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United Nations Statistics Division

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1 United Nations Statistics Division
Introduction to the International Family of Economic and Social Classifications and Classifications Work United Nations Statistics Division

2 Main topics International Family of Economic and Social Classifications ( Family ) International Work in Classifications UN Classifications Systems and Mechanisms

3 The Family Is comprised of international classifications:
registered in UN inventory of Classifications reviewed and approved as guidelines by UN Statistical Commission or other competent intergovernmental board Includes also registered regional or national classifications derived from or related to international classifications

4 The Family Subject matter areas of classifications Activities Products
Labour Health Education Demographics Environment ...

5 Types of classifications in the family
Within each subject matter area exist: Reference classification(s) Derived classifications Related classifications

6 Reference classifications
Product of international agreements Approved by UNSC or other competent body therefore have official and broad acceptance Serve as guidelines for preparation, development or revision of other classifications with respect to structure, building blocks character and definition of categories Example: ISIC – activities, CPC - products

7 Derived classifications
Based upon reference classification Adopt structure of ref classification consistency of aggregates Respect building blocks additional detail where necessary Tailored for use at national or multi-national level

8 Related classifications
Differ in structure and/or building blocks from reference classifications Linked mainly through correspondence tables many links will refer to partial correspondences

9 Example: Activity classifications
Reference classification ISIC Rev.3.1 Derived classification NACE Rev.1 Related classifications NAICS, ANZSIC

10 Activities ISIC ANZSIC NACE NAICS National versions of ISIC
of NACE National versions of NAICS

11 Activities Products ISIC CPC NACE CPA NACE (France) NACE (Germany)
(Spain) National product classifications National versions of NACE

12 Requirements for reference classifications
used for data collection and presentation at international level guidelines for national and multinational classifications

13 Requirements for reference classifications
Have to be general enough to be applicable for all countries provide room for national adaptation and specifications Have to be specific enough to allow for useful data collection provide reasonable guidelines for creation of national classifications

14 Requirements for reference classifications
orchestrated updates within the family schedule of updates Example: activity and product classification recommended to be reviewed in 10/5 year intervals (2002, 2007, etc.)

15 Family obligations, role of custodians
Among the family obligations, the most important are: Recognize being part of a dynamic system, of a network of systematic information exchange Officially recognize their dependence on each other make explicit the structural and conceptual relationships between reference, derived and related classifications of each subject matter area changes/needs of the reference classifications to be echoed on derived/related ones and vice versa Coordinate and announce the timings and updates of revisions

16 Family obligations, role of custodians
Publicise the classifications time-tables for major work Collaborate in the preparation of correspondence tables between reference, derived and related classifications Work together to prepare guidelines for classifications’ implementation, other guidance and training materials

17 International work on classifications
Purposes: Ensure harmonization and standardization Solicit and receive input and feedback for the classifications updating and revision processes Ensure that the needs of international community are met

18 Work on Classifications
UN Statistical Commission Expert Group on International Economic and Social Classifications Member countries UNSD ILO UNESCO WHO

19 UN Statistical Commission
Established in 1946 by ECOSOC 24 members, according to geographical distribution pattern: 5 members from Africa 4 members from Asia 4 members from Eastern Europe 4 members from Latin America & Caribbean 7 members from Western European and other States 4 years membership 1 meeting per year (since 1999)

20 UN Statistical Commission
Reports back to ECOSOC on each session Issues considered: international statistical development, methodological issues coordination and integration of statistical programmes support of technical cooperation activities organizational matters

21 UN Expert Group on International, Economic and Social Classifications
The central coordinating body for Work Programme on Classifications a regular and open forum an authority in classifications work UNSD convenes the Expert Group ensures proper regional representation ensures representation of international organizations UN EG on Classifications has a long tradition (at least from 1975). At its 30th session on 1-5 March 1999 UN Statcom recommended that, EG be the central coordination body for implementing the work programme on the family of international, economic and social classifications, proposed at that same meeting Expert Group is a body that provides a regular and open forum for coordination and feedback for the family of international, economic and social classifications and that has the authority of setting strategic plans on classifications work into action. UNSD continues to be convener of EG. UNSD invites representatives from International Organizations, custodians, users and major experts, ensuring a proper regional representation.

22 UN Expert Group on Classifications
Ensures harmonization and convergence among classifications in the family Recommends, examines changes/updates Adopts schedules for updates Can install subgroups Decisions and recommendations of EG are reported back to UNSC

23 Technical Subgroup on Classifications
Established in November 1999 by EG Meets twice a year Reports to EG on progress EG acts as steering committee TSG has been established by EG in November This TSG was asked to take action on the implementation of the proposed programme on ISIC, CPC as a first priority, set out in that meeting. TSG is composed of a small group of experts in classifications development work, whose organizations are prepared to put at their disposition the necessary resources for this work. Since year 2000, it has been meeting twice a year. It reports to EG on its progress through UNSD. EG acts as its steering committee.

24 Technical Subgroup on Classifications
Priority: work programme on ISIC, CPC worked on ISIC, CPC, 2002 updates works currently on ISIC, CPC 2007 revisions Concept discussions Papers on special issues Drafting of proposals for classification structures Maintain contact with other groups and national offices Rulings on interpretation issues Review additional inputs This TSG was asked to take action on the implementation of the proposed programme on ISIC and CPC as a first priority. If you need to write more on this, see the Summary Action Plan of the TSG in ESA/STAT/AC.75/4, at November 1999 EG papers.

25 Work on Classifications
UNSC Time Use Classification EG UNSD Trade Classifications Economic Classifications (Activities, products, expenditures) This is a diagram of the work on classifications from the perspective of who is doing what and how the flow of work goes. Somewhere in the line between the exchange of work between UNSD and TSG is the process of regional consultation and as part of it workshops and training. Technical Subgroup

26 Workshops and training
Purposes Training on ISIC, CPC, other reference classifications, their implementation and use Sharing of information on reference classifications, national classifications Getting input and feedback to the revision processes ex: ISIC, CPC The United Nations Statistics Division offers training in Statistical Classifications through the conduct of international workshops. United Nations Classification Workshops provide training on the basic principles of classification methods, on their conceptual and practical aspects. They cover specifically classifications of economic activity (ISIC) and products (CPC), and other reference classifications of the international family including those of education, occupation, employment, time use and health.

27 UN Classifications systems and mechanisms
Classifications Hotline Classifications Registry Classifications Website Classifications Newsletter Monitoring Mechanisms With regard to monitoring mechanisms, the only one I know is the country questionnaire. For the monitoring mechanisms, I haven’t done anything yet.

28 Classifications Hotline
Established in response to a request by UNSC Serves as a central reference service for international, economic and social classifications Promotes common approaches, principles, conventions CH has been established in response to a request by UNSC and is maintained by the UNSD. It serves as… and it promotes common approaches, principles and conventions in the development and use of classifications.

29 Classifications Hotline
Provides information and technical assistance to users disseminates publications and databases disseminates correspondence tables and indexes assists in interpretation and coding Pergjigju kesaj pyetje: A jane ISIC, CPC dhe Classifications of Expenditure according to Purpose, te vetmit klasifikime per te cilat UNSD eshte kujdestar? CH is a communication channel in which are received classification inquiries, problems, questions… CH provides classifications information and technical assistance in reply to queries from the public, to users of ISIC, CPC and Classifications of Expenditure according to Purpose. These could be either queries for specific publications, databases, correspondence tables and indexes, or specific queries on specific topics which involve interpretation and coding.

30 Classifications Hotline
Refers other queries to the appropriate source or organization A means of receiving feedback on classifications issues and related topics Contact Information: fax: /1374 CH is also useful for receiving feedback on classification issues, such as for example questions and problems of countries or international organizations, on receiving users’ comments on the services provided by Classifications Section of UNSD, comments on the Website and so on.

31 Classifications Registry
A system to store and organize information Classifications Explanatory notes Indexes Correspondence tables The CR maintained by Class. Section of UNSD is a complex database which serves firstly as a system to store and organize information; CR keeps updated information on Statistical Classifications maintained by UNSD. Complete updated structure and explanatory notes for classifications (in several languages where available) as well as alphabetical indexes and correspondence tables for some classifications are available.

32 Classifications Registry
A system to store and organize information questions and problems reported by countries and organizations decisions and discussions that led to these decisions Now the word information is quite broad here; this information could be questions and problems…, discussions and decisions…, and by doing that the Classifications Section of UNSD has a very useful tool to provide input into the updating and revision processes ( this input having been received from worldwide sources ), to use this input for the work on the maintenance, update or revision of classifications and to record these processes.

33 Classifications Registry
Thereby, providing input into the updating and revision processes using this input on classifications work recording these processes

34 Classifications Registry/Website
A system to provide and distribute information Information provided and distributed through the classifications website Of course the information stored in the Registry ( and by information we understand here problems, decisions, classifications, explanatory notes, indexes, etc ) as we described in the previous pages, is distributed and disseminated through the classifications website, which brings us to the next topic, strongly connected to the previous one, the Classifications website.

35 Classifications Website
Main link Structure and contents sitemap link We are going to look at the structure and contents of the classifications website. A nice way of looking at it is by looking at its sitemap following this link. The sitemap itself was developed at some point during the ongoing redesigning and updating process of the classifications website. I am using it here just to have it easier to present the contents of the website.


37 We can see here the topics to which users can have access and can obtain an abundant information. I have listed in the following pages some of them, not to mention them all.

38 Website, contents UNSD Programme on Statistical Classifications
Classifications Hotline Registry of International Classifications classifications alternate structures indexes correspondences National Classifications Free Downloads

39 Website, contents International Cooperation in Classifications
Statistical Commission Expert Group Meetings Technical Subgroup Meetings Workshops and training History of Economic Statistical Classifications Information, Sales and Publications What’s new At “What’s new” mention if necessary the second questionnaire on conceptual and structural issues for the revision of ISIC and CPC and the input that will be required on it.

40 Classifications Website
Ongoing updates More information classifications, indexes, correspondence tables, downloadable products, national classifications, history of classifications Language support Search features The CW is frequently redesigned to improve its user friendliness and to provide easy access to information. Apart from that, more information is added on an ongoing basis. Additions to the ClassReg over the past year include an extended set of correspondence tables and a list of downloadable products. The extended correspondence tables allow users to quickly link classification codes to categories in other classifications without separately opening up a correspondence table and copying the correspondences required. The list of free downloadable products has become a heavily used source of information, with more then 26,000 downloads in the first year. New files will be made available to this site, from time to time. A sales link will be added to CW very soon. A complete list of products with ordering instructions will be available at this section of website. Another update of the website can be seen in the section of national classifications. This section provides information on nationally implemented activity and product classifications, collected through UNSD questionnaires or workshops or from information provided by other agencies.The information allows users to see which classifications are currently in use around the world, how the international classifications have been adapted to national specifics, which agencies within the countries use these classifications and for what purposes. The web pages relating to the historical development of ISIC, CPC and SITC have been revised. There are included also historical and conceptual papers related to these classifications. Language support in the Registry has been extended. Apart from classifications being available in three different languages, menus and other navigational items, descriptions and general information are now also available in different languages.

41 Classifications Website
A tool for the processes of international cooperation Enhances transparency in classifications work Suggestions? contact:

42 Classifications Newsletter
Summarizes recent developments and events Draws attention on information availability Announces newly issued publications, technical materials revision plans classifications meetings important events

43 Monitoring mechanisms
Questionnaire for activity and product classifications Workshops on SNA implementation The Statistical Classifications Section of UNSD is currently updating its register of national classification practices. This register includes information on classifications currently used by individual countries. Currently, apart from activity and product classifications, this register has been extended to include also Classifications of Expenditure According to Purpose. This register is being established to get a worldwide view on the use of economic classifications and to determine the types of relationships between the international standard classifications and the nationally adopted classifications. The workshops on SNA implementation, also provide a means to monitor the use and implementation of reference classifications and how they are being used in country practices.

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