Building a Better Linkage between Statistics and Policy
Choi Yeonok
Director-General, Statistical Research Institute of Statistics Korea (KOSTAT), Daejeon, Republic of Korea

In recent years, demand for statistics for the purpose of monitoring government policies has grown rapidly in Korea, as the economy develops, industrial structure evolves, information society advances, and democracy matures. To respond to the demand effectively, the Korean national statistical system is at a crucial juncture to transform from a producer-oriented to a user-oriented system. This change dictates that the paradigms for statistics shift from independence, objectivity, and representativeness, toward relevance, responsiveness, and fitness to purpose. Due to this trend, the role of statistics to assist policy decision making must be strengthened so that the decisions made by the policy makers in the government become ever more effective.

This paper presents the programs that Statistics Korea(KOSTAT) is currently implementing to build a better linkage between statistics and policy. Firstly, in 2008, KOSTAT initiated Statistics-based Policy Management System. According to this system, when each central government agency makes or adjusts policies by enacting or revising a law, KOSTAT has to inspect whether statistics fit to the policies are in place and whether the government's plans of developing or improving the relevant statistics are appropriate. On the basis of the results of the inspection, the government agencies are asked to produce or utilize the related statistics in their policy making process. Secondly, this year KOSTAT in cooperation with government funding research institutes and corresponding government agencies launched a program examining the current status of existing national statistics by policy sectors. The objective of this program is to discover whether all policies are statistically well equipped and to identify additionally essential statistics in each policy area. Through these programs, KOSTAT aims to foster evidence-based policy making by government agencies.

Keywords: Official statistics, Role of statistics in policy making, Statistics-based policy management system, Statistical diagnosis of national policies

Biography: Mr. Yeonok Choi is Director General of the Statistical Research Institute of the Statistics Korea. Director General Choi is in charge of theoretical and methodological researches and studies to improve the quality of official statistics and to develop new statistics. Prior to his current position, Mr. Choi served as Director of the Statistical Policy Division of the Statistics Korea, where he handled wide range of issues concerned with the enhancement of official statistics in Korea, including the formulation of the national strategies for the development of statistics.

Mr. Choi started his public service career at the Ministry of Finance and Economy in 1994. Since joining the Statistics Korea in 1997, he accumulated expertise in the fields of economic statistics and social statistics, mainly employment statistics, and contributed to the enhancement of statistics. He also worked in the Australian Bureau of Statistics as a seconded officer from Korea in 2007-2009.

Mr. Choi received a BA in Economics from Seoul National University and earned an MA in economics at University of Washington.