The sixth meeting of the Expert Group on the Integration of Statistical and Geospatial Information was held on 8 - 9 October 2019 in the Stanley Room of the Midland Hotel, in Manchester, United Kingdom. This was the first face-to-face meeting of its members since the adoption of the Global Statistical Geospatial Framework (GSGF) by UN-GGIM at its ninth session in August 2019. Hosted by the Office for National Statistics and Ordnance Survey of the United Kingdom, the EG-ISGI meeting was attended by 27 participants from: Australia, Canada, Germany, Finland, France, Ireland, Kuwait, Mexico, Namibia, Norway, Poland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America as well as by representatives from the International Cartographic Association, Eurostat, and the United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) Secretariat from the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD). The meeting was co-Chaired by Mr. Martin Brady (Australia) and Mr. Sergio Carrera, on behalf of Ms. Paloma Merodio (Mexico).
The meeting discussed the adoption of the GSGF, structured a Work Plan for the next 3 years as a basis for the future work of the EG-ISGI, discussed its new modalities, and appointed two new co-Chairs by acclamation, among other pertinent matters. Appreciation was offered to Martin and Paloma for their leadership and work, and by extension Australia and Mexico for their continued support and commitment. Ms. Kathrin Gebers, Federal Statistical Office of Germany (Destatis), Germany and Mr. Alex Mudabeti, Namibia Statistics Agency, Namibia have graciously accepted the role of co-Chairs for the next three years.
The GSGF facilitates the integration of statistical and geospatial information. A Framework for the world, the GSGF enables a range of data to be integrated from both statistical and geospatial communities and, through the application of its five Principles and supporting key elements, permits the production of harmonised and standardised geospatially enabled statistical data. The resulting data can then be integrated with statistical, geospatial, and other information to inform and facilitate data-driven and evidence-based decision making to support local, sub-national, national, regional, and global development priorities and agendas, such as the 2020 Round of Population and Housing Censuses and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To progress the GSGF, the EG-ISGI decided to establish a GSGF Task Team with three Work Streams that provide specific implementation guidance for the GSGF to cover Geocoding, Common Geographies, and Interoperability respectively, a Task Team on Capacity Building, and a Task Team on Privacy and Confidentiality. Additionally, the EG-ISGI revised its Terms of Reference and committed to consider mechanisms that raise engagement and participation within the work programme of the EG-ISGI by Member States and request its members for use cases that illuminate adoption of the GSGF, examining its challenges, opportunities and successes.
The EG-ISGI now looks forward to the 51st session of the Statistical Commission where it will present the GSGF for endorsement with its revised Terms of Reference and Work Plan for 2020 – 2021 provided as background documents (which will also be submitted as background documents to UN-GGIM at the tenth session). The EG-ISGI is highly appreciative to the Office for National Statistics and Ordnance Survey of the United Kingdom for their hospitality and the provision of the great meeting environment which fostered a collegial spirit which allowed for open and frank exchanges and interactions, debates and discussions, sharing of knowledge, circumstances, practices and experiences that allowed the EG-ISGI to work together and to achieve outcomes that set the agenda for the future.