ISI - International Statistical Institute
Newsletter Volume 27, No. 1 (79) 2003


In this On-Line Issue

Message from the President

Message from the Director 

News of Members 

In Memoriam 

54th Session 2003 (August 13th - 20th, 2003)

Administrative Meetings Programme – Berlin ISI Session

Results of the Second Round of the 2002 ISI Membership Elections 

ISI Officer Election Results 

Free Data Sets on the Web
PARIS21annual meeting (17-18 0ctober 2002)
Director of the ISI Permanent Office
Examining the Essential Functions of Statistical Organisations 
GUS/ISI Satellite Conference - Szczecin, Poland, 8 – 9 August 2003
Programme of Short Courses on Survey Methodology in Berlin 2003

Calendar of events

Short notes:



News from ISI Sections

Message from the President

 Dear Colleagues,

First, I would like to convey my wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year to you and your families.

Secondly, I want to advise you that our Director, Marcel Van den Broecke, has decided to retire from his position following the ISI Session in Berlin to pursue other interests. I know he is also finding the lengthy time he takes to travel between home and work to be increasingly difficult. 

Marcel has been with us for five years now and has made a major contribution to the effective functioning of the ISI. He has proven to be a first class administrator and managed the effective functioning of ISI activities. Improved performance management arrangements have also been put into place. It has been during this time that the ISI website has really become a centrepiece of our operations. We have also made the initial steps into electronic publishing.The steps required to find a replacement have started. An advertisement for the vacancy appears elsewhere in this Newsletter. We will also be advertising the position in the Netherlands newspapers.

The next ISI Executive Committee meeting will be held at the ISI Permanent Office from 13-14 March. There are a number of important issues we need to discuss. These include implementation of the recommendations of the ISI Ad Hoc Committee on Membership Expansion and Renewal, the development of a strategic plan for the ISI, and the advancement of electronic publishing.

The implementation of the agreed recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on Membership Expansion and Renewal will be one of my main areas of focus over the remaining period of my office. As a reminder, the main recommendations included:

Some of the simplifications of the nomination procedures required changes to the ISI By-laws. 

You were asked for your views on these changes and I am pleased to announce that all the proposed changes received a positive vote. The next step is to put the proposed changes to the ISI General Assembly in Berlin. If the ISI General Assembly agrees to these changes, they will then be implemented. 

You can also help address the ISI membership problem. Why don't you consider nominating new members who satisfy the relevant criteria, particularly women, those from younger age groups and developing countries? Nominations can now be submitted electronically (without any signatures) at (html version),  (Word version) or  (PDF version).

Of course, our next major event is the 54th ISI Session in Berlin. Bulletin No. 1 has been distributed and, as well as a mass of information, contains pre-registration forms. If you haven't already registered and are thinking of coming to Berlin, please do so as soon as possible. If you don't have Bulletin No. 1, you should be able to register via the web site ( ). See the announcement elsewhere in this Newsletter regarding Bulletin #2, due to be circulated in March. 

The organisational arrangements for ISI 2003 are first class. As well as enjoying the incredible attractions of Berlin, we are promised a first class scientific programme, outstanding social events and the opportunity to attend a range of short courses and tutorials. It should be a great occasion.

As many of you will know, ISI 2005 will be held in Sydney, Australia from 5-12 April. I am chairing the National Organising Committee and I can assure you that everything is going according to plan. We are deliberately not promoting the Session until the Berlin Session. That is when our marketing will start in earnest. Some people have commented that because the Session will be in April, it will be held during term time. ISI Sessions have been mostly held in August in recent years but that is the middle of Sydney's winter and not the best time to visit Australia. ISI Sessions have not been held in the Southern Hemisphere very often but, when they are, they have not been held in August. Many Australian academics attend ISI Sessions during term and they do this by organising alternative arrangements for their classes. We recognise the disadvantages of holding the Session in April but believe these are outweighed by the advantages.

A number of satellite meetings are also being organised in conjunction with the Sydney Session. Two that are now firm will be held in neighbouring countries - Noumea, New Caledonia and Wellington, New Zealand.As I mentioned in my last letter, there have been some changes to the arrangements for the Programme Committees. The roles of the ISI Programme Co-ordinating Committee and the ISI Programme Committee have been made quite distinctive. The ISI Programme Co-ordinating Committee is the peak body - it includes all the chairs of the Section Programme Committees. Stephan Morgenthaler is the Chairman of this Committee. The ISI Programme Committee is now to be known as the “ISI Special Topics Committee”. It is responsible for the topics not covered by the Section Committees. Graham Kalton has kindly agreed to chair this Committee. The names and addresses of the various programme chairs are shown below. Please contact the relevant Chair if you have any suggestions on the ISI 2005 scientific programme. A special website has been designed (see  which contains an electronic form upon which you must submit your proposal). 

Finally, I want to comment on our move to electronic publishing. As I mentioned in the last Newsletter, we have contacted representatives of the Euclid project to assess the viability of working with them to make our journals available electronically, preferably on line. The preliminary discussions have been very promising. The Euclid project is in its infancy so we have been deliberately cautious. The option we are looking at initially is for Project Euclid to maintain the on-site versions of the International Statistical Review (for a relatively small fee) whilst the ISI would manage the subscription lists. Euclid would assist us in marketing our journal to a larger readership. 

Since the last Newsletter, we have entered into an arrangement with IASE where we jointly sponsor their electronic journal - SERJ (Statistics Education Research Journal). This is a very exciting development and an important step as ISI ventures into the world of electronic publishing.

That is all for this issue. I hope the Newsletter finds you and your family in good health and spirits.

With my best wishes,
Dennis Trewin
President ISI


Message from the Director 

 Thank you for all the good wishes we received at the ISI Permanent Office for the year 2003. On behalf of the ISI Executive Committee and the ISI Permanent Office we extend the same wishes to you in the hope that you will have a fruitful and successful year. 

The votes have been counted for the ISI elections to determine the composition of the forthcoming Executive Committee and Council. I would like to congratulate Niels Keiding with his election as President-Elect, to take effect during the Berlin Session in August 2003 when Steve Stigler will become the ISI President. I would also like to congratulate Jae Chang Lee, Pilar Martín-Guzmán and Nicholas Fisher for their election to the position of ISI Vice President.

You may recall that the ISI Permanent Office had sent a ballot form to all ISI members upon which they could voice their position regarding the proposal to change the ISI By-laws. I am pleased to announce that all of the four proposed amendments have received sufficient votes in their favour such that a proposal will be tabled at the ISI General Assembly in Berlin to finalise the approval process. These proposals will serve to simplify the procedure for becoming an ISI member, without compromising the standards for elected membership. 

The IASE World Numeracy Programme received a new impetus with the setting up by Carol Blumberg (Winona State University, Minnesota, USA) of the website containing a large number of links with comments concerning statistical literacy and numerous other topics related to the teaching of statistics. The IASE now also has an electronic journal operated jointly by the IASE and the ISI called Statistics Education Research Journal (SERJ) which can be accessed free of charge at 

The ISI abstracting resource Statistical Theory and Method Abstracts is now available both on CD-ROM and on-line. Anyone can have free access to it for a limited one-month period in order to enable viewers to become familiar with its contents and operation. We hope that it will attract many visitors and subscribers. (EXPIRED).

In April 2003 you will be receiving a hard copy of a new up to date list of all ISI members as well as all ISI Section members. I am happy to report that for the first time ever this list also includes IASS members. It has been printed by INSEE France, for which we are very grateful. We are also in the process of compiling a cumulative list of ISI members starting at the founding of the ISI, for distribution at the Berlin ISI Session.

Last but not least, I would like to announce my decision to resign as the Director of the Permanent Office and Secretary/Treasurer of the ISI after the Berlin Session in August of this year. I have been pleased with every day of the 6 years that I performed this work, have learned a lot about statistics and made many friends I enjoyed working with. But I do not enjoy my long hours of commuting to the Permanent Office, and want to devote more time to what has been my hobby over the last 20 years, that is historical cartography, and especially Ortelius (1527-1598), the maker from Antwerp of the first atlas ever. I hope to be able to say goodbye to you in Berlin and I am confident that an able successor will be found to face pressing issues for the ISI such as electronic publications and extension of ISI membership and in particular the need to increase the number female members.

Marcel Van den Broecke


News of Members 

The new Director General of INSEE (the French National Institute of Statistics) is Jean Michel Charpin. He has been appointed as the new Director General of INSEE by the Council of Ministers on January 29, 2003. The former INSEE Director General, Paul Champsaur, has been appointed as the President of the Regulation High Authority for Telecommunications. 

In Memoriam 

Deceased Members

The ISI regrets to announce the death of our colleagues:

  Born  Elected  Deceased

Prof. Marco Martini




Dr. Jean Pierre Fenelon



May 2002

Prof. Chikio Hayashi



6 August 2002

Prof. Sigeiti Moriguti



2 October 2002

Dr.Dr.H.C. Ingeborg Esenwein-Rothe



7 December 2002

Prof. Milton Sobel



31 December 2002


Sigeiti Moriguti (1916-2002)

Professor Sigeiti Moriguti (a spelling he adopted himself) was born in 1916 on Shodoshima, an island in Seto-Naikai (Seto Inland Sea). He passed away in October of 2002.

Professor Moriguti graduated from the Faculty of Engineering at the Tokyo Imperial University in 1938, and immediately became a lecturer, then an Associate Professor of Aeronautical Engineering in the same faculty. In 1945, after Japan’s defeat in the War, the Aeronautical Engineering Department was abolished in the demilitarisation process and he had to change the focus of his research and teaching. His decision to specialise in applied mathematical statistics was lucky for Japan as the devastation caused by the War meant that Japan had to import a great deal of its knowledge of quality control, sample survey, design of experiments, etc., and in the process of reconstructing the economy and the industrial infrastructure, a leader was needed with significant theoretical abilities as well as common sense, qualities which Professor Moriguti displayed in abundance. He wrote some fine theoretical papers and influential textbooks in mathematical statistics.

Later, Prof. Moriguti played a pioneering role in establishing computer science in Japan. He was a member of the Statistics Council of Japan since 1972, and was elected as its President in 1978, where he served until 1986. He was elected the President of International Statistical Institute for the 1985-1987 period, and presided over the 46th Session held in Tokyo in 1987.

As he himself claimed, he was an applied mathematician, and maintained that applied mathematics did not mean the mere application of mathematics, but a comprehensive amalgamation of mathematical theory and practical scientific insight. He considered mathematical statistics to be one area of applied mathematics. He was indeed an applied mathematician of the highest calibre.

Kei Takeuchi


54th Session 2003 (August 13th - 20th, 2003)

Information Bulletin No. 2

The National Organising Committee for the 54th ISI Session in Berlin (August 13-20, 2003) will finalise the contents of Information Bulletin #2, which provides a comprehensive reference to all matters regarding the Berlin Session, including the scientific and social programmes, and helpful local information by March 1, 2003. The official registration forms will also be included in Bulletin #2. This information will also appear on the updated official ISI Session website  by March 1, 2003. On-line registration is particularly recommended.

All those who have send in their pre-registration forms and the organisers, speakers and discussants of invited paper sessions will automatically receive a copy of Bulletin #2. If you have not pre-registered, but would like to receive a copy of Bulletin #2, please send an e-mail to: 

Please don’t forget that the registration fee increases after June 1, 2003. Send in your registration application as soon as possible to qualify for the reduced rate. 



Administrative Meetings Programme – Berlin ISI Session


August 12th


August 13th


August 14th


August 15th


August 16th


07:30 – 09:00



    ISI Environment Committee

    IAOS Executive Committee

    Joint meeting of the ISI General Topics Committee and Programme Coordinating Comm. for the 55th Session, together with representatives of Outgoing Progr. and Progr. Coordinating Comm.s for the 54th Session, as well as both Local Progr. Comm. Chairs

    ISI Member Auditors

    IASS Council

    IASE International Statistical Literacy Committee

    ISI Nominations Committee I

    ISI Programme-Coordinating Committee I

    BS Publications Committee

    Life Sciences Committee

    Khowarizmi Committee

    Travel & Tourism Committee

    Incoming & Outgoing ISI Council


    ISI Outgoing Council (08:30-11:45)

09:00 – 11:15


    ISI Outgoing Council (08:30-11:45)

    Scientific Meetings

    Scientific Meetings

    Jan Tinbergen Winning Paper Presentations

    Scientific Meetings

11:15 – 13:00


    ISI Outgoing Council (08:30-11:45)

    ISI General Topics Committee I

    Jan Tinbergen Awards Jury

    BS East Asian & Pacific Regional Committee

    SCORUS Meeting

    Mahalanobis Committee

    Women in Statistics Committee Meeting

    IASS General Assembly

    ISI Committee on Risk Analysis

    IAOS Progr. Comm.

    BS Progr. Comm.

    IASE Progr. Comm.

    IASC Programme Committee

    IASS Programme Committee

    Irving Fisher Committee on Central Bank Statistics

    IASE Executive Committee

    Open Meeting of National Statistical Societies

    ISI Sports Statistics Committee

    Scientific Meetings


    Open Meeting of the ISI Committee on Professional Ethics

(from 12:00)

13:00 – 15:15

    Outgoing ISI EC


    Scientific Meetings

    Scientific Meetings

    Social Programme

15:15 – 17:30

    Outgoing ISI EC


    Scientific Meetings

    Scientific Meetings

    Social Programme

    Opening Ceremony (16:00-18:00)

17:30 – 19:00

    Outgoing ISI EC dinner





    Welcome Reception (from 18:00)





    Reception of the German Federal Government




August 17th


August 18th


August 19th


August 20th



Date / Time

  Social Programme

  Open meeting hosted by Women in Statistics Committee

  IASE General Assembly

  BS Council meeting

  IASC Council meeting I

  Agricultural Statistics Committee

  ISI Statistics in Business & Industry Committee

  IASC General Assembly

  ISI Committee on Professional Ethics

  IASS Executive Committee

  ICAS 3 Committee



07:30 – 09:00

  Social Programme

  Scientific Meetings

  Scientific Meetings

  Scientific Meetings

09:00 – 11:15

  Social Programme

  IAOS General Assembly

  History of Statistics Committee

  BS Committee for Probability & Statistics in the Physical Sciences

  BS European Regional Committee

  IASC Council meeting II

  BS General Assembly

  ISI Nominations Committee II

  ISI General Topics Committee II

  ISI Publications Committee

  ISI Service Certificates Review Committee


  ISI Programme Coordinating Committee II

  ISI Incoming Executive Committee

11:15 – 13:00

  Social Programme

  President’s IP Meeting

  Scientific Meetings


13:00 – 15:15

  Social Programme

  ISI General Assembly & Jan Tinbergen Award Presentations

  Scientific Meetings


15:15 – 17:30


  Tutorial on Bioinformatics

  Tutorial on Statistical Analysis from complex survey data with applications to social, biological and health sciences



17:30 – 19:00

  Guest Societies Dinner Meeting

  Social events

  Farewell Party





Results of the Second Round of the 2002 ISI Membership Elections 

We offer our congratulations to the 23 persons who were elected in the second round of the 2002 ISI membership elections. Should you wish to contact any one of these individuals, please note that the ISI website contains a component including the names and addresses of all ISI members (see ) and these new members will be added to this list as well as to the forthcoming edition of the ISI Membership Directory, which will also include the names and addresses of all ISI Section members. 

Elected Members:

Akkaya, Aysen (Turkey)

Arnold, Bernhard F. (Germany)

Beltrán Pascual. Mauricio (Spain)

Chadjipadelis, T. (Greece)

Gattuso, Linda (Canada)

Harraway, John A. (New Zealand)

Haslett, John (UK)

Huschens, Stefan (Germany)

Kneip, Alois R. (Germany)

Lenz, Hans-J. (Germany)

Lin, Chuan (China)

Lipson, Kay L. (Australia)

MacGillivray, Helen L. (Australia)

Ospina, David (Colombia)

Paranjpe, Sharayu (India)

Reading, Christine E. (Australia)

Riecan, Juraj (Slovakia)

Salvan, Allessandra (Italy)

Saville, David J. (New Zealand)

Schenker, Nathaniel (USA)

Schmid, Wolfgang (Germany)

Shen, Shir-Ming (Hong Kong SAR, China)

van Krimpen, Ada (The Netherlands)

We are grateful to the members of the Elections Committee for their work: Peter Hall (Australia/Chair), Tomas Africa (Philippines), Beverley Carlson (USA), Nanjamma Chinnappa (India), Luigi Fabbris (Italy), Farhad Mehran (Iran), Photis Nanopoulos (Greece), Sung Hyun Park (Korea) and June Juritz (South Africa).


ISI Officer Election Results 

A tabulation of the 822 ballots regarding ISI Officers resulted in the election of the following persons:

President-Elect (2003-2005)

Niels Keiding (Denmark)


Vice Presidents

Nicholas I. Fisher (Australia)

Jae Chang Lee (Korea)

Pilar Martín-Guzmán (Spain)


Council (2003-2007)

Carol Carson (USA)

Chihiro Hirotsu (Japan)

Graham Kalton (USA)

Ben Kiregyera (Uganda)

Maria Gabriella Ottaviani (Italy)

Jon N.K. Rao (Canada)

Simon Schwartzman (Brazil)

Klaus Trutzel (Germany)


Present Council members who will be continuing their service for a further two years are:

Jayant V. Deshpande (India)

Nicholas I. Fisher (Australia)

Frederick W.H. Ho (Hong Kong SAR, China)

David S. Moore (USA)

Sylvia Richardson (France)

Paul Switzer (USA)

Ib O. Thomsen (Norway)

Norbert Victor (Germany)


The formal approval of the election results is due during the Berlin Session by the General Assembly that is scheduled for August 18, 2003. We are grateful to all candidates for their enthusiasm and willingness to support the ISI. The newly elected team, under the leadership of incoming President Stephen Stigler will start its work at the completion of the Berlin Session in August.


The ISI Executive Committee for the 2003-2005 Period (subject to the formal General Assembly approval) is:






Stephen M. Stigler







Niels Keiding (Denmark)



Vice Presidents

Nicholas I. Fisher (Australia) Jae Chang Lee (Korea) Pilar Martín-Guzmán (Spain)  




Newly elected ISI Council members (to serve from 2003-2007 period) with the ongoing Council members

Ben Kiregyera (Uganda)

No photo available

Carol Carson (USA) Chihiro Hirotsu (Japan) Graham Kalton (USA)



Maria Gabriella Ottaviani (Italy) Jon N.K. Rao (Canada) Simon Schwartzman (Brazil) Klaus Trutzel (Germany)


Present Council members who will be continuing their service for a further two years are:

Jayant V. Deshpande (India)  Frederick W.H. Ho (Hong Kong SAR, China) David S. Moore (USA) Sylvia Richardson (France)
Paul Switzer (USA) Ib O. Thomsen (Norway) Norbert Victor (Germany) Nicholas I. Fisher(Australia)



Free Data Sets on the Web

There are a limited number of data sets available for free on the web that have long term multinational socio-demographic data. These data sets include data for more than 100 countries each, and generally cover time periods of 20 years or more. Variables in these data sets include population size and growth, infant mortality rate, percent of population age 60 or over, fertility, urbanization, education (literacy) and ethnolinguistic fractionalization. 

This article is a brief review of available data sets. The data sets described often include additional data, but often for only a single year (e.g., 2000). This review focuses on the long term data.

The US Census Bureau’s International Data Base (IDB) is available at . 

Select “On line access” to retrieve data from multiple countries and areas. According to the IDB, this data set "is a computerized data bank containing statistical tables of demographic and socio-economic data for 227 countries and areas of the world". There are data for 191 independent sovereign states and for 36 dependencies. The data base contains multi-year data on several basic demographic variables. For population, vital rates (births, deaths, net migration), and infant mortality, the data set is fairly complete for the years 1990 to 2000, and age distribution is almost complete for 2000. Completeness for other years vary. Population estimates and projections are available for all countries for time periods from 1950 to 2050. On the other hand, infant mortality is available for only 110 countries for 1980, and for fewer countries for earlier time periods. The IDB also has other variables, such as population by ethnic group, and by religious group, and prevalence of contraceptive use by age, however data for these variables are very limited. For example, many countries have no data for many of these variables and many other countries only have single years available. 

The IDB data is based on data from country sources, such as censuses and surveys, and on estimates from the Census Bureau’s International Programs Center. The Census Bureau's data set is public domain. The data at the Census web site is somewhat cumbersome to use, so we prepared a data set containing several variables (population, births, deaths, net migration and infant mortality), in a spreadsheet, available at .

UNICEF’s End of Decade Database, at , includes data for infant and child mortality rates from 1960 to 2000, in the Child Survival and Health section. The infant mortality rate table is at  and the child mortality rate table is at . This database has infant mortality data or estimates for most of the world. For 2000, there is infant mortality data for 186 countries. For 1980, there is infant mortality data for 171 countries. For 1960, there is infant mortality data for 159 countries. For all three of these years, there are data for over 95 percent of the world population, comparing the population of countries included in this data set to the total world population in the IDB data set. There is child mortality data for similar numbers of countries. The UNICEF site also presents data for "industrialized", "developing" and "least developed" groupings, but doesn't seem to indicate how those categories are constructed. 

Documentation on how data are obtained or estimated is available at . According to chapter 2, infant and child mortality rate are usually calculated using civil registration data. Where registry data is less reliable or complete, UNICEF uses various survey data for estimations. 

WHO presents percent of population age 60 and above, and fertility data, for 1990 and 2000, at . Most of the other data presented at the WHO site is only for 2000. The data set has aging and fertility data for 191 countries, which includes more than 90% of the world population, comparing the population total in this data set to the total world population in the IDB data set.

The WHO notes page  says that they present data on countries, based on "a systematic review of all available evidence from surveys, censuses, sample registration systems, population laboratories and vital registration on levels and trends in child mortality and adult mortality". They especially cite UNICEF, the United States Census Bureau and the UN Population Division 2000 demographic assessment. 

The United Nations Development Program, Human Development Report 2001, at  has urbanization data for 1975 and 1999. Two tables (tables 48 and 49) show percent and number urban by country, and two tables (tables 43 and 44) show total population. These tables can be used to calculate urbanization for the world or for any region desired. This data set has urbanization data for both years for 162 countries and for over 90 percent of the world population, comparing the population total in this data set to the total world population in the IDB data set. 

An appendix, “Human Development Indicators” includes “Notes on statistics in the Human Development Report” at  which indicates that where possible, the data tables are “based on internationally standardized data, collected and processed by sister agencies in the international system, or, in a few cases, by other organizations” (p. 133). Specific tables include references for data sources. Urbanization data is “The mid-year population of areas defined as urban in each country, as reported to the United Nations” (definition as given in the urbanization tables).

The UNESCO Institute for Statistics,  has literacy data for 1970 to 2000 for every 5th year. Click "literacy", then click "statistical tables". According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, "a person is literate who can, with understanding, both read and write a short simple statement on his everyday life." (Facts and Figures 2000, page 23. Report available at  then click Facts and Figures, then click Publications). Literacy data was obtained using methods described in “Methodology used in the 1994 estimation and projection of adult illiteracy”, available at  then click “literacy” then click “technical guidelines”. The data in the statistical table seems to exclude many advanced countries, such as the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. The data set does, however, include data for 138 countries, which includes almost 85 percent of the world population, comparing the population total for the countries in this data set to the total world population in the IDB data set. 

Barro and Lee, at the Center for International Development also present a data set on literacy, the International Data on Educational Attainment, 1960 to 2000, at . The variables in this data set include percent of population with no schooling, percent at level of schooling attained (i.e., secondary, post secondary) and average years of school. This data set has data for, depending on the year and variable, 110 to 120 countries, and almost 90 percent of the world population, comparing the population of countries included in this data set to the total world population in the IDB data set. 

The data are explained in an April 2000 working paper of Barro and Lee, International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications, at . 

Barro and Lee indicate their data was from census/survey information complied by UNESCO and other sources, with statistical estimations for missing data and for average years of schooling. 

Ethnolinguistic Fractionalization is from: Philip G. Roeder. 2001. "Ethnolinguistic Fractionalization (ELF) Indices, 1961 and 1985" available at . Dr. Roeder defines ELF as "the probability that two individuals chosen at random from the population (country) will be from different ethnic groups". Further, "It increases as the number of groups increases and their proportionate sizes decrease. So a country with many ethnic groups, each of which has about the same number of members, would have the highest ELF. As one ethnic group comes to occupy a larger share of the population, the ELF declines" (personal communication). In this data set, there is data for 138 countries in 1961, about 86 percent of the world population, comparing the population of countries included in this data set to the total world population in the IDB data set. Almost all countries with 1961 data also have data for 1985, so have data for two time periods. There are a few more countries that have data for 1985 but not 1961.

The data sources and some notes on defining ethnic groups are described at . The sources appear to be statistical yearbooks published mainly in Moscow. 

While all of these data sets include over 100 countries, the same countries are not always in all of the data sets. For example, there are only 75 countries in common among the US Census IDB data set, UNESCO’s literacy data set, UNESCO’s urbanization data set, the ethnolinguistic data set and Barro and Lee’s literacy data set. However, these data sets can be used to tell a consistent story. For example, several of our reports (available at ) use these data sets to show a relatively coherent picture among developing countries of declines in population growth, illiteracy, and infant mortality rates, and increases in urbanization and percent elderly, patterns which are consistent, for example, with a demographic transition.

Gene Shackman*
Social Change Website Manager 

* Neither Dr. Shackman nor ISI endorse any of the sites listed here, and do not assume responsibility for content of the Websites listed in this article. This article is solely presented for educational and reference purposes.


PARIS21 annual meeting (17-18 0ctober 2002) - 

Report of the ISI Representative

PARIS21 held its third annual meeting in the OECD premises in Paris, from 17-18 October 2002. The Steering Committee had decided that this year’s meeting was to be focussed on the work programme with those directly involved. A full Consortium meeting will thus take place next year.

Altogether, 50 countries and international organisations were represented: 29 countries (8 donor countries; 21 beneficiary countries); 20 international agencies and organisations, plus 1 international consultant.

Several reports were available: PARIS21 progress report; Andean Community Countries meeting report; outline of the first Central America PARIS21 workshop, to be held in Salvador in 2003; report of the Task Team (TT) on Statistical Capacity Building Indicators; Agriculture Statistics TT report; “Governance of national statistical systems”, by W. de Vries (UNSD); “Supporting policy with statistics”, B. Kiregyera’s report for the PARIS21 sub-regional workshop held in Kampala on 23-26 July 2001; a Eurostat note on their new SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis (for complete information, see ).

This year, three topics were high on the agenda: the relationship between PARIS21 on the one hand and developing countries’ statistical regional and national levels on the other hand; as well as the relationship between donors and PARIS21, and finally PARIS21 perspectives.

1- For the time being, PARIS21 is emphasising its supportive approach to developing countries basically through regional levels. This approach has proved to be quite useful and is largely recognised as one of PARIS21’s best assets. However, it may also be felt that, maintaining the supporting focus only at this level could, in time, lead to some frustration as the actual decision making process and implementation practice lie obviously at national levels.

From the views expressed during the discussion, mostly by donors but also by some beneficiary country representatives, it became apparent that PARIS21 was “more a philosophy than a tool”, a “body to bring reflection on statistics, not to make statistics”, whose “first priority was not to design statistical projects”. “PARIS21 stakeholders were indeed confronted with a contradiction: on the one hand, no one would deny that it is only at national levels that the upgrading of national statistics could be successfully completed, however, on the other hand, PARIS21 was not intended to become a new instrumental tool in the international statistical field”. 

In conclusion, it was generally agreed that the PARIS21 Secretariat should continue working at regional levels, supplying expertise for the design of general outlines of statistical master plans and projects (the example of Afristat was mentioned) and invest at national levels only in cases of emergency (emerging from a political crisis, for instance). Therefore, national workshops and seminars should be kept under the aegis and responsibility of regional statistical authorities. 

2- PARIS21 has gained substantial support from donors working in the field of statistical technical assistance. Therefore, one of its roles could be to assist developing countries in avoiding any overlap between their own statistical programmes and those of their donors. In this respect, mention has been made of possible overlap between the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) and the national Strategic Statistical Development Plans (SSDP). Of course, PRSPs are not only utilised to introduce statistical indicators suited to the purpose of fighting poverty. As they are progressively built up, they highlight the limits, deficiencies, inadequacies, etc., of national statistical systems, hence pleading for their upgrading. 

However, discussions are not always easy between national statisticians and their foreign partners: generally speaking, donors are mostly interested in indicators related to the projects they promote; also, they may not have a clear view of statistical systems as a whole Furthermore, on the donors’ side, people who are involved in the follow up of projects are primarily administrators, not statisticians and a mutual understanding between these two categories of professionals is not easy to achieve. Last but not least, as one participant emphasised, even if, as far as principles are concerned, consultation and co-ordination between donors are satisfactory at HQ level, much remains to be done at the field level where the specificities of each international organisation are enhanced and defended by their local representatives. On this specific point, a suggestion was made to hold fora for these local representatives aiming to train people within the co-ordinating spirit of PARIS21, keeping in mind the goal of building up national strategies for statistics.

3- Fighting poverty and improving national statistical systems are nowadays donors’ priorities. For this two-pronged purpose, quite a number of projects and/or programmes have been proposed: PRSP and CWIQ (World Bank), GDDS, DQAF, ROSC (IMF), MISP and SWOT (Eurostat), PROSMIC (Afristat), etc. The first and most obvious risk of this flood of ideas and proposals is that they may overwhelm statisticians from developing countries under a huge burden of tasks (not accounting for the numerous international questionnaires they are already asked to answer) should they immediately be required to conform to the requirements that these programmes stipulate. In this respect, a simple, obvious and quite sensible remark has been made by one developing country representative: never forget the necessary national human resources that are to be dedicated to the implementation and follow-up of internationally-proposed programmes or projects. This is a simple, obvious and sensible remark, but in practice it is rarely, if ever, taken into account. 

The participants of the meeting agreed that PARIS21 was doing excellent work, and several suggestions were made to make some further steps forward; for instance:

- If we should always remember that Statistics exist for people to use them, this basic “philosophy” should not allow us to forget that statistical producers also exist, and that they have their own specificities and constraints. In other words, the correct balance has to be found, in any statistical plan or programme, between the shortsightedness of the demand and the statistician’s risk of taking the long-term perspective.

- There is a risk to limit PARIS21 debates to statisticians only. Therefore, consideration should be given to the possibility of a wider definition of the Consortium (up to what point remains to be discussed). Does it include policy makers from developing countries? Does it include all professionals, such as teachers, the media, etc., using statistics in the normal course of their professional activities?

4- Personal comments by way of conclusion

Last year, these personal comments focussed on the challenge that PARIS21 had to tackle for the future; how to draw a line between statistical projects and statistical master plans. In the first case, answers were technical and usually translated in terms of indicators, whereas the second orientation resulted in the definition and follow up of a policy in the field of statistics. 

To-day, the feeling is that the last Consortium meeting has moved forward in this respect: international organisations seem to be less reluctant to admit that they are not the only ones investing in the statistical field and that “national voices” have also to be heard. Finally, the PARIS21 Secretariat has decided to launch a specific reflection on the topic “Synergy between international and national statistical initiatives”.

Alain Azouvi

PRSP: Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper
CWIQ: Core Welfare Indicator Questionnaire
GDDS: General Data Dissemination System
DQAF: Data Quality Assessment Framework
ROSC: Report on Observance of Standards and Codes
MISP: Multi-annual Integrated Statistical Programme
SWOT: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
PROSMIC: PROgramme Statistique MInimum Commun.


Director of the ISI Permanent Office

The position of Director, ISI Permanent Office, will become vacant in August/September 2003 due to the retirement of Dr. Marcel Van den Broecke. A Search committee composed of Messrs. Dennis Trewin (Chairman), Steve Stigler, Jef Teugels, and Bill van Zwet has been established. 

Among other qualifications, the following are required:

Arrangements will depend upon the qualifications and experience of the new Director. Salary commensurate with the responsibilities of the position.

Interested candidates can direct enquiries to the chair of the Search Committee ( ). Formal application with full biographical data should be sent as soon as possible and not later than April 1, 2003 to:

Dr. Marcel Van den Broecke

Director of the Permanent Office

International Statistical Institute, 

P.O. Box 950

2270 AZ Voorburg

The Netherlands.

Fax: +31 70 3860025



Examining the Essential Functions of Statistical Organisations

GUS/ISI Satellite Conference - Szczecin, Poland, 8 – 9 August 2003


Managers of national statistical offices must view their responsibility for organisational design in a way that takes into consideration the constantly evolving society that these organisations measure. Yesterday’s organisational paradigms are today’s dinosours. With this in mind the Polish Central Statistical Office (GUS) together with the International Statistical Institute (ISI), have organised a conference examining the essential functions of official statistical organisations in anticipation of recent and forthcoming changes.



For more information, please see the conference website at ( ) 

or contact: 

• Barbara Domaszewicz, Central Statistical Office of Poland

Phone: + 48 22 608 30 50; Fax: + 48 22 608 38 70; E-mail: 


Programme of Short Courses on Survey Methodology in Berlin 2003

August 11-12, 2003

The International Statistical Institute (ISI) will sponsor a programme of short courses to take place before the 54th ISI Session to be held in Berlin. The courses will be led by international high-level experts in their respective fields and will offer statisticians and students of statistics the opportunity to improve their skills on the topic being presented and discuss issues of common interest. All courses will be presented in English and participants should have the ability to work in this language. There are some opportunities to sponsor travel and accommodation costs for participants from developing and transition countries. 

The list of courses is attached. The deadlines for registration and the course fees are attached. Information will be available via the conference website at ( ). Please look for possible changes and additional information on these websites. Any questions, requests, sponsoring opportunity inquiries and comments are welcome, and can be sent by e-mail to Daniel Berze at 

Course 8. - Analysis of Longitudinal Data (cancelled)


Course 9. – Recent Developments in Graphical Markov Models (cancelled)

Course 10. – Analysis of Categorical Data with Overdispersion

Course Organiser: Nanny Wermuth (Johannes-Gutenberg University, Mainz)

Instructors: Jorge G. Morel (Department of Biometrics and Statistical Sciences, P&G Pharmaceuticals, Cincinnati, USA) and Professor Nagaraj K. Neerchal

Date: 12 August, 2003 (four hours in duration)

Audience: The course in intended for people with at least a Master’s degree in statistics. Basic knowledge of the binomial and multinomial distributions, logistic regression, maximum likelihood estimation and Fisher’s information matrix is needed.

Venue: Freie Universität Berlin

Short description: The aim of the course is to present a general overview of the phenomenon of extravariation relative to the binomial/multinomial distribution, as well as to provide different methods (quasi-likelihood functions, likelihood models, and generalized estimating equations) to cope with this problem. Several practical examples will be shown to illustrate the available methodology to model categorical data with extravariation.

Topics to be covered:

  1. Introduction. Characterization of extravariation (overdispersion) relative to the binomial/multinomial distribution. Relevant examples. Clusters, the intra cluster correlation and the design effect. Quasi-likelihood functions. Iterated reweighed least squares. An example with ossification data.

  2. Likelihood models for binary responses. The beta-binomial distribution (Skellam, 1948), a binomial distribution with extra zeros (Cohen, 1966), two generalizations of the binomial distribution (Altham, 1978), a correlated binomial model (Haseman and Kupper, 1979), a finite mixture model (Morel and Neerchal, 1997). An example with secondary association of chromosomes data. 

  3. A goodness-of-fit test for testing the adequacy of specific likelihood models when cluster sizes vary (Neerchal and Morel, 1998). Illustration using data from an experiment designed to study induced mutagenic effect (Haseman & Soares, 1979).

  4. Likelihood models for multinomial responses. The Dirichlet-Multinomial (Compound-Multinomial) distribution (Mosimann, 1962). The multinomial finite-mixture “clumped” distribution (Morel and Nagaraj, 1993). Asymptotic properties for large cluster size. A forest count example.

  5. Generalized estimating equations techniques (GEE). Fundamental concepts (Liang and Zeger, 1986, and Zeger and Liang, 1986). Exponential family, link functions, and “working” correlation matrices. Taylor’s series expansion, asymptotic properties and the robustness of GEE. Binary responses and different link functions (logit, probit, complementary log-log). Examples using the SAS® procedure “GENMOD.” Small sample size corrections (Morel, 1989, Mancl and DeRouen, 2001). Generalized Estimating Equations techniques for multinomial data. The generalized logistic and the proportional-odds models. Working correlation matrices. An example on a shoulder pain study (Lumley, 1996).


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News from ISI Sections in Volume 27, No. 1 (79) 2003