Current Stance of Statistical Capacity in the OIC Member Countries Date : 22 February 2012 As stated by Nalimov, the term “statistics” belongs to a class of case in which its terminological meaning shifts in course of time because the referent human activity denoted by a term undergoes a significant transformation . Referring to its etymological background given in the Encyclopaedia of Statistics, we encounter that statistics has its roots in the idea of “the state of things”. The word itself comes from the ancient Latin term statisticum collegium, meaning “a lecture on the state of affairs”. Eventually, this evolved into the Italian word statista, meaning “statesman”, and the German word Statistik, meaning “collection of data involving the State”.

What was earlier described as “a branch of political knowledge” has become to be known as the science of data, today. Many contemporary authors like Nalimov describe statistics as “the practice of collecting and analysing quantitative data that described certain material conditions of a state”. According to him, the varying definitions given to the term “statistics” reflect the two histories: the social practice and the advances in the mathematical formalism. However, both the social practice of statistics, which has been demarcated significantly to the extent of the role played by the civil society , and the advances in the mathematical formalism of statistics require a certain level of capacity.

Based on the definition given by the World Bank, statistical capacity is the ability of countries to meet user needs for good quality official statistics which are produced by governments as a public good or perhaps even as “open data commons ” in the near future. To improve national and international statistics, the Marrakech Action Plan for Statistics (also known as MAPS) has been adopted as the global action plan during the Second Roundtable on Measuring for Results, held in Marrakech, Morocco, February 2004 . At the heart of the MAPS lie six short and medium-term actions to make sustainable improvements in national statistical capacity and international statistics. The interdependent nature of these actions are expected to make improvements in national statistical systems that will then lead to improved international statistics, in return for a more effective international system supporting the improvement of national statistics.

Online Electronic VersionCurrent Stance of Statistical Capacity in the OIC Member Countries (English)