The ILO has an active role in the promotion of national production of labour statistics as essential tools for the preparation, implementation and assessment of economic and social policies and programmes. To achieve this, good statistical standards are required but it is also necessary for member States to know how best to apply these standards. The Department of Statistics has developed technical manuals that supplement and elaborate the various standards. Many articles, papers and other publications have also been produced on specific topics.
In addition, the Department of Statistics provides technical advice on the application of the standards and related matters at the request of member States at all levels of statistical development. Starting in the late 1930s and early 1940s with a few missions by staff of the Department to some countries in Latin America, the provision of technical advice on aspects of national labour statistics programmes expanded in the 1950s and 1960s through the increased involvement of the United Nations in development activities and the expanding membership of the ILO. Initially, the modalities for delivering such advice were through long-term advisers employed in technical cooperation projects funded by agencies such as UNDP or the World Bank. These projects were directed at building national capacity and lasted for several years. With the increasing availability of national expertise and reduced resources for technical assistance, the pattern has changed to short-term assistance using external consultants, ILO statistics specialists in its field structure or staff of the Department. Currently, much technical advice is given through email and correspondence and less by visits of ILO staff to countries or from officials in countries to the ILO.
The technical activities of the Department of Statistics are of enormous benefit to the Department itself in that they update and expand its technical capacity for standard setting. They give the Department’s staff exposure to the practical realities and limitations in the application of standards in different countries, as well as to the eeds for developing new standards or revising existing ones. These activities also provide staff members the opportunity to interact with officials from national statistical systems, and this has a beneficial effect on the Department’s data collection activities.
Requests for technical assistance can be sent by mail, fax or email to:
Department of Statistics
International Labour Office
4 rte. Des Morillons
1211 Geneva 22
Fax: +41 (22) 799 69 57
with a copy to the ILO regional office covering your country.