Praia Group on Governance Statistics
Since its establishment in 2015, the Praia City Group on Governance Statistics has been working across countries and regions to help establish international standards and methods for the compilation of statistics on the major dimensions of governance. In 2020, the Praia Group published a Handbook on Governance Statistics which was hailed as an important steppingstone towards achieving international standards in all areas of governance statistics. This Handbook is based on a framework for governance statistics that includes eight dimensions of governance, namely non-discrimination and equality, participation in political and public affairs, openness, access to and quality of justice, responsiveness, absence of corruption, trust, safety and security.
A few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the Praia Group published a Guidance Note on Governance Statistics (also available in French and in Spanish) in the COVID-19 Era, which examines the same eight thematic areas, this time from the perspective of governance information needs most likely to arise during the pandemic or similar crises, while keeping in mind the operational and financial constraints placed on traditional field-based operations. In many ways, this Guidance Note is an “executive summary” of the Handbook for time-pressed and resource-constrained statisticians.
For its second term (2020-25), the UN Statistical Commission requested the Praia Group to “further improve methodologies and standardization and to support national statistical offices around the world in implementing those methodologies.” In response, the Praia Group has established two Task Teams to help advance statistical methodologies on two dimensions where they are still lacking, namely Participation in Political and Public Affairs and Non-Discrimination and Equality.
National Statistical Offices (NSOs) are leading the process: the NSO of Norway co-chairs the Task Team on Participation, and the NSOs of Finland and Peru co-chair the Task Team on Discrimination. Model survey questionnaires were developed by the two Task Teams and are now ready for cognitive testing. In parallel, the Task Teams are also working on Guides to respond to a growing demand from NSOs on how to strengthen the collection and use of administrative data for statistical production on Participation and Discrimination. A detailed account of the work undertaken by these two Task Teams can be found in an article published by the Statistical Journal of the International Association for Official Statistics (IAOS) – Volume 39, Issue 2.
The Praia Group on Governance Statistics (the Praia Group), the first and only city group led by an African country, was created in March 2015 at the forty-sixth session of the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC), out of the international recognition that governance statistics are a critical area of statistics that lack the maturity of other statistics and are underinvested in most parts of the world. The Praia Group was created to “contribute to establishing international standards and methods for the compilation of statistics on the major dimensions of governance”. To this end, the Group developed a Handbook on Governance Statistics for National Statistical Offices, which covers the conceptuzalization, measurement methodology and dissemination of statistics on eight dimensions of governance, namely non-discrimination and equality, participation, openness, access to and quality of justice, responsiveness, absence of corruption, trust, and safety and security. The Handbook on Governance Statistics was endorsed by the UN Statistical Commission in March 2020.
The Praia Group is running its second term, from 2020-2025. The main objectives of the Praia Group are:
- a) To provide a forum for national and international statistical organizations, international agencies, academia, research groups and civil society organizations to share and develop expertise in governance statistics;
- b) To facilitate awareness among the full Praia membership of national, regional and global initiatives in the area of governance statistics;
- c) To disseminate the Praia Group’s activities and products through relevant channels, including the Group’s website;
- d) To disseminate and promote uptake in the use of the Praia handbook on governance statistics,including by supporting capacity-building and training;
- e) To undertake, every two years, a broad-based consultation to review whether it is necessary to update the handbook;
- f) To supplement the Handbook with the development of methodological and practical guidelines for the improved gathering and compilation of governance statistics at all levels, including covering issues of concept definition, data sources and the harmonization of governance indicators and drawing on internationally agreed governance and human rights standards. This work will be undertaken through the establishment of task teams;
- g) To document sound practices and provide inputs for the development of indicadtors supporting the measurement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including its pledges that no one should be left behind and the Agenda should be implemented in a manner consistent with the rights and obligations of States under international law.
The revised terms of reference of the Praia Group can be accessed at: E/CN.3/2020/19
Now that the updated Classification of Statistical Activities (CSA 2.0) explicitly refers to Governance as a standalone domain of official statistics, on par with Economic statistics and Demographic and Social statistics (the CSA 2.0 also recognizes Human Rights as a new cross-cutting sub-domain of statistics), the Praia has gathered views from its members on how the CSA 2.0 can be leveraged by national statistical offices (NSOs) around the world to enhance statistical production in these areas, and how the Praia Group on Governance Statistics can steer a strong, coordinated effort to help consolidate these new statistical domains (see Governance Now A Domain the CSA 2.0: What’s Next for Governance Statistics?).
To contact the Praia Group Secretariat, hosted by the national statistical office of Cabo Verde (INECV), please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.