The Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC), in collaboration with Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Economic Cooperation Organization Secretariat (ECO) jointly organized CountrySTAT Regional Basic Administrator Training for ECO Member Countries on 21-25 October 2013. The event was held at SESRIC headquarters in Ankara, Turkey.
CountrySTAT is a web-based information system implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with the objective to improve access to food and agricultural statistics at national and regional levels. Access to timely and reliable data plays an important role in supporting evidence-based decision making and monitoring with the ultimate goal of eradicating poverty and hunger.
Under the project TCP/INT/3401 "Support for the implementation and development of the CountrySTAT Framework in the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) countries", the training brought together representatives from the FAO Headquarters, ECO Secretariat, national statistical offices and ministries of agriculture from 9 countries, namely Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey and United Arab Emirates. At the opening ceremony, Mr. Hüseyin Hakan Eryetli, Acting Director of Statistics and Information Department, welcomed all the participants and briefly informed them about the activities of SESRIC in the area of statistics. He also underlined the willingness and readiness of SESRIC to further strengthen the cooperation with national and international organizations.
The training is a first step toward ensuring that the ECO member countries have an integrated and efficient system for the collection and dissemination of statistical information to support ECO in monitoring the implementation of regional policies, evaluating the progress made in Member Countries on developing the agricultural sector and improving food security, and the dissemination of information to stakeholders for evidence-based decision making.
The objective of the training is to provide participants with skills on how to use the new CountrySTAT system for the upload and dissemination of official food and agriculture data. The participants were introduced to the concepts, methods and classifications developed by FAO, with the aim to improve data quality and harmonize it with the international standards. This will facilitate the collaboration, sharing of experiences and exchange of data at national and regional levels. Amongst others, participants learned about the system components, software, international standards, Capacity Development, e-learning, Agricultural Censuses, Food Balance Sheets and the Statistical Yearbook. The training also provided an opportunity for the participants ECO to work together under the direction of the FAO Headquarters based CountrySTAT team.
At the closing ceremony, certificates were handed out to the participants who had successfully completed the training, including Mrs. Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk and Mr. Atilla Karaman, Senior Researchers at SESRIC.
To learn more about CountrySTAT and access country data, please visit: http://www.countrystat.org.