The accurate, timely, reliable and consistent statistical data is of an utmost importance for policy making and strategy development in any country. As the main socio-economic information bank on and for the OIC Member Countries, the Centre gives special attention to enhance the national statistical systems (NSS) of member countries.
The Statistics and Information Department of the Centre is mainly responsible for collecting, processing and disseminating socio-economic statistics and information on and for the utilisation of the OIC Member Countries. BASEIND Database serves as the primary statistical source for the Centre’s research activities and statistical publications. It is available online in three official languages of the OIC to benefit all those interested in the OIC community and elsewhere. The coverage and content of the database is regularly updated and enriched essentially on the basis of information collected from the national and international statistical sources. Currently, the time series data over 260 socio-economic indicators under 18 categories for the 57 OIC Member Countries, dating back to 1970, are being collected either from national or international statistical sources and disseminated through BASEIND.
The rate of dissemination of these data, particularly in the electronic format, has also been greatly increased due to the successive improvements made on the technical capacities and design features of the Centre’s web site. The data collection process from national sources is undertaken using, inter alia, an online data submission interface through which it is possible for the National Statistical Offices (NSOs) to submit new data and update the missing ones.
An interactive and dynamic motion chart module, called SESRIC Motion Charts (SMC) isintegrated with BASEIND Database. The SMC Module allows the users to dynamically explore the trends of several indicators over time, based on statistical data hosted in the BASEIND Database. One other product whichalso depends on the BASEIND Database is the Thematic Maps on OIC Member Countries.The thematic maps display the comparative situation of the OIC Member Countries for the given theme with varying colours. Additionally, the striking facts about OIC member countries have been reflected through the module Did You Know? since 2010. The SESRIC DYK aims to highlight the current situation of OIC member countries on a specific socio-economic variable in a one-page snapshot format.
The Centre devotes a large portion of its resources to providing the necessary statistical data and background information that would make the Member Countries better informed of each other’s potentials and needs and, thus, facilitates their elaboration of cooperation projects and integration schemes. In this connection, the Statistics and Information Department regularly sends questionnaires to the NSOs of the OIC Member Countries to identify the capacities and needs of the respective NSOs on various statistical areas. Based on the responses of the member countries to these questionnaires, many short-term statistical training courses and workshops have been organized under the framework of Statistical Capacity Building Programme (StatCaB) since 2007. The Centre also plans to extend the scope of its StatCaB Programme by including consultancy and study visit components.
Assuming the role of the Secretariat of the OIC Statistical Commission (OIC-StatCom), the Centre continues to organize the annual sessions of this Commission in collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). Within the OIC framework, the OIC-StatCom is a very important forum to increase statistical cooperation and collaboration among the NSOs of the member countries. The Statistics and Information Department is also responsible from facilitating the coordination among the working groups and technical committees of experts of OIC-StatCom established in order to improve the national statistical systems for the development of better national strategies and policies.
The department also publishes major publications periodically such as Statistical Yearbook of OIC Member Countries, Basic Facts and Figures on OIC Member Countries and SWOT Outlook on OIC Member Countries. The Statistical Yearbook of the OIC Member Countries is being published since 1980 and presents time series data and trends of some of the important indicators for all of the Member Countries for the last decade on categories like demography, labour force, health, education, agriculture, energy, transportation, communication, tourism, exports, imports, public finance, money and prices, national accounts and international finance. On the other hand, Basic Facts and Figures on OIC Member Countries includes data only for a basic set of socio-economic indicators for all of the 57 Member Countries for the most recent year available. Following the analytical approach of SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) method, the profile of OIC Member Countries, as a group, in different fields and sectors are compared with the groups of developed and other developing countries as well as the world average. In this regard, the SWOT Outlook unleashes the significant potentials, dire needs and future challenges of member countries in order to prioritize effective cooperation areas and facilitate sound integration schemes. It also serves as a critical roadmap for better strategic planning and policy making at the OIC level for achieving higher levels of welfare and socio-economic development.
In addition to these, the Department is responsible for updating the information captured in Directory of NSOs, Roster of Statistics Experts, Roster of Environmental Experts and Roster of eGovernment Experts.