Statistical Information System of the Republic of Belarus: Experience and Perspectives
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Making optimal decisions in the context of economic integration with the European Union requires a creation of the harmonized information system within the framework of the Eastern Partnership. Therefore, the official statistics plays a more important role in questions related to improvement of statistical methodology, establishment of information resources, development and implementation of the common standards of statistical data provision and sharing. It is evident that such an information system must be created with consideration for capacities of national statistical systems of the Eastern Partnership member countries. Presently, the cooperation between the National Statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus and the Statistical Office of the European Communities has become fairly stable. The Belstat regularly provides the statistics on the following topics: foreign trade, demographics and annual data reflecting socio-economic development of the country (Eurostat questionnaire for countries with economies in transition). The global assessment of Belarusian statistics, carried out in 2007 by Eurostat, showed that Belarus has a comprehensive, consistent, and well established statistical information system which includes all statistical domains allowing for provision of comparable data in most areas. One of the possible directions for developing the information sharing and creation of the harmonized information system is the use of SDMX international standards (sharing of statistical data and metadata) which are used in the European Statistical System and define a general information model, technical specifications and formats of structured aggregated statistical data and metadata. Today, within the framework of the State Programme of Creation of the Integrated Information System of State Statistics of the Republic of Belarus, organizational and technical solutions designed to maintain a common metadatabase and a summary information database are under development, with XML format used for data presentation.Based on Eurostat’s experience of development and implementation of standards, the creation of the harmonized information system within the European Partnership must include stages for analysis of national information systems, employed approaches to metadata structure description, definition of techniques for data conversion in order to meet requirements of technical part of the standard, development of appropriate software for conversion. It is evident that the creation of the harmonized information system within the framework of the Eastern Partnership, first of all, requires a detailed coordination between statistical offices of the programme’s member countries.
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