Seminar on Innovative Approaches to Turn Statistics into Knowledge, 15-16 July 2009, Washington DC





Helping you Make Informed Decisions



 Participants list


 Programme and presentations

Summary report




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The seminar was hosted by the US Census Bureau and arranged jointly by the Census Bureau, the OECD and the World Bank.  It was held on 15-16 July in the headquarters of the US Census Bureau located in Suitland, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC (metro station "Suitland" on green line).



It was a two-day seminar in plenum, with no parallel sessions. There were around 20 presentations and discussants were allocated to the sessions. A few panels were organised. The conference was video recorded, allowing other interested parties to watch it on the seminar website (coming soon).



The seminar was to contribute to the development of tools to help people transform statistics into knowledge and decisions. A first condition for statistics to be used this way is that relevant statistics become known, available, and understood by wider audiences. The seminar was held in the context of the Global Project on “Measuring the Progress of Societies”. It contributed to one of the goals quoted in the Istanbul Declaration: "produce a broader, shared, public understanding of changing conditions, while highlighting areas of significant change or inadequate knowledge".



The seminar was seen as a continuation of the previous seminars organized in Rome and Stockholm and of the first International Exhibition on “Innovative Tools to Transform Information into Knowledge”, organised during the second OECD World Forum on “Statistics, Knowledge and Policy” (Istanbul, 27-30 June 2007).

We looked at tools and applications for making statistics more popular, while avoiding the pitfalls of populism, over-simplification or propaganda. We based all these initiatives on scientific standards, observing the basic principles of objectivity and good communication.


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