff
- High level conference in Istat headquarters, in cooperation with the Italian Society of Statistics. Outstanding representatives of public institutions and social parties as well as researchers and statisticians will be invited for the success of the event
- In collaboration with CRUI (Conference of Rectors of Italian Universities) celebrations of the World Statistics Day should be held also within Universities
- The World event should be advertised through a banner hyperlinked to on the various Sistan (National Statistical System) websites. A special page should be created on Istat website where all initiatives organised for this occasion are listed and commented. Such activity involves low costs and gives good results in terms of visibility
- A competition entitled “Statistics Is …” will be held on Twitter for the best definition of “Statistics.” The channel, which is characterized by the possibility to publish short messages (maximum 140 characters), ensures multi-channel access (web, phone, portable devices) and thus the possibility to reach different targets. The brevity of the messages facilitates both user participation and management of the competition by Istat. The prize giving ceremony can take place within the National Conference of Statistics (December 2010).
- Testimonials will be recruited who through the net (Youtube) will make statistics widespread not only among specialists
3. Dissemination activities for users
- Covering the main front of Istat building with a curtain/video to witness the day. A feasibility study is being carried out in view of the costs involved in this operation (sponsorships might be considered).
4. Employees’ proposals
- BarCamp on the theme “Sharing statistical data & knowledge”, will be organized by Istat researchers on their blog. It will be focused on how Statistics and Information Technology can contribute to innovate the way of sharing statistical data and information.
For more detailed information, please refer to the Italian version.