Tue, 27 08 1438 | 23 May 2017

Tenth Development Plan

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has witnessed rapid economic, social and technical developments that played a major role in increasing the importance of official statistical data, estimates, indicators and information that would meet the necessary needs of various users. In recognition of the importance of providing information and data to develop statistics plans and development programs, the Kingdom’s General Statistics System was issued pursuant to Royal Decree No. 23 on 7/12/1379 H. The System stipulates that the Central Department of Statistics & Information, in collaboration with various government entities’ statistical and information units and departments, collects, analyzes and disseminates official statistical information and data. In the meantime, efforts are exerted in order to enhance participation and cooperation between producers and beneficiaries, as well as raise community awareness of the importance of statistics and participation in their development.

 

During the Ninth Development Plan, the quantity and quality of official statistical data, estimates and information have improved. Within the framework of such Plan, an initiative to develop the “National Strategy for Statistical Development” project (1436/35 H. – 1452/51 H., corresponding to 2015-2030) was launched in order to develop and disseminate statistical information and data, as part of a modern statistical system that provides accurate information and ensures their availability to all beneficiaries in a timely manner.

The following is the current situation of the statistical services provided, in which the developments witnessed during the Ninth Development Plan will be explained, and issues and challenges that must be addressed during the Tenth Development Plan highlighted. The following section also sheds light on the future vision, general objectives and policies, objectives of the Tenth Development Plan, as well as the sector’s Key Performance Indicators.

 

First: Current Situation

  1. General Population and Housing Census: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was keen to implement the General Population and Housing Census within the internationally approved timeframe, requiring that the duration between any two population censuses does not exceed ten years. This Census constitutes one of the most important sources of population statistics through which the Kingdom’s demographic, social and economic characteristics of population can be revealed. In 1431 H. (2010), the General Authority for Statistics conducted the General Population and Housing Census in implementation of the Council of Ministers Decision No. 244, dated 26/10/1423 H., which was issued in order to effectuate the decision of GCC Supreme Council that was taken during its twenty-second session, to prepare the census during 1431 H. (2010) and for every ten years to come.
  2. Agricultural Census: The comprehensive economic census aims at providing statistical information and data on private and public, for-profit and nonprofit economic establishment. It includes detailed data covering various types and ownership of economic activities, employees according to their gender, nationality and profession, as well as compensations, such as salaries, wages, benefits and allowance. It also covers production inputs and outputs, along with capital assets. It is noteworthy to mention that the last comprehensive economic census was conducted during the first quarter of year 1434/33 H. (2012), and its results were used in the revision of national accounts for years 1432/31 H., 1433/32 H., 1434/33 H. (2010, 2011, 2012), and preparation of the general state budget statement.
  3. Household Expenditure and Income Survey: The Household Expenditure and Income Survey is considered the most important source of information that could assess the household’s standards of living, as well as their income and spending patterns. A number of measures have been taken in order to develop this Survey through reviewing the statistical methods, methodologies, and tools used, as well as evaluating the comprehensiveness of the Survey form so as to meet the present and future demands. This is carried out through depending on the results of the General Population and Housing Census for year 1431 H. (2010). Accordingly, executive plans for different phases of the Survey were prepared, and the data collection executive phase was implemented during a thirteen-month period of time, starting as of the month of Shawwal 1433 H. (September 2012). Hence, the results of this Survey were completed and disseminated at the end of the month of Safar 1435 H. (December 2013).
  4. Cost-of-Living Indices Development Program: A dedicated Program has been designed to develop, update and implement cost-of-living indices, as well as adopt year 1428/27 H. (2007=100) as a new base year, instead of year 1420/19 H. (1999=100), to be more accurate in the representation of consumer’s goods and services. This came in light of the results of the Household Expenditure and Income Survey that was conducted in 1428/27 H. (2007), as it represents the basis for determining the set of new goods and services, as well as their relative percentage in the measurement of the costs of living. The latest international classifications issued by the United Nations have been applied in this regard.
  5. Development of National Accounts Statistics: National accounts statistics are deemed of great importance, given their broad use as key indicators for economic growth, as well as knowledge of the nature of the economic structure and development, most particularly the interrelationships between economic sectors. Therefore, efforts have continued to be exerted to develop these statistics over the past years with a view to keep abreast of international technical and methodological developments that have occurred to these statistics systems and estimation methods. In this respect, the latest international System of National Accounts is applied in order to ensure comprehensiveness and meet the needs of beneficiaries at both the national and international levels. With a view to achieve a significant development in this regard, GDP estimates started to be prepared and published on a quarterly basis, starting as of the first quarter of year 1434/33 H. (2012), and the adoption of year 1432/31 H. (2010=100) as a base year for national accounts, instead of year 1420/19 H. (1999=100) from the first year of the Tenth Development Plan.
  6. Electronic Transactions, Maps and Information Technology: The General Authority for Statistics continues to provide technical services through ensuring the processing of programs and projects-related data. It is also in charge of providing technical support to government beneficiaries, as well as developing technical means using the latest technologies in the implementation of statistical operations, such as the use of the necessary devices to collect field data, development of mechanisms and techniques of data dissemination and analysis, as well as the services provided through the General Authority for Statistics’ website so as to ensure wider dissemination of official statistics. A comprehensive program was also implemented in order to develop technical capacities and provide the basic infrastructure to prepare statistical maps and develop geographic information systems. The results of this Program have shown the benefits of statistical digital maps in supporting various statistical work, during both the basic and preliminary phases. Within the same framework, efforts are exerted in order to prepare and develop statistical atlases to display censuses results. Furthermore, a dedicated project is currently being implemented to build statistical and governmental databases, in coordination with the Central Department of Statistics & Information, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, and relevant government entities. This is intended to build a general government electronic system to facilitate the utilization of various government entities’ databases in accordance with specific controls and regulations.
  7. Institutional and Organizational Development: In light of the Kingdom’s keenness to become a knowledge-based society and the need to fulfill the requirements of development of the statistics and information system, the General Authority for Statistics intensified the efforts in order to develop the statistical work system, as well as statistical methods and methodologies, and technical systems used in all statistical information units and centers across the Kingdom. The General Authority for Statistics was also keen to develop a dedicated mechanism that would facilitate the flow of statistical information and data, in an automatically structured manner, between the General Authority for Statistics and all statistics units and centers across the Kingdom, as well as to promote electronic transactions, maps and information technologies. Moreover, the General Authority for Statistics has developed the new statistical system that was proposed to replace the one that was issued pursuant to Royal Decree No. 23 on 7/9/1379 H. In parallel, it also started the implementation of the first and second phases of the National Information System project, which aims at achieving a quantum leap in all statistical events, including the establishment of a National Data Bank that would assume the responsibility of providing immediate query services through electronic statistical databases. Given the importance of a comprehensive strategy for statistical development that would define the Kingdom’s long-term vision of the statistical information and data system, as well as the features of its institutional and organizational development paths, the General Authority for Statistics started drafting an action plan to develop the National Strategy for Statistical Development until year 1452/51 H. (2030). This shall be carried out based on international standards adopted by Paris 21, the Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century, and implemented by more than one hundred countries while developing their statistical strategies, and in line with the provisions of the General Framework of the GCC Unified Statistical Strategy. The current situation was also studied through the implementation of the preliminary stage, which included a field survey of official statistics and data sources among 32 government entities, and private establishments so as to identify their various requirements. Moreover, the action plan requires the completion of the preparation of the strategy of year 1436/35 H. (2014). Hence, implementation shall begin with the start of the Tenth Development Plan to cover three plans, that is, until the end of the Twelfth Development Plan.

 

Second: Issues and Challenges

Statistical awareness: The success of statistical work depends heavily on the society and the readiness of its members and institutions to provide accurate and reliable data and information that would help draw plans and programs on all levels. Since statistical awareness is still below the desired level, acquiring accurate data from some households and institutions still poses some difficulties, calling for further efforts to increase awareness among the society through various means; such as organizing workshops, publications and reports that present the statistical concepts in a clear way, in addition to clarifying the contents of statistical survey plans, and preparing statistical reports and news releases in an easily comprehensible manner.

Use of Statistical Data and Information (Demand): Although the purpose of providing statistical data and information is mainly to be used in making decisions and policies and enhance performance, there is still a noticeable default in utilizing the vast amounts of statistical produced and disseminated by the statistical system in the Kingdom. This is attributed to several factors, most importantly the weak communication between the system and the beneficiaries, as well as producing data and statistical that do not properly meet the needs of users. Thus, the upcoming phase requires strengthening the communication and interaction links between the statistical system and its users, to accurately define their needs and utilize their feedback to continuously improve the system’s outcomes in a way that enhances the overall use of statistical data and information.

Production and Dissemination of Statistical Data and Information (Supply): In order to meet the increasing need for statistical data and information, the General Authority for Statistics and other competent authorities constantly strive to improve their activities, projects and programs through censuses, surveys and research while enhancing coordination among all components of the statistical ecosystem in order to standardize statistical concepts, organize data production times and improve the implementation of recommendation and international statistical standards, classifications and systems.   This would also lead to a smoother flow of data and information in a highly secure and efficient manner. Since the majority of statistical data and information production depends on official records kept at the government and public departments in the Kingdom, timely provision of such data to be utilized by the General Authority for Statistics would be vital to support development efforts and drive achievement, while highlighting the importance of increasing the quality of such record and expanding their scope during the 10th Development Plan, in addition to guaranteeing timely preparation and release of the data regularly on predefined dates.

Qualified Manpower: The statistical service departments suffer from weak interest of qualified professionals in the statistical field (statistics, applied statistics, mathematics and quantitative methods), due to classifying statistical jobs as part of the administrative and financial jobs in the civil service ministry job guide. Those departments also have some employees whose qualifications do not properly suit their statistical work requirements, making it more difficult to cope with the rapid developments on the international level. Due to the importance of having a well-qualified, highly skilled team to ensure the development of statistical work, there is an urgent need to provide a proper work environment that attracts qualified personnel, as well as reconsidering the job classification of statistical jobs to be placed on the technical job list. There is also a need to improve communication with universities to encourage excellent graduates to join the statistical sector, while holding intensive training courses and making use of the scholarships’ program in the Kingdom, and participating in workshops, conferences on the local, regional and international levels to enhance the capabilities of those working in the sector.

 

Third: Development Strategy

Future vision: “An efficient statistical and information sector that meets the demands of beneficiaries and users in a professional, credible manner.”

 

Fourth: General Objectives and Policies

Objective one: facilitate obtaining statistical data and information at the highest quality in the right time, ensuring that it fulfills the requirements of users. 

This objective could be met through the following policies:

  1. Accomplishing the electronic link project linking the information and statistical department components to ensure the availability of statistical data and information at the required time and efficiency.
  2. Finding an institutional mechanism to hold a dialogue with the statistical data users, including ministries, government departments, academia, private sector companies and businesses.
  3. Ongoing implementation of the most advanced technologies, standards, methods and classifications in the process of data collection and analysis.
  4. Implementation and execution of the “National Strategy for statistical Development” and activating the projects of phase 1 thereof
  5. Fulfilling the kingdom’s membership data requirements in G20, and fulfilling the data release standard requirements as approved by the International Monetary Fund.

 

Objective Two: Ensuring a high quality statistical structure

This objective could be met through two policies:

  1. Accelerating the implementation of cabinet resolution no. 284 dated 2/11/1426 (2005) to set up statistical units in ministries and government departments, and ensuring that data and information produced by those entities are timely communicated to the General Authority for Statistics.
  2. Supporting the development of statistical data production for small and medium enterprises and their periodical release.

 

Objective Three: Improving statistical knowledge and awareness of the importance of statistics to the society

This could be achieved through the following policies:

  1. Preparing publications that simply clarify the indications of statistics released by the statistics and information sector.
  2. Holding seminars and educational programs through various media to increase awareness of the importance of statistics and information in accelerating economic, social and environmental development.
  3. Preparing education programs in cooperation with the competent authorities to instill the use of figures among middle and high school students.

 

Objective Four: Upgrading work systems in the information and statistics sector, and attracting qualified individuals while improving the capabilities of manpower.

This could be achieved through the following policies:

  1. Accelerated decision making in statistical job descriptions to distinguish them from administrative and financial jobs.
  2. Expanding the training scope and improving its effectiveness, mainly in the fields of statistical analysis, mathematical statistical, sampling, economic statistical, dissemination and communications.
  3. Sourcing the latest statistical analysis software and technologies.
  4. Sending more statistical and information professionals to study abroad as part of the King Abdullah Foreign Scholarship Program.
  5. More participation in relevant conferences, workshops and seminars on the local,  national and international level to improve the sector’s capabilities and enable professional to be up to date with the latest developments.

 

Objective Five: improve field operations of censuses, surveys and research, and improving administrative records to gradually increase their reliability.

This could be achieved through the following policies:

  1. Attracting local talents to support field operations, and qualifying them for statistical work.
  2. Improving the efficiency of planning for field statistical work.
  3. Facilitating questionnaires to collect data and ensure their credibility and timeliness.
  4. Upgrading statistical methodologies and techniques and the technical systems used in all statistical units responsible for administrative records in the kingdom, as part of the national information system project (known as the electronic link project)

 

Objective Six: regular release of data and periodical reports by the General Authority for Statistics.

This objective could be met through the following policies:

  1. Compliance of government department to provide the General Authority for Statistics with their data by predefined deadlines.
  2. Linking all statistical information centers and their units in government departments with the Authority.
  3. Qualifying and training professionals at statistical information centers and their units in government departments.

 

Fifth: Specified Goals

  1. Implementing an annual comprehensive economic survey for foreign investment institutions’ activities in cooperation with SAGIA, starting the fourth year of the 10th development plan.
  2. Developing supply and use tables and publishing them in a way compatible with the annual production of national accounts’ estimates.
  3. Preparing the competitive imports value and the complementary imports value as part of the social accounts algorithm and the user-producer tables.
  4. Preparing fixed capital accumulation value estimates according to primary sources (manufacturing, construction and import sectors).
  5. Standardization of property numbering (enterprises and housings) to facilitate coordination and unifying concepts related to the field statistics. Standardization should be accomplished with the fifth year of the plan.
  6. Ongoing publication of 29 statistical bulletins and reports by the Authority as per the following table:

 

Sixth: Releases and Reports

 

# Report / bulletin Release period frequency

1

national accounts bulletin 

8 months from year-end

Annual

2

National Accounts bulletin  based on 2008 system

18 months from year end

Annual

3

Quarterly national accounts indicators

3 months from quarter end

Quarterly

4

Annual economic report

With the end of each fiscal year

Annual

5

Exports statistical bulletin 

3rd quarter of the next year

Annual

6

Imports statistical bulletin 

3rd quarter of the next year

Annual

7

Trade exchange between the kingdom and its trade partners

3rd quarter of the next year

Annual

8

Monthly non-oil imports and exports bulletin 

End of the next month

Monthly

9

Foreign trade indices bulletin 

3nd week of next month

Annual

10

cost of living index bulletin 

3nd week of next month

Monthly

11

 wholesale price index bulletin 

3rd week of April, July, October, January

Monthly

12

4th quarter Statistical Yearbook

October, November, December

Annual

13

4th quarter Statistical indicator

October, November, December

Annual

14

Quarterly non-oil imports and exports reports

Next quarter

Quarterly

 

 

 

 

15

Annual non-oil imports and exports report

April

Annual

16

Hajj (Pilgrimage) statistical bulletin 

12/10 of the Hijri year

Annual

17

Population and Housing Atlas

After the release of detailed census results

After the release of detailed census results

18

Service guide by regions

End of research year

Every 3 years

19

Demographic research

Three months from end of research

Every 5 years

20

Manpower research bulletin 

1st and 3rd quarters

Quarterly

21

Household expenditure and income bulletin 

6 months from the survey

Every 5 years

22

Annual economic research of institutions

Three months from data processing

Annual

23

Tourism research

Three months from data processing

Biennial

24

Finance and Insurance research

Three months from data processing

Biennial

25

Emerging institutions research

Three months from data processing

Biennial

26

Foreign investment research

Three months from data processing

Biennial

27

Economic indicators research

One month from data processing

Quarterly

28

Industrial production research

Two months from data processing

Quarterly

29

Price average research

3nd week of next month

Monthly

 

 

Seventh: Key Performance Indicators

#

Indicator

Achievements during 10th development plan %

1

Conducting a comprehensive annual economic survey of foreign investments institutions’ activities

100%

2

Preparing and publishing part of the social accounts algorithm including user-producer tables

100%

3

Developing added value estimates by unorganized sectors to be included in the national accounts’ estimates

100%

4

Preparing the competitive imports value and the complementary imports value as part of the social accounts algorithm and the user-producer tables

100%

5

Preparing fixed capital accumulation value estimates according to primary sources (manufacturing, construction and import sectors).

 

100%

6

Standardization of property numbering (enterprises and housings) and unifying concepts related to the field statistical operations.

100%

7

Unifying accounting systems in all public institutions and non-profit organizations

100%

8

Ongoing publication of 29 statistical releases and reports on predefined dates

100%

 

 

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