The fourth Round Table in the Power from Statistics project, entitled Sustainable Evidence for Sustainable Development, took place on 28 March 2017 in Paris (France). Experts from throughout Europe, together with high level representatives of various services of the European Commission, discussed unmet needs for data to inform policies, major trends in sustainable development and new information needs related to sustainability.
The experts addressed the complex links between competitiveness, sustainability and resilience, focusing on the integration of economic, social, environment and institutional aspects of sustainability, complemented with production and consumption systems – as well as the interlinkages between these dimensions, in particular those that have not yet been addressed, such as the mutual interdependence with third countries. They agreed that the reflection should take a wider perspective (in the context of globalisation), while concrete outcomes could concentrate at achievements at local level. Thus a balance is needed between common approaches and subsidiarity.
They highlighted the need for outcome indicators to complement input indicators, with particular reference to public investments, and spoke about the sustainability of public finance and the financial systems. The experts discussed issues related to productivity, and stressed the importance of a breakdown of resource productivity by sector.
They also perceived a need for developing appropriate indicators for measuring the evolving labour market and new business models and their collateral impacts, including social protection. Moreover, the experts stressed the necessity of investing in measuring/monitoring the acceleration of changes (e.g. of tax systems or technologies).
Areas for improvement were identified in data dissemination to inform policies, use of additional data sources and collaboration with other institutions and citizens for facing emerging issues. This includes bringing data closer to what matters in the daily life of citizens (in terms of topics like e.g. how food affects ageing – as well as the way we disseminate statistics e.g. by means of storytelling.)
The experts will write articles on the most promising of the topics discussed at the Round Table in an Outlook Report. This report will be discussed at the high-level conference “Power from Statistics; Data, Information and Knowledge” on the future of official statistics, which will take place in Brussels on 18 and 19 October 2017.
Marleen De Smedt
Saïd El Khadraoui
Barbara Margarethe Kurkowiak
Marco Mira d'Ercole
Lars Fogh Mortensen
Alexandra Silfverstolpe Tolstoy