The First Conference of Al-Khawarezmi Committee on Statistics, the first of a regular biennial event, was held on 6 -8 December 2010 in Doha, Qatar. Dr. Savaş Alpay, Director General of SESRIC, and Mr. Huseyin Hakan Eryetli, Director of IT and Publications, represented the Centre thereat.
The main aim of the Al-Khawarezmi Committee, chaired by H.E. Hamad bin Jaber B. J. Al Thani, President of the Qatar Statistics Authority, is to act as a catalyst to help Arab statisticians becoming active partners in knowledge creation and improve the practice of statistics in the Arab region. The Committee was named after the great scholar and mathematician Al-Khawarezmi (790–850), a cadre (the House of Wisdom) of Caliphate Baghdad, who invented Algorithms in mathematics. Hence, the committee was established by the International Statistics Institute (ISI) to honour the contributions made by this scholar in terms of human knowledge. The significance of this committee stems from its mission, which is to stimulate Cooperation between ISI and the statistical communities of the Arab region. Al-Khawarezmi committee on statistics strives to achieve excellence in the practice of statistics, statistical education and research both in the region and in the Islamic Ummah.
The purpose of the Conference which was held under the slogan: "Statistics for Evidence-based Policy and Decision Making" is to bring together Arab statisticians to present their current work, discuss areas of common interest, collaborate in joint activities, mentor future statisticians and recognize the excellence of work by statisticians. Since it is an important means of keeping up to date with new advances in statistics, the Conference invited a number of world class statisticians to participate in areas of interest to the Arab countries.
The focus of the first Conference was on statistical methodology and the use of statistics in measuring human development, environmental quality and sustainable economic development. Having properly measured the essential indicators, evidence-based decision making can be achieved through the provision of essential information by statistical agencies.
The scope of the Conference covered key areas of statistics with emphasis on topics of interest to the Arab countries. The topics discussed in the meeting were:
- Challenges of Poverty measurement in the Arab countries
- Strategy of the Implementation of national SNA 2008
- Challenges facing national strategy for the development of statistics in the Arab countries
- Environmental statistics - Sources, methods and data quality
- Using IT in data capturing, processing, and dissemination
- Population, housing, and establishments censuses (Data collection, publishing, analysis and application of results)
- Health surveillance and measurement, Innovative methods and techniques in health analysis
- Application of GIS in statistics
- Towards a national framework for statistics of culture and education
- Gender Statistics: A tool for mainstreaming gender issues in national development
In the Opening Session, Dr. Alpay delivered a keynote speech titled “Enhancing Statistical Capacity Building Programmes in the OIC Member Countries “. by drawing special attention to the importance of developing concrete and coherent National Strategies for the Development of Statistics (NSDS). He believes that 2 important initiatives should be taken into consideration:
- An alternative statistical capacity index specific to Member Countries of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) should be produced (currently the only statistical capacity index is produced by the World Bank).
- The NSOs which have a NSDS and which are under the category ‘doing quite well’ can coach the NSOs which either do not have a NSDS or have a NSDS but under the category ‘there are things to be done’.
He also informed the delegates concerning the ongoing statistical activities of SESRIC including the StatCab Programme, OIC - Statistical Working Group (OIC-SWG) and OIC-SWG Newsletter.
During the session on the theme “Using IT in Data Capturing, Processing, Dissemination and Application of GIS in Statistics”, chaired by Mr. Eryetli, 2 country cases (Qatar and Egypt) were presented. The participants were also informed about the World Bank’s “Virtual Statistical System” and the recent enhancements made in DevInfo.
Agenda (English - Arabic)
Doha Declartion on Statistics in the Arab Region (English) (Arabic)
"Enhancing South-South Cooperation in Statistical Capacity Building" by Dr. Savas Alpay, Director General of SESRIC
Official Web Site of the Conference