SAARC-ADB Meeting on SAARC Stat Web Portal

30 June 2015

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) organized a Meeting on the SAARC Statistical Organization (SAARC Stat) Web Portal in Kathmandu, Nepal on 29-30 June 2015. This Meeting facilitated a discussion between officials from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS)—current Coordinator of the SAARC Stat Technical Sub-group on Web Portal with the responsibility of managing the website—SAARC Secretariat, and former consultants of the SAARC Stat Web Portal concerning the timely and effective maintenance and updating of the SAARC Stat Web Portal. This Meeting is in preparation for the forthcoming Seventh Meeting of SAARC Stat to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 23-24 July 2015, which will discuss statistical cooperation among SAARC Member States and management of the SAARC Stat Web Portal.

Presentations from the Meeting included:

  • A discussion of three major issues necessary for management of the SAARC Stat Web Portal by PBS Chief System Analyst Mr. Muhammad Ehtesham. These include i) domain knowledge of statistics of the PBS' IT department, ii) a statistics focal point available for consultations on a regular/ periodic basis, iii) capacity building for country level focal points on general and trade statistics to be able to generate country level data;
  • A discussion of essential requirements for a successful statistical website by Dr. S.K. Nath, former Lead Consultant of the SAARC Stat Web Portal. Dr. S.K. Nath explained how data and indicators on the SAARC Stat Web Portal were compiled, and gave recommendations and guidelines for upcoming statistical updates on the Web Portal;
  • A technical discussion concerning web application, database, and user engagement of the Web Portal delivered by Mr. Anjib Shakya, former National Consultant of the SAARC Stat Web Portal.

The Meeting also acknowledged data contribution of the Trade Division of the United Nations (UN) through the UN COMTRADE database, and recommended future coordination between the SAARC Secretariat and the UN COMTRADE. It also recommended further capacity building workshops—through the SAARC Stat Technical Sub-group on Capacity Building currently coordinated by India—for SAARC Stat country focal points to keep the website up-to-date. The Meeting also requested the PBS to prepare a Manual on managing the Web Portal for seamless transfer of ownership in the future.

The SAARC Stat Web Portal was launched in June 2014 in the Sixth Meeting of the Heads of SAARC Statistical Organization in Kathmandu, Nepal. It aims to provide up-to-date and accurate statistical data and indicators on SAARC Member Countries.

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