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Institutional Development and Capacity Building (IDCB)


Plenary Session 1: Progress in Implementing the Global Strategy

Session organized by Giorgi Kvinikadze, FAO (

The Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics, developed by FAO and the World Bank in intensive consultation with all stakeholders all over the world, is a groundbreaking effort to improve agricultural statistics. Endorsed by UNSC at its 41st session in February 2010, the Global Strategy was followed by an Action Plan to implement it. The Acton Plan was developed by FAO and the World Bank following the same intensive consultation process. The implementation of the Action Plan has already started.

This Session will discuss the progress in implementation of the Global Strategy as of the time of the conference, good practices and lessons learnt at both global and regional levels. The focus of the session will be on general organizational and implementation issues. Technical issues will be covered by several other sessions of ICAS VI. The papers will be dedicated to the progress, best practices and experiences at the global level as well as in selected regions.

Possible topics for both global and regional level papers:

  • Lessons learnt from the process of developing of Action Plans
  • Progress in implementation of Action Plans
  • Experiences of implementation of individual components (technical assistance, training, research) of Action Plans
  • Experiences of functioning of governance mechanisms


Statistical Production Process (SPP)


Plenary Session 2: The Role of Agricultural Censuses

Session organized by Pietro Gennari, FAO (

For several decades, FAO has been promoting and supporting the conduct of decennial census of agriculture by its Member Countries. On average, about 100 countries have been implementing the programme in each round.

The 2010 round of FAO World Programme for Agricultural Census (2006-20015) included several innovative approaches for improving the relevance and cost-effectiveness of data collected through agricultural censuses. It foresaw the census as a key component of an integrated programme of agricultural census and survey. The new features included use of modular approach to data collection, exploring linkage between population and agriculture censuses and community level data.

As preparations are being made for the next round of Agricultural Census (2016-2025), there is a need to take a fresh look to the programme and discuss questions on the relevance of the agricultural census for addressing emerging data needs and learned from the new approaches recommended during the past round.

This Session will discuss the relevance and future of agricultural censuses for addressing emerging data needs. The Session will also discuss technical issues related to cost-effective approaches to agricultural surveys in different country contexts, including use of information from administrative registers like cadastre, livestock, business, tax and subsidy registries and area frames. Use of new technologies to collect geo-referenced data as well as for reducing the time lag is also planned to be covered under the session.

The session will have two papers followed by an open discussion.

  • Jean-Michel Durr (international consultant), "The Agricultural Census—Future role"
  • Cynthia Clark (USDA), "New paradigm for agricultural statistics—a world without censuses"
  • Open discussion


Analytical and Policy Needs (APN) 


Plenary Session 3: Environmental Issues

Session organized by Johan Selenius, EUROSTAT ( and Eszter Horvath, UNSD (

Agriculture and forests occupy close to 70 percent of Earth surface, fishery activities can be found on virtually any marine and terrestrial water body and farming uses 70 percent of water withdrawals. Because the food and agriculture sector heavily depend on natural resources (land, water, biodiversity and carbon and nitrogen cycles) in the production process, healthy ecosystems are a precondition for food security and livelihoods. Agricultural activities can cause both environmental harm and provide environmental benefits. If agriculture, forestry and fisheries are managed in a sustainable fashion, the sector can deliver ecosystem goods and services more than any other economic activity - while providing food and livelihoods - and thus, provide a tangible transition towards a green economy. However, a growing population demands a higher output from agriculture, a target that can hardly be met without great efficiency gains in the sector.

Agricultural policies for green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication should be guided by and in accordance with all the Rio Principles, Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and contribute towards achieving relevant internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.

Policy makers need to be able to analyse the situation to allow them to make the right decisions. This requires basic statistics and accounts that provide indications on how trends in agriculture impact on the environment. Often such analyses are summarized in agri-environmental indicators that bring together a set of coherent and consistent statistics and accounts complemented by estimates, models and other tools to give an overall picture of the situation.

The aim of the of Plenary Session 3 is to give an overview of (i) the latest developments in integrating environmental concerns in agricultural policies, and (ii) the work so far on international statistical standards, recommendations and frameworks that help identify the necessary agricultural and environment statistics and link environmental conditions and health of ecosystems to economic and other human activity. 

Greening agriculture in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication - (somebody from a Ministry of Agriculture or FAO)

The speaker should address changing agricultural policies related to on the one hand the growing need for food and sustained economic growth of the agricultural sector in conjunction with rural development; and on the other hand enhancing social inclusion, improving human welfare and creating opportunities for employment and decent work for all, while maintaining the functioning of the ecosystems, improving management of natural resources and enhancing sustainable production and consumption.

Frameworks for agro-environmental statistics in support of sustainable development

The speaker should address the integrated use of statistics, accounts and indicators and related frameworks for the analysis of agriculture-environment relationships. Moreover, these statistical issues should be addressed in the context of strengthening the the institutional environment and political motivation.


Plenary Session 4: Rural Development in the 21st Century: Policy Options and Data Gaps

Session organized by Gero Carletto, World Bank ( and Flavio Bolliger, IBGE (

Are our statistical systems ready to help our policymakers address the rural development challenges of the 21st century? Climatic change and soil erosion are rapidly changing the agro-ecological environments within which the rural population operates but, at the local level, information on these and other phenomena remains largely missing, or not fully integrated with the existing data systems. Rural and urban populations alike are facing higher and more volatile food prices but, as painfully evident during the last food crises, the existing systems remain highly inadequate to timely and accurately monitor their evolution and consequences and how policies can mitigate some of the negative effects by improving the resilience of the rural poor. Rural incomes are increasingly diversified beyond agriculture but statistical systems, as well as local and international institutions, continue to have primarily a sectoral approach. Furthermore, the unrelenting and inevitable urbanization, and the resulting demographic changes in rural areas, call for a better understanding of the rural-urban flows of factors, goods and people and of the resulting transformation in terms of market demand, farm structure and distribution of resources, including  land. These are just a few examples of the dramatic transformation unfolding in rural areas across the globe. They transcend agriculture and a sectoral view of the issues.  Informing our future policies requires new institutional frameworks, tools and methodologies that enable analysts to capture and analyze the increasing complexity and interrelatedness of rural development, in order to monitor production capacity and the environmental sustainability  of current and future policies.  By recognizing many of the constraints that plague the current statistical systems, the Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics already takes a bold approach by proposing a paradigm shift in the way we collect and use agricultural statistics. Implementing it remains a challenge nonetheless. In this plenary session, some of the leading rural development specialists will debate the most pressing issues rural development faces and identify the key data gaps and missing tools so as to enhance data producers’ awareness and ability to generate better statistical data to inform policy-making.  The panel will be followed by an open floor discussion during which participants will be able to put forth their views and elicit responses from the panelists.


Plenary Session 5: Food Security

Session organized by Carlo Cafiero, FAO (

More than a decade of publication of the “State of Food Insecurity in the World” and two international Symposia hosted by FAO (in 2002 and in 2012) have made it clear that the international community still lacks adequate means to comprehensively, timely and effectively monitor the various manifestation of Food Insecurity.

As the new Post-2015 Development Agenda is being shaped, it is clear that Food and Nutrition Security will take centre stage as one of the fundamental goals to be pursued. The need to reach agreement on reference methods and data to monitor food and nutrition security is thus extremely pressing for the international community.

This session aims at presenting the state-of-the-art in terms of food security and nutrition statistical assessment, to distil a set of best practice to be applied to the task of monitoring the phenomenon and evaluating the impact of policies.

Possible topics for papers include:

  • What is Food Security? From conceptual frameworks to operational definitions.
  • Monitoring multidimensional phenomena. Scorecards and indexes of food security.
  • Food Security Experience Scales vs. Food Consumption scores.
  • Measuring nutritional adequacy at the household and at the aggregate level.
  • Impact of macroeconomic shocks on food security: how to combine the right model with the proper data.

© 2012 IBGE - Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística