Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2007
The monitoring of social, economic and is more, a large number of useful indicators could
environmental development requires the use of data not be included in any form because the data
that is comparable across countries and over time. availability criterion could not be met. In other
This is realized in the 2007 edition of the Statistical words, the indicator selection was often guided by
Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific. For the first time the availability of data rather than the requirements
in its 50-year history, the Yearbook presents data of the development topic addressed.
compiled from global sources maintained by United Small statistical offices do not have resources
Nations agencies and other international to conduct the extensive programme of regular
organizations. The use of “international” rather than surveys that would be needed to obtain all these
“national” data allows for three major innovations, data. In one of its core areas of work, ESCAP
which together have resulted in a completely revised provides training and facilitates, in partnership with
ESCAP flagship publication: the organization of the a number of donors and development agencies, the
Yearbook in chapters that address social, economic strengthening of official national statistical systems.
and environmental topics, the presentation of Another theme of the statistics subprogramme of
indicator values aggregated to regions and other ESCAP, in the production of the Yearbook and
groups of countries of interest, and the use of charts capacity-building initiatives alike, is to make better
and analytical text to facilitate the interpretation of use of and widen the audience for data that have
indicator values and trends therein. already been collected, usually at a considerable cost.
The ESCAP secretariat hopes that the use of The Yearbook includes in a consistent manner
internationally comparable data and methodological the definitions and aggregation methods for all
transparency will trigger discussions on the benefits indicators. The original data sources are reflected
of following international statistical standards and with the precision available to ESCAP. The notes
methodologies at the national level. Data on on statistical methods at the end of the Yearbook
neighbours and other countries with similar provide details on how the aggregates were derived
circumstances and levels of development provide and any imputation was performed in their
irreplaceable benchmarks for evidence-based policy calculation by ESCAP. The notes at the end of each
planning. At the same time, comparable indicators chapter provide, for each indicator, the definition
provide yardsticks for citizens to hold their decision and the aggregation method, including weighting
makers to account, and promote good governance and imputation where applicable, as well as the
and prudent management of public resources. source(s) of data. The importance of this kind of
The new Yearbook would not have been information about data, which statisticians call
possible without the considerable efforts of metadata, cannot be overemphasized in a com-
international agencies in collecting the data and parative inter-country study such as this.
ensuring that the figures are as comparable between This Yearbook is available online at the ESCAP
the countries and over time as possible. Nor would website, http://www.unescap.org/stat/data/, where
it have become a reality if it were not for the efforts its data and other ESCAP data are downloadable in
of national statistical systems to produce the original a user-friendly format. Yearbook readers are
data. By taking data from international agencies, encouraged to use the online form available on the
the ESCAP secretariat does its part to reduce the site to send feedback in order for the secretariat
response burden on national statistical systems, to be able to make the next Yearbook and other
contributing to the freeing of resources for better use. statistical information services even better.
For nearly as important as what is covered in Comments on the overall usefulness of the
this Yearbook is what could not be. A mere glance revamped publication and the areas covered in it are
reveals the extent of data gaps in some tables. What particularly welcome.
Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2007
The Statistical Yearbook was prepared under Emerging Social Issues, Environment and
the guidance of Pietro Gennari and Ilpo Survo by Sustainable Development, Information, Communi-
an ESCAP Statistics Division team coordinated by cation and Space Technology, Trade and Investment,
Eric Hermouet and Jan Smit. The Yearbook was and Transport and Tourism divisions. In particular,
prepared by the following team from the Statistics substantive contributions were provided by Srinivas
Division: Krisana Boonpriroje, Sara Duerto Valero, Tata, Kelly Anne Hayden, David Hastings, Jean-
Haishan Fu, Nongnuch Hiranyapaisansakul, Michel Sadoul, Mia Mikic, Marit Nilses, Marc
Joel Jere, Supharat Kaewkhonkaen, Pornrat Proksch and Richard Alexander Roehrl.
Lertyosthanavath, Wei Liu, Nixie Mabanag, Orestes Plasencia copyedited the draft chapters.
Giovanni Maria Semeraro, Andres Montes, Zeynep The cover was designed by Erawan Printing Ltd.,
Orhun, Panyasri Phuvakirivivat, Fabio Pinna, Part. who also printed the book.
Varaphorn Prapatsakdi, Christian Stoff, Panpaka ESCAP gratefully acknowledges the con-
Supakalin, and Yichun Wang. tribution and efforts of agencies that compile and
The indicators were selected and the analysis make available internationally comparable statistics
developed in close collaboration with ESCAP’s on their websites.