The Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC), was founded as a subsidiary organ of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC). It started its activities in Ankara in 1978 and serves the 57 countries of the OIC.
The basic mandate of SESRIC is threefold:
- To collate, process and disseminate socio-economic statistics and information on, and for, the utilisation of the member countries,
- To study and evaluate the economic and social developments in the member countries to help generate proposals that will initiate and enhance co-operation among them, and
- To organise training programmes in selected fields geared to the needs of the member countries as well as to the general objectives of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.
Collecting, Processing and Disseminating Statistics and Information
The Centre maintains the Basic Social and Economic Indicators Database (BASEIND) which serves as a major socio-economic information bank on and for the OIC member countries. It provides the necessary statistical data and background information to inform member countries of each other’s potential and needs and so facilitate cooperation projects and harmonisation. BASEIND currently contains data on 162 socio-economic variables under 15 different categories for member countries dating back to 1970. Details can be found at: http://www.sesric.org/stat_database.php.
The Centre produces two annual statistical publications, these being the ‘Statistical Yearbook of the OIC Member Countries’ and ‘Basic Facts and Figures on the OIC Member Countries’. From time to time special reports presenting indicators on selected topics are published. Among others, these have included the following: the environment; poverty; agriculture; science and technology; and, education.
Statistical Training Programmes
The Centre also organizes training programmes for statistical capacity building in NSOs of the member countries. These programmes aim to match the needs and capacities of the NSOs and identify the most practical ways of sharing their existing capacities through twinning programmes. In support of this the Centre arranges short-term training programmes in the member countries based on an assessment of need and demand.
In addition to the above the Centre has assumed the role of focal point for technical co-operation activities and projects between the OIC system and relevant UN agencies. It also acts as the major research arm of the OIC and prepares the main economic and social reports and background documents for the many meetings and conferences held every year under the umbrella of the OIC. The SESRIC statistics department website also provides a common forum for a roster of statistics experts, press releases from National Statistical Offices and the special reports for OIC member countries.
Received September 2010