ABS and Statistics Indonesia sign milestone agreement

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6 July 2018

The Australian Bureau of Statistics and Statistics Indonesia sign milestone agreement

Statistics Indonesia and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Wednesday in Jakarta signed a milestone five-year agreement on closer co-operation between the two national statistical agencies in recognition of the importance of the regional partnership between Indonesia and Australia.

"Australia and Indonesia can learn a lot from each other in so many areas," Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Gary Quinlan said. "That’s why we work closely to strengthen the connections between our institutions, businesses and people. And that’s why we concluded the MoU between the Badan Pusat Statistik and the Australian Bureau of Statistics."

Badan Pusat Statistik (BPS) Chief Statistician, Kecuk Suhariyanto, said the new MoU would focus not only on economic statistics, as in the previous cooperation, but also social statistics, human resources as a part of the bureaucracy reform process at BPS, and the preparation of the 2020 Population Census, as well as IT transformation.

In this cooperation, BPS’s position would change, not only as the recipient of technical assistance from ABS, but to be able to cooperate equally. There were things that the ABS could learn from BPS, such as on how to carry out enumeration in the archipelago because geographical conditions were one of the main challenges for BPS to provide quality data for all.

"I also strongly believe that there are things that can be learnt together between BPS and ABS, such as how to perform institutional transformation, big data, open data, and Sustainable Development Goals, which are increasingly becoming the focus of statistical development in many countries," Dr Suhariyanto said.

Furthermore, he explained that the cooperation would not keep for itself all the achievements that BPS had gained from its fruitful cooperation with ABS.

Dr Suhariyanto said, "BPS has and will always share knowledge, experiences and lessons learned with other countries, especially the developing ones, as a part of our Government’s commitment to engage in and support South-South Cooperation. BPS receives study visits from other countries, such as Nepal, Bangladesh, Albania, and many others."

The Australian Statistician, David W. Kalisch, said the agreement between ABS and BPS marked a new chapter in the 20-year-old relationship, with the two organisations working together on modernisation and statistical transformation, including through the use of big data and data integration.

The new agreement would also focus on collaboration on social statistics in the lead-up to Indonesia's 2020 census, macro-economic statistics, international standards for measuring the environment and supporting the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, he said.

"The new agreement shows the importance of the ABS focusing on the region in recognition of its growth in economic, political and strategic importance," said Mr Kalisch.

"It is important that the ABS engage with its neighbours to assist in building their statistical and technical expertise and the need for innovation, modernisation and collaboration with the international statistical community."

Mr Kalisch said the ABS and BPS would both benefit from facing similar challenges of operating in a global, fast-moving information age where opportunities, expectations and technology were all moving at a considerably faster pace than in the past.