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UN’s Revolution on Measuring Development

2 February 2012

Dear friends,

Good news. UN has started a great and important step to revise the measurement of development.  They will conduct a high-level forum on “Measuring the Unmeasurable: Challenge the Limits of Official Statistics” on 27 February 2012.

The following is a sample of the news, interviewing Porf. Paul Cheong, the UN’s statistician who leads the revolution in measuring development.

 “In order to remain relevant in a rapidly changing world, the statistical community has to continuously examine and push its own boundaries. Phenomena, which are not easily measurable today, may become important tomorrow, so we have to be prepared. In the past years it has become customary to explore ‘cutting edge’ issues in the format of a ‘high level forum’, which allows brainstorming and free-flowing exchange. In these discussions, we have to balance the desire to explore new ideas which may require new measurement tools and the need to preserve the credibility and reputation of official statistics.

This year’s event will focus on issues such as the measurement of happiness, well-being and ecosystem services and other difficult concepts. These are complicated topics with no clear measurement yardsticks. How to take the complex interaction between the environment and the economy into account and how to capture the level of well being in a country, which may include a high degree of subjectivity, will be discussed among the chief statisticians of the world.”

Related articles:

Your better life index
The Statistical Revolution is Finally Here


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