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New web-based tool makes information about national statistical systems easier to find and share

‘I found your site by accident today while researching statistical needs for health indicators on the Millennium Development Goals. I can't believe that I didn't know about it already.’ said a statistician from New Zealand when she found out about the VSS website while working in a developing country.

The data website of the World Bank makes extensive use of data from the national statistical systems of countries – often called “official” statistics. But what are official statistics? Where do they come from? What does it take to produce them? Why are there data gaps in many of the series?

These questions were the driving force behind creating the new “Virtual Statistical System.” This new website provides reference materials and links about the organization, management, and methods of national statistical systems. A key objective is to provide easy access to these materials so that statisticians in developing countries can improve their national statistical systems, and so that users of those statistics can easily find in-depth knowledge about the data.

As well as documents and link, the system also provides self-paced e-learning materials, covering topics such as the management of statistical systems, labor market statistics and survey design, the System of National Accounts, and business statistics and business registers. Interactive components of the VSS allow users to share information on the site, to start discussion groups, or to comment on the information provided.

What statisticians are saying:

“an electronic library for all lovers of statistics and those who like to know what is expected of our National Statistical Offices”

“a well packaged and comprehensive knowledge base.”

”a very strong tool for statistical knowledge.”

African statistical experts about the VSS.

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