What is PARIS21?

The Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21) is an initiative that aims to promote the better use and production of statistics throughout the developing world. It was established by the United Nations, the European Commission, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank. The PARIS21 Secretariat is hosted within the OECD’s Development Co-operation Directorate. Since its establishment in 1999, PARIS21 has developed a worldwide network of statisticians, policy makers, analysts, and development practitioners committed to evidence-based decision making. With the main objective to achieve national and international development goals and reduce poverty in low and middle income countries, the Partnership facilitates statistical capacity development, advocates for the integration of reliable data in decision making, and co-ordinates donor support to statistics. PARIS21's goal is to develop a culture of Management for Development Results (MfDR). PARIS21 pursues this goal primarily by encouraging and assisting low-income and lower middle income countries to design, implement, and monitor a National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS).

What is PISTA?

PISTA is a platform that collects and shares innovations in data and statistics.

  • PISTA allows for easy browsing and identification of data innovations relevant to emerging data demands – both from the production and the use sides.
  • PISTA also records innovations so that others can learn and ultimately use it.

PISTA is useful for all individuals and agencies working in data – especially those in touch with the modernisation of data processes and the design of data work programmes. There are many different ways to browse and find innovations, from a free text search to using classification tags. Innovations are structured along five different classification schemes: by innovation category (ex: technological innovation), by sector (ex: health sector), by type (ex: software), by GAMSO / GSBPM steps (ex: collect data), and by geography (ex: India and Mozambique).

PISTA’s primary focus is on innovations relevant to developing countries.

PISTA is developed by PARIS21 and was launched in September 2017. Content is also managed by PARIS21, although the ultimate responsibility for each innovation lies with its innovator / owner.

What kinds of innovations are available in PISTA?

Innovations in the field of data and statistics are available in PISTA. These are approaches to data and statistics that are new and most of the time not yet widely used by stakeholders of national statistical systems. However, these innovations can be of potential relevance for these stakeholders to improve efficiency, effectiveness, quality and affordability in statistical processes. The selection of such innovations is reviewed periodically by a panel established by the PARIS21 Secretariat.

How can I enter an innovation into PISTA?

Submitting an innovation in PISTA is really quick and easy. The initial submission requires only limited information on the innovation such as its name, a brief description, the innovator agency and a web link for further information. Afterwards, you have the option to provide additional information on your innovation. You may also choose to first register as a PISTA user and then submit an innovation. The registration process allows you to manage your innovation (including adding additional information) easily in the future, if necessary.

How should I describe my innovation?

Innovations are structured along five different classification schemes: by innovation category (ex: technological innovation), by sector (ex: health sector), by type (ex: software), by GAMSO / GSBPM steps (ex: collect data), and by geography (ex: India and Mozambique). This also makes browsing easy.

Innovation category

PARIS21 has identified three levels on which innovations can impact statistical systems: the technological level; the process and methodological level; and the data-ecosystem level. An innovation can have different characteristics addressing different levels at the same time. For better navigation, the three broad categories are further refined in sub-categories as follows:

  • Technological Innovations include: Log Data, Mobile Data Collection, Real-Time Data, Remote Sensing, Social Media Data, Technical Infrastructure, Visual Analytics, Web Scraping
  • Process & Methodological Innovations include: Crowdsourcing, Data Management, Funding, PPPs, Skills Development, Standards, Use of Alternative Data Sources
  • Ecosystem Innovations include: Digital Activism, Framework, Legislation, Non-Official Statistics, Open Data


Statistics is often regarded as a cross-cutting issue. Consequently, statistical innovations are not limited to one sector exclusively. As many other organisations and systems are structured along sectoral fault lines, PISTA has adopted a sectoral approach to facilitate a common way of classification. The taxonomy of sector codes is taken from the Classification of the Functions of Government (COFOG) introduced by the OECD.


Type defines the nature of the innovation, which can be very diverse: from an actual tangible product to a new way of doing things. The following options are provided: software, hardware, other technology, dataset, guidelines, policy, other report.


The Generic Activity Model for Statistical Organizations (GAMSO) describes and defines the activities that take place within a typical statistical organisation as laid out in the UN Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics. Developed by the High-Level Group on the Modernisation of Official Statistics led by UNECE, it extends and complements the Generic Statistical Business Process Model (GSBPM) by adding additional activities needed to support statistical production.


Innovations are allocated to the country where they are applied in. The regional grouping of countries follows the UN classification of UN Regional Groups of Member States . Additionally, PARIS21 focus areas (Small Island Developing States and Fragile States) are also available as geographical groupings.

What happens after I submit my innovation?

The submitted innovations are first reviewed by the panel established by the PARIS21 secretariat. Once reviewed and accepted they will appear on the site. Subsequent changes made to the content are also subject to review before re-publication.

Someone else added my innovation - how can I claim ownership?

There is no ownership by PARIS21 on any innovation listed in PISTA. Please inform us at pista@paris21.org with your specific concerns. We will handle this request as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will take the innovation offline until the request has been solved.

How can I provide feedback?

Feedback on a specific innovation can be provided to the associated contact person through email. You can also contact us for general inquiries, at pista@paris21.org

Some information in PISTA is inaccurate – how can I flag it?

Please inform us at pista@paris21.org. We will handle your request as soon as possible.