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5th Meeting of the
Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC)

The 5th meeting of the Global Office’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) was held on 28-29 January 2016 at FAO Headquarters in Rome. The SAC kindly welcomed its newest member, Dr. Dalisay “Dax” Maligalig, who is currently an Associate Professor of Statistics at the University of the Philippines Los Baños and previously held the position of Principal Statistician at the Asian Development Bank.

The SAC provided detailed comments and rigorous peer review on the following documents:

  1. FAO resource book for the compilation of food balance sheets
  2. Master Sampling Frame Field Test Protocol
  3. Agricultural and Rural Integrated Survey (AGRIS), Concept Note
  4. AGRIS Labour Module
  5. Metadata of the Minimum Set of Core Data
  6. Draft Guidelines on Measuring Food Consumption
  7. Draft Field Test Protocol and Literature review for Estimating Horticultural Crops
  8. Agricultural Typology: Statement of Need and Issues to Consider in Development

In addition, the SAC expressed approval of the work plan of the research component of the Global Office for 2016, and acknowledged the high output rate of the research component.

The next SAC meeting is tentatively scheduled for October 2016.

Michael Rahija, Research Officer, Global Strategy


New publication: Handbook on Master Sampling Frames for Agricultural Statistics

This new Handbook aims at providing practical guidance on building Master Sampling Frames (MSFs) for agricultural statistics as well as filling a significant gap since there is very little technical guidance available in this area. The Master Sampling Frame for Agricultural Statistics is one of the key tools foreseen by the Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics for achieving the objective of integrating agriculture into the National Statistics System, which is one of the main pillars of the Global Strategy.

The Handbook was prepared by a core team of five senior consultants and experts with long and extensive experience in agricultural statistics. The Handbook builds on several research papers produced under the Global Strategy and a large body of relevant literature and country experiences. The initial draft of the Handbook was reviewed by the Global Strategy’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). The draft was also presented and discussed at a dedicated Expert Meeting organized by the Global Office in Rome in November 2014 with international, regional and national experts from different regions.

The Handbook discusses the basic principles for defining a Master Sampling Frame for agricultural statistics, the background information required for its development and use, sample design considerations and the use of technology for sample frame development.  It provides guidance on the use of list frames, area sampling frames and multiple frames for developing Master Sampling Frames. The annexes provide guidance on how to understand variance components in two-stage sampling designs (widely used in agricultural surveys) and explain how sampling errors and non-sampling errors contribute to total survey variation. An overview of some relevant country experiences is also provided.

The Handbook is intended as a reference document providing technical and operational guidance on various aspects of the development and use of an MSF for agriculture in several different country conditions, with an emphasis on developing countries. It is considered as a living document, which will be updated after a few years of use by countries. 

Naman Keita, Senior Statistician, Global Strategy

New publication: Guidelines on International Classifications for Agricultural Statistics

A global survey conducted in 2012 by FAO on the classifications used by countries for agriculture and food products has shown a high demand for capacity development in the field of statistical classifications. To meet this need, the Global Strategy in partnership with the UN Statistics Division (UNSD), developed the Guidelines on International Classifications for Agricultural Statistics.
This publication aims to:

  • bring together comprehensive information on statistical classifications, and in particular those used for agricultural statistics;
  • equip the user with a better understanding of these schemes;
  • provide a convenient and practical reference for the application of international standards at the national level thus enhancing data quality and comparability across countries and over time.
Consultation with countries is an essential mechanism for ensuring the relevance, uptake and update of international classifications. The guidelines have also been conceived so as to facilitate  such a consultation as they provide a useful aid to those countries that are willing or already in the process of adopting and adapting international classifications to their statistical systems.
The guidelines are a Global Strategy-UNSD joint publication.

Valentina Ramaschiello, Classifications Expert, FAO

Upcoming Meetings

26th Meeting of APCAS

15-19 february 2016, thimpu, bhutan


Regional Steering Committee and International Partnership Conference on the Implementation of the Global Strategy in the Near East Region



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