ICstat, “Centro per la Cooperazione Statistica Internazionale - Luigi Bodio” was created as a non-profit association in 1996.
The Association was established with the aim of:
• Promoting statistical culture at an international level.
• Providing the Italian statistical community with an operational basis able to promote and co-ordinate programmes for technical assistance financed by different institutions, such as the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission, and agencies belonging to the UN system, the World Bank and others.
While operating worldwide, ICstat has nevertheless been particularly involved in the Balkans and Eastern and Central European countries as well as in the Mediterranean basin.
Offering a wide range of support to National Statistics Institutes and Systems, ICstat matured a more specific expertise in the following areas:
• institutional building: strengthening of statistical institution, their legal basis, organisational structure and strategic planning;
• enhancement and harmonization of official statistics production according to international norms and standards, especially E.U. acquis communautaire;
• transfer of methodologies, including census planning and management, survey and sampling techniques, quality statistics, database management and statistical applications;
• agricultural statistics (farm register), environment statistics (water, waste, air emissions and sustainable development indicators), cartography, remote sensing and GIS.
The Association operates under the responsibility of a Board of Directors and a Board of Auditors appointed by the General Assembly. The Board nominates a Director as a general manager for promoting and planning the overall activities on the base of the guidelines provided by the Board.
ICstat international staff is composed of experienced and multi-lingual personnel specialized in various fields. It includes technical experts in charge of the management and monitoring of the projects and desk officers, who are responsible for budgeting and administrative procedures.
Its secretariat and finance section actively contribute to ICstat operations, by providing the required support for the transparency and effectiveness of the implemented projects, according to the rules adopted by the financing institutions.
An IT unit provides support to the adopted information systems and strategies, and the development and maintenance of databanks and the web site.
A huge database of high level stand-by experts, to be mobilized according to specific requirements on projects all over the world, completes the spectrum of human resources.
The Mediterranean basin is a priority geographical area for ICstat who has been strongly committed to the EU funded MEDA/MEDSTAT programme. ICstat has managed important regional projects concerning transport statistics (MED-Trans), migration statistics (MED-Migr) and the non-observed economy (MED-NOE).
The Association has been in charge of the first sub-regional project financed through MEDSTAT, dealing with maritime and port statistics in the Maghreb countries. In 2008 ICstat former Director has moved to INS-Tunisie where he is acting as Twinning Resident Advisor in a two years Phare Project "Développement du Système d'Information Statistique sur les Entreprises (SISE)".
Cooperation with other MED countries is also facing a new impetus: starting from September 2008 ICstat is involved in the project” Recruitment of Support Unit and Short-term technical assistance to support program management of the economy” in Algeria, acting in the framework of component 2: “Strengthening the Statistical National Information System (SNIS) - National Statistics Office”.
The most recent - ongoing - project awarded in the area is in Tunisia in February 2009, with an agronomist working in support of the restructuring and revitalization of the public sector, namely on the liberalization of food industry.
Among the other, ICstat has been in charge of projects related to the Population and Housing Census in Albania, the building of the national statistical system in Bosnia-Herzegovina, agriculture statistics in Hungary and in Croatia and adaptation to the acquis communautaire in the field of aviation and maritime statistics in the 10 East and Central European Candidate Countries.
In 2002-2004 at the National Institute of Statistics (INS) of Romania – ICstat has coordinated the technical cooperation of a team of over 50 experts of Italian administration (Ministry of Economics and Finance/ Department of Treasury, ISTAT, Ministry of Environment, APAT) to Romanian counterparts (INS, Ministry of Public Finance, Ministry of Environment, National Commission for Prognosis, National Bank) in the context of Romania Accession to the EU.
In March 2009 ICstat just completed the project “Technical Assistance to the Central Bureau of Statistics of the Republic of Croatia in the adoption of the Acquis” where it was in charge for “Value based agricultural statistics”.
Lately, in April 2009, an ICstat expert took on duty in Serbia to perform as Internal Auditor in the project “Technical Assistance for Gap assessment for DIS under IPA”.
The most significant ICstat cooperation has been with the Istituto Nacional de Estatistica (INE) Mozambique in the area strengthening of economic statistics (business register, informal sector, consumer price index), information systems and technology, printing and publishing, dissemination and support for demographic statistics Mozambican population and housing census.
ICstat has a proven track record of collaboration in China, mainly on the non-observed economy as part of the EU-China Statistical Programme.
From January 2009 to January 2012 ICstat will be involved in the project: “Technical Assistance for the EU-ASEAN Statistical Capacity Building Programme” in the ten member countries of the Association of the South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) delivering over 800 man days on the site in: Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
Framework Contract EuropeAid/119860/C/SV/multi LOT 11
In September 2007 ICstat received a further two-years extension to provide services for the European Commission under the Framework Contract EuropeAid/119860/C/SV/multi LOT 11: Macro economy, Public finances and Regulatory aspects that cover also Statistics.
The purpose of the framework contract is to enable the EC, increasingly through local delegations, to access the skills and expertise needed for project activities at short notice and with simplified procedures.
Under this framework, ICstat is involved in several projects, carried out in countries like Tunisia, FYROM, Serbia, Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania, RDC and recently also in Latin America (Ecuador). Some projects cover also regional organizations like the Communauté Economique et Monétaire de l’Afrique Centrale (CEMAC) or the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), the main multilateral channel for communication and dialogue between Asia and Europe.
FAO, Food and agricultural Organization of the United Nations
ICstat cooperation with FAO started with a Project Formulation Mission (PFM) on National Food Information System (NFIS) in Eritrea for the FAO/ESAF (Food Security and Agricultural Projects Analysis Service), and continued for FAO/AGLW (Land and Water Development Division) with a review of water-related monitoring activities (including databases and indicators) and the proposal of an innovative federative UN-Water information system.
Since 2006 ICstat has also provided consultancy and logistical support to FAO for the organization of workshops and international conferences concerning development issues such as social protection, food security and farm and non-farm rural activities income.
Furthermore ICstat experts have been involved in the Development of Java-based modules of the FAO GIEWS Workstation that enhance the management and visualization capacity of the package to handle data received by the national statistical services.