Minutes for the Preliminary Meeting of PARIS21 Task Team on Statistical Capacity Building Indicators The preliminary meeting of PARIS21 task team on statistical capacity building indicators was held under the initiative of Ms. Lucie Laliberté of the IMF on July 25, 2001 at the World Bank headquarters in Washington DC. The following members of the task team attended the meeting: Ms. Lucie Laliberté (IMF) Mr. Jan Bove (IMF) Mr. Sarmad Khawaja (IMF) Mr. Misha Belkindas (World Bank) Ms. Makiko Harrison (World Bank/PARIS21) Agenda Review the terms of reference of the task team. Start developing ideas about how to undertake specific tasks identified in the terms of reference. Decide on the next step. Summary and evolving consensus 1. The meeting agreed that the World Bank was to keep track of the proceeding and produce minutes of the meeting. Action: Makiko Harrison to prepare the minutes and ensure their distribution to Task Team members. 2. It was agreed that the overall aim of developing indicators for the statistical capacity building is to provide a tool for use by developing countries, and donors, to assess countries’ statistical capacity and to monitor progress. 3. The strategy proposed by the terms of reference (TOR) prepared by Ms. Laliberté will be further discussed, clarified and agreed upon by the Task Team members. Because of limited resources and time frame1, the strategy was selected to be initially applicable to a limited and focused audience. 4. It consists in the first place in identifying countries receiving technical assistance on which the Task Team would focus. The TOR was corrected with the acronym PRSP; it would need to be further amended to reflect initiatives of other Task Team members under which countries could be identified. From these, an initial selection of countries could be done to provide a balanced geographical representation (most likely one from Africa, one transitional economy, and one Latin American country). Action: Misha Belkindas and Makiko Harrison to clarify and identify the countries as well as the initiatives to which they belong. 5. The next step would be to identify a restricted set of statistics that are indicative of trends and changes in the major sectors of the economy and society of these 1 The task team is going to complete its tasks by October 2002. countries, and that are important for policy purposes. Relevance to the developing countries in question as well as the balance between sectors have to be taken into account in selecting statistics. The purpose is to provide an initial focus on the institutional units in charge of producing such statistics. Action: Jan Bove to suggest statistics using as the initial platform the GDDS, and supplement them to ensure as required. 6. The capacity to produce and disseminate the selected statistics for these countries will be assessed using the IMF’s Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF), which consists of prerequisites of quality and five quality dimensions, viz., (1) integrity, (2) methodological soundness, (3) accuracy and reliability, (4) serviceability, and (5) accessibility. Action: From the results of technical assistance conducted by the IMF, Sarmad Khawaja to conduct preliminary testing of the methodological soundness of the DQAF to describe statistical units. 7. Based on the results of these assessments, for each country and for each selected statistics, indicators will be identified that will be useful both in assessing the weaknesses of statistical systems and in monitoring progress to improve and sustain countries’ capacity to produce and disseminate statistics. The Task Team members will develop a number of tests to assess if the indicators the extent that the indicators can monitor statistical capacity building 8. The task team will operate through email (an E-room is to be set up), but participants will be invited to an initial meeting in either New York or Washington DC in the first week of September 2001. A draft agenda and a list of questions to be discussed at the meeting will be circulated to participants by Mrs. Laliberté for comments in August. Action: Lucie Laliberté to make arrangements for the E-room and to forward the letter.