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World Development Indicators 2007
Published 2006 · Economics, Political Science
This year the preliminary results of the international comparison program are being released, providing new comparisons of price levels for more than 140 countries. The program, the largest single data collection effort ever undertaken, is a salutary example of what can be accomplished through global partnership, technical innovation, and systematic attention to building local statistical capacity. Along with censuses, surveys are a major source of development statistics. In 2005 the international household survey network was formed to coordinate activities and provide tools for documenting and archiving surveys, thus ensuring that investments in surveys will continue to pay dividends into the future. All of these are important steps in building national and international statistical systems that respond to the demand for evidence to guide development. But more remains to be done, and the need is urgent. The challenges to us, national and international statisticians, donors, data users, and everyone concerned with measuring results, are threefold: a) how to accelerate investment in statistics; b) how to produce statistics that meet the needs of users; and c) how to harmonize donor efforts in support of developing countries as they build their statistical systems.