UNESCO Institute for Statistics

The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) in Canada is UNESCO’s official statistical agency. It produces global and internationally comparable statistics on education, science, technology, culture and communication. In science and technology (S&T), these cover national data on human resources and expenditure on research and development (GERD).

The UIS is the official UN statistical agency for the international collection of data in S&T and is the lead UN agency for elaborating statistical standards for developing countries, particularly in science, technology and innovation.

The UIS currently gathers research and development (R&D) statistics for Africa and other non-OECD countries. It also organizes training sessions and advises in statistics gathering in these countries. The two most recent global surveys of S&T statistics were conducted in 2004 and 2006.

In partnership with other UN agencies, the OECD and the World Bank, the UIS can assist the African Union in its plans to develop an Africa-wide set of indicators. Through its workshops and training programmes, UIS has established direct contact with African S&T statisticians. There has been extensive discussion about the practical application of international statistical standards and problems of data collection and advocacy, especially in countries with the lowest statistical capacity.

The preparation of reliable national statistics is a task that is inseparable from the process of S&T policy formulation, and one which requires close collaboration between policy-makers and statisticians.

Collaboration with the Division for Science Policy and Capacity Building

The UIS has close ties to UNESCO’s Division for Science Policy and Capacity  Building. Examples of past collaboration include the reports on Science, Gender and Technology (2007) and the UNESCO Science Report: Towards 2030 (2015), the latest in a series which appears every five years.

The UIS also collaborates with the Division of Science Policy and Capacity-Building on workshops in S&T statistics gathering and analysis. Between 2008 and 2011, for instance, UNESCO ran a series of sub-regional workshops in Africa to build capacity in STI policy reviews.

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