Key Emerging Issues for NSDSs

Key Emerging Issues for NSDSs

The 2030 Agenda and the debate on the data revolution have highlighted the need for modernisation of the statistical systems on many aspects , which should be integrated in the NSDSs newly elaborated or revised. These emerging issues are reflected in different sections of the NSDS Guidelines, as indicated below:


  • NSDSs should include the sustainable production of SDGs indicators, in linkage with the national development process – see the Chapter on the 2030 Agenda.
  • The process of elaboration of the NSDS should include a solid and realistic costing process, based on specific country information. The costing of the NSDS should take into account the production of SDGs indicators – see the Chapter on the Advanced Data Planning Tool.
  • NSDSs should help national statistical systems improve existing data processes, integrating new data sources and establishing new partnerships for statistics - see the Chapter on the Data Revolution.
  • NSDSs should take into account and support regional statistical cooperation– see the Chapter on the Regional Strategies for the Development of Statistics.
  • NSDSs should support the development of subnational statistics that will allow better disaggregation of data – see the Chapter on Subnational Strategies for the Development of Statistics

Dissemination and use

  • NSDSs should help national statistical systems adopt new IT tools for the production and dissemination of data, including through data visualisation, and better use platforms and standards for faster data dissemination - see the Chapter on Data dissemination.
  • NSDSs should allow NSSs to better talk to users- policy makers, universities, media, private sector, citizen, etc.– see the Chapter Assessing.
  • NSDSs should help governments that wish so to open their data while understanding and mitigating the associated risks –see the Chapter on Open Data.

In 2017, the Task Team on New Approaches to Capacity Development elaborated the Capacity Development 4.0 framework that describes the capabilities needed by the national statistical systems in the context of the new data ecosystem. It underlines the individual skills, the organisational processes and schemes, and the systemic relationships and norms that are necessary to succeed in meeting users’ data needs. It offers a perspective beyond the traditional focus on resources and technical skills, highlighting the interactional and motivational aspects of actors’ activities. The framework considers five targets of capacity development: resources (e.g. budget), skills and knowledge (e.g. data literacy), management (e.g. strategic planning), politics and power (e.g. accountability) and incentives (e.g. reputation) at the individual (e.g. employees), organisational (e.g. NSO) and systemic (NSS wide) levels. This version of the guidelines incorporates some aspects, specifically for assessing NSS capacity.

Several emerging issues such as the need to develop specific new skills (e.g. data scientists) as part of the human resource strategies of NSOs, the increase of the adoption rate of innovations within the NSS, or promoting data literacy at the national level and the compliance with the CD4.0 are currently not treated specifically or enough in detail in the Guidelines 2.3, and further work on those will be undertaken for the version 2.4 that will be released in 2018 (the NSDS Guidelines are updated on an annual basis to help countries reflecting in their new or revised NSDS the latest changes in the international agenda and latest innovations in statistics).

(1) See Road_map_for_a_Country_led_Data_Revolution