1504.0 - Methodological News, Dec 2004  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/01/2005   
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Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) staff recently went to Palermo, Sicily to attend an OECD held world forum on Key Indicators: Statistics, Knowledge and Policy.

The Forum was attended by some 500 high level experts from OECD countries and a few non-OECD countries. They represented various social, economic, statistical, media, and political communities, as well as key sectors and disciplines and the media. The participants shared information and compared strategies for measuring and assessing the overall position and progress of a certain political entity (country, region, etc.) vis--vis other similar entities. The forum's purpose was to promote research and information sharing among those who work to promote the use and development of indicator systems.

As the OECD explained "in today’s rapidly changing, increasingly interdependent world, productive debate and decisions require information that is comprehensive, trustworthy and easy to understand. And while many countries are developing and maintaining both specialised and comprehensive indicator systems, there has not been any co-ordinated world-wide effort to study how to develop and use these large-scale systems of public information."

The ABS Measures of Australia's Progress (MAP) project was used as one of four keynote case studies at the forum, and was held up as a successful model that other countries might aspire to. The Australian Statistician, Dennis Trewin, gave a plenary address on the project, while Jon Hall from ABS Methodology Division presented a paper on civil society's role in developing indicator projects (including MAP) in Australia.

For further information, please contact, Jon Hall on (02) 6252 7221

Email: jon.hall@abs.gov.au