Statistical Process Assessment and Re-Engineering – A Framework for Meeting Challenges of Statistical Production
Swaraj Kumar Nath
Free Lance, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

The Twentieth century saw Statistical revolution and created a momentum for the twenty-first century. Statistical system is the centre stage of planned developmental process of a society and therefore, it has to be a dynamic system to meet the societal needs of data/indicators for policy analysis and policy advocacy and meeting the international commitments. In other words, the Statistical system should be the Mirror of the Society in particular and Mirror of the World in general.

The fundamental question arises whether the statistical offices particularly, in the developing nations are capable enough to keep in pace with increasing demands of the societal needs keeping within the framework of global developments in Statistics and assist the national government and citizen of a country in proper measurement of governance of various socio-economic core programmes like Poverty reduction strategy, maintaining quality of life, gender mainstreaming etc. or produce statistics as per national/international standards. PARIS21 is a bold step in meeting the challenges through partnership and talked about development of statistical system through accomplishment of assessment of the current status and incorporating a comprehensive appraisal of statistical outputs measured against agreed criteria. But in the absence of any systematic assessment of each operational process leading to the final output of statistical activities, many developing nations fail to continue their Statistical core programmes on sustained basis.

Statistical activities pass through a series of operations or processes - each could well be compared with Industrial process control system and these processes are connected by connectors'. These connectors also play very important role in the system like INTRANET, or INTERNET or even manual system taking the output from one process to the next process as inputs. Unlike Time and Motion study, the paper suggests multiple parameters/criteria- both qualitative and quantitative in nature, for assessment of end products(s) of each process so that the final product confirms to desired targets - based on national/international standards.

SPARe - Statistical Process Assessment and Re-engineering1 is a framework for systematic assessment of various core programmes of Statistical offices and indentifies areas needing re-engineering. This may work as an important tool for Statistical Audit too.


1. Nath, S.K., On Development of Statistical Process Assessment and Re-engineering (SPARe) for strengthening National Statistical system, paper presented at Regional workshop on Strengthening National Statistical Offices, held at Bagamoya, Tanzania organized by East Afritac (IMF), February 15-17, 2006.

2. Nath, S.K., Statistical Process Assessment and Re-engineering (SPARe) for building sustainable statistical capability, paper presented at the 15th Conference of Commonwealth Statisticians held at New Delhi, India, February 7-10, 2011.

Keywords: Process Assessment; Re-engineering; Capacity development; Integration

Biography: Swaraj Kumar Nath is a former Director-General of Central Statistical Organisation, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, INDIA. He is MSc. in Statistics and did his PhD in Business Management. He served the National Statistical system of India for 37 years and retired in Sept 2008 on superannuation. After his retirement he has been working as short term consultant for World Bank, UN, InWent (now GIZ), Germany and worked for Ghana, Namibia, FAO, UNIDO, WTO, UNSIAP and GC21 of GIZ. Expert in Capacity Development in Statistics, Gender Staistics, Classification, Trade & Industrial Statistics, Surveys & Census and Micro-data managment. Worked as member of many expert groups of UNSD, PARIS21 steering bogy, Governing Council of UNSIAP, Japan etc. Provided constructive support for projects like VSS - Virtual Statistical System.