Economic Cooperation Organization

ECO Framework for Cooperation on Statistics

SECTOR: Economic Research and Statistics (ERS)


The objectives of the ECO Framework of Cooperation in Statistics (the Framework) are the following:

  1. to enhance and intensify statistical cooperation among ECO countries Statistical Offices/Administrations;
  2. to harmonize the definition, classification and measurement of statistics in ECO region
  3. to promote the production of comparable statistics and the development of regional statistical indicators;
  4. to support ECO bodies- such as RPC and policy-making (e.g. COM,CPR) through the provision of comparable and timely statistics;
  5. to enhance the technical and management capabilities of ECO countries Statistical Offices/Administrations;
  6. to establish and promote the highest professional standards;
  7. to coordinate and promote ECO Secretariat positions on statistical issues in relevant international fora;
  8. to advocate greater governmental support and commitment to the priority statistical programs, projects and activities of the member ECO countries;
  9. to promote improvements in the official statistics generated by the member countries; and
  10. to promote adherence to the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics adopted by the United Nations Statistical Commission.


That the ECO member countries shall work towards achieving greater cooperation in the area of statistics through joint programmes and activities, which shall include, though not necessarily be limited to, the following:

a) Exchange of Views

Holding regular exchange of views among ECO countries Statistical Offices/Administrations and, as and when necessary, with other international statistical institutions as well as statistical users on issues ranging from national, regional and international concerns.

b) Collaboration on Region-Wide Projects and Activities

Collaborating on region-wide statistical projects and activities with a view to producing statistics with harmonized/common concepts, definitions, and classification.

c) Capacity Building and Human Resource Development

Developing mechanisms and training programmes to focus on all aspects of statistical administration and operations.

d) Other Areas of Cooperation

Exploring other areas of cooperation in the area of statistics that fall within the objectives and principles of this Framework.

In order to achieve the objectives set forth under the Framework, ECO member states shall agree to intensify their cooperation activities according to the following strategic thrusts.

III. ECO Plan of Action on Statistics

1. Support for ECO Initiatives, Planning and Policy-making

To ensure the production and improvement of statistics that are needed for the ECO bodies- regional planning and cooperation activities.

1.1. Assist ECO Secretariat in identifying data/indicators that are needed to support the implementation of the ECO initiatives such as the ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA), ECO Schemes for Trade, Energy and Transportation and Industrial Cooperation, etc. These indicators shall be called the ECO Countries Key Statistical Indicators (ECOKSI).

1.2. Assist in identifying gaps in the provision of (ECOKSI) and develop measures to facilitate the National Statistical Offices/Administrations (NSOs) concerned in the production and provision of missing indicators.

1.3. Establish a mechanism for regular updating of (ECOKSI) by Member Countries;

1.4. Assist in developing and maintaining a selected set of (ECOKSI) on ECO Secretariat Website.

1.5. Assist in the preparation (e.g country wise statistical bulletins, human development indices, millennium development indicators) of statistical indicators/publications of ECO Secretariat that represent the region-s characteristics, current issues, and progresses of cooperation activities;

1.6. Establish and maintain linkages with NSO-s individual websites; and

1.7. Promote the development of NSO-s websites in members where websites are not available.

2. Harmonization of Classification, Concept, Definition, and Measurement

To ensure that international standards of classification, concept, definition, measurement and methodology be adopted or harmonized so that comparable ECOKSI can be produced.

2.1. Review classifications, concepts, definitions, measurements and methodologies of the ECOKSI, currently adopted by member countries against relevant international standards, survey existing international harmonization efforts/programs and develop measures to harmonize them according to the international standards;

2.2. Set up a Working Group on Harmonization of Statistics to coordinate and monitor the harmonization activities, including the above activities.

3. Cooperate on Adoption of International Good Practices

To adopt international good practices those promote transparency and create greater public awareness and appreciation of statistics.

3.1. Conduct self-assessment on good practices and performances based on the UNSD-s questionnaires;

3.2. Cooperate and promote the dissemination of member country-s good practices, including on the UNSD-s website.

4. Capacity Building and Human Resources Development

To facilitate the development of technical expertise and skills of NSOs required in the implementation of the Plan of Action.

4.1. Assess the training needs of each NSO and develop training programs;

4.2. Review existing national, regional and international training facilities that could address the training needs identified above;

4.3. Seek technical and/or financial support from relevant training facilities and/or international agencies/donors in the conduct of the training programs; and

4.4. Promote cooperation of technical expertise within the region.

5. Implementation Mechanism

The implementation mechanism of this plan of action will be as follows:

5.1. A High Level Expert Group (HLEG) on Statistics composed of assigned senior experts of the member countries will be established for implementing this plan of action;

5.2. The HLEG shall coordinate, liaison, monitor, administer and supervise the implementation of the plan of action;

5.3. In order to accomplish its tasks the HLEG may suggest to set up working groups/committees on different issues/topics as it may consider necessary in compliance with ECO rules and regulations;

5.4. The member states shall submit annually national progress reports on the implementation of the plan of action to the HLEG through ECO Secretariat;

5.5. The HLEG, through the ECO Secretariat, will report to the annual meetings of ECO Heads of National Statistical Offices and relevant ECO fora;

5.6. The ECO Secretariat will act as the Secretariat of the HLEG;

5.7. For the proper implementation of the plan of action the HLEG shall have meetings once a year and whenever necessary;

5.8. HLEG will adopt its work programme and rules of procedure, in accordance with ECO rules and procedures.