Environment statistics and material flow accounts development in Lao PDR: A case study on multiple data sources integration for a new statistical domain in a lower middle-income country national statistical system
Abstract: The Lao Statistics Bureau has launched the development of Statistical Information System on the Environment. With its integrated systems approach, incorporating multiple data sources within a unified analytical framework enabling an understanding of tradeoffs and synergies to monitor sustainable development and formulate integrated, evidence-based policies, the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) plays a central role in Lao PDR strategy for the development of environment statistics, as well as for the mainstreaming of their use in policy processes. However routinely producing environmental-economic accounts at the national level by the national statistical office requires addressing the technical and institutional barriers to the integration of these different data sources. In the context of the national statistical systems of a lower middle income country, the case of the development of Material Flow Accounts by the Lao Statistics Bureau with support from the Lao Luxembourg Cooperation Project in Statistics is illustrative of the challenges faced to integrate data from multiple sources into one single database (the number and diversity of stakeholders and domains and the consequent dispersion of data, the difficulty of access, the often poor quality of the data (linked notably to the relative novelty of the statistics involved) etc.) and provides feedback on the solutions applied to overcome the challenges.
Keywords: System of information on the environment, integrated administrative data, environmental-economic accounting, lower middle-income country national statistical office