# Increasing the use of statistics Session 1 Subregional Workshop on Dissemination and Use of Population and Housing Census Results with a Gender Focus.

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Increasing the use of statistics Session 1 Subregional Workshop on Dissemination and Use of Population and Housing Census Results with a Gender Focus

Strategy 1: Build statistical literacy “the ability to understand statistics”

“The future of our statistics office depends on how widespread statistical literacy is in society.” Anu Ots Communications Chief, Statistics Estonia

Specify Needs DesignBuild CollectProcessAnalyse DisseminateArchiveEvaluate Where do statistics come from? 25-29 July 2011Jessica Gardner4

Tips and tricks when using statistics

counting  is complicated

2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4

size  is that a big number?

Absolute and relative numbers  4,000 boys in Utopia are malnourished  40,000 (10%); 400,000 (1%)  50% increase in crime in Niceville (pop. 10,000 )  400 incidents  800 incidents  4  8

average  what does that mean?

Average (mean) \$63,000 Median \$46,000

 Mean – sum of values / number of values  Median – the middle value  Mode – most frequently observed value

sampling  is it representative?

40 million in 2001, UNAIDS 38 2006 urban maternity clinics

How to judge data quality Data Quality RelevanceAccuracyCredibilityTimelinessAccessibilityInterpretabilityCoherenceCost-efficiency Source: OECD (www.oecd.org/dataoecd/26/38/21687665.pdf) 25-29 July 2011Jessica Gardner18

A weighted, fixed basket of goods?

Strategy 2: Make your statistics interesting

On their own, statistics are just numbers

What is a statistical story?  One that doesn’t just recite data in words  Catches the reader’s attention  Interesting  Informs the reader

Why tell a story?  Draw attention to the statistics  Get to know your own data better  Ensure correct use of statistics  Increase the use of data  Rewarding

“The Statistician shall … publish or otherwise disseminate such statistics or abstracts of them with or without observations thereon.“ Samoa Statistics Act 1971

Considerations  Accurate information  Be independent and unbiased  Inform not mislead  Guarantee confidentiality  Protect vulnerable groups

Encourage good writing  Way to get recognition (for the writers and for the organization)  Well written story can be used “as is” by the media thereby minimising error  Make writing a team effort

Identify a theme International days Year of the …. Current events Holidays Frequently asked questions A series on “The way we live now”

8 MarchInternational Womens’ Day 22 MarchWorld Day for Water 15 MayInternational Day of Families 20 JuneWorld Refugee Day 11 JulyWorld Population Day 12 AugustWorld Youth Day 1 OctoberInternational Day of Older Persons 15 OctoberInternational Day of Rural Women 25 NovemberInternational Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Source: http://www.unis.unvienna.org/unis/en/calendar_days_weeks_08.html

Source: US Census Bureau http://blogs.census.gov/

Writing tips  Grab your reader’s attention  Headline  First paragraph  Focus on findings not process  Use images  Simple words that people understand  Sub-headings and bulleted lists for easy scanning

Write like a journalist: “inverted pyramid style” Idea Dataset Analysis Conclusions Idea Dataset Analysis Conclusions

Prime Minister releases census results Arrival statistics now available GDP Report for September 2010

Population growing faster than ever Agriculture production in decline Tourism on the rise

Headlines Catchy and interesting Summarize the most important finding No longer than one line Use few or no numbers The release of a report is not the headline – focus on the findings within

Add a descriptive title with the main message

Lead paragraph Focus on one or two findings Writing in everyday language Create images in the minds of your reader Use few numbers Be brief - try to keep it within five lines Mention assumptions, methodologies or details of how you collected the data

Example  BEFORE: Divorces 2003 In 2003, 70,828 couples divorced, up a slight 1.0% from the recent low of 70,155 in 2002. The number of divorces has remained relatively stable over the last few years. The year-to-year change has been below two percent for every year since 1999.  AFTER: Divorces 2003 Repeat divorces, those involving people who had been divorced before, are accounting for an increasing proportion of divorces in Canada. In 1973, only 5.4% of divorces involved husbands who had been previously divorced. Some 30 years later, this proportion has tripled.

Make big numbers easier to understand “Of the \$246.8 billion in retail spending last year, consumers spent \$86.4 billion on cars and parts, and \$59.3 billion on food and beverages.” “Of every \$100 spent in retail stores last year, consumers spent \$31 on cars and parts, compared with \$23 on food and beverages.”

Women now comprise 18.8% of parliamentarians around the world

“ Almost 20% of parliamentarians are women ”

Practice!

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