UIS strategy to support the development of cultural statistics and the ability of countries to measure the culture sector

In the course of UIS work between 2009 and 2014, it became evident that countries have a wide range of needs in order to improve their statistical capacity - their ability to produce and disseminate cultural statistics. Capacity building can take many forms, including training in cultural statistics; supporting the development of household surveys; developing cultural information systems; and improving the data collection, processing and dissemination process.

The capacity building needs most commonly identified by workshop participants between 2009 and 2014 are listed in Table 7.3. These needs can be grouped into four categories: human and financial resources, education and training, statistical infrastructure, and advocacy and awareness building.

A lack of human and financial resources is clearly a challenge in many developing countries. Often, limited resources are dedicated to data collection and dissemination in general but, when compared with other sectors, culture is often near the bottom in terms of investment. As such, the need for advocacy and awareness of the importance and role of statistics in policy- formulation, planning, monitoring and evaluation is critical, if the situation

Table 7.3 Capacity-building needs of countries

Human and financial resources

Education and training

i) More financial resources to develop dedicated culture surveys

ii) More human resources dedicated to statistical work

i) Improved statistical instruments to collect data in some cultural domains

ii) Use of consistent methodologies across institutions

iii) Clearer and harmonised definitions of culture

iv) Improved availability of technical resources

v) Strengthened capacities of persons in charge of data collection

vi) Development of appropriate methodologies to collect statistics

vii) Improvement of national expertise in cultural statistics

Statistical infrastructure

Advocacy and awareness building

i) A centralised data collection system

ii) Improved coordination between sectors

iii) More logistical resources

iv) Standardisation and centralisation of cultural statistics

v) Consolidation and harmonisation of different data sources

vi) IT equipment for culture data collection and processing

vii) Improved coordination and synergies between different cultural stakeholders

i) Increased awareness of the importance and need for cultural statistics

ii) Improved understanding of the importance of culture in national development strategies

iii) Increased value placed on culture and culture statistics

Source: Compiled from UIS Culture Unit Pre-workshop Questionnaire, 2014.

is to change. It is clear, even from this limited information, that there is a need for capacity building in cultural statistics globally, especially for developing countries. The next sections of the chapter will explore two key components of the work of the UIS and illustrate how they are supporting the development of cultural statistics at the national level.

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