Statistics Flanders is the network of Flemish government agencies that develop, produce and publish official statistics. The network has the remit to develop and implement a coordinated statistical policy, focused on the flexible, helpful provision of high quality statistics to all users.
We aim to offer key figures and data about Flanders so that everyone has the right information to make well-founded decisions: citizens, organisations, companies and policy makers. We will tell stories with numbers about Flanders: about the people who live and work here, our economy and our environment, and about our place in the world. And we aim to make data openly available so we maximise the use of our data.
Our official statistics will be produced according to legal provisions and internationally applicable principles, which focus on the quality, relevance and independent production of our outputs.
The members of our network operate in a decentralised system, where the responsibility for official statistics remains with the various entities of the network. We work within a legal framework that applies to everyone within the network, and ensures that there is a coherent and high-quality range of statistics on Flanders.
Statistics Flanders is a new setup and we are working on a transformation during the coming years to align the current activities on official statistics production with the new legal framework.
We are part of the Interfederal Institute for Statistics (IIS), which provides coordination between the various statistical authorities at the federal and regional level within Belgium, and we are represented in the Belgian Institute for National Accounts (INR).
Our strategy sets out how we want to develop, produce and disseminate official statistics in Flanders in the future. Our strategic framework is based on international principles for official statistics and is complementary to Flemish official statistics legislation. The four strands of the strategy which will shape our future work are summarised below.
Official statistics are for everyone
Official statistics serve society as a whole. That is why we not only take into account the government’s needs for statistical information, but also the needs of Flemish society at large. Although we are part of the Flemish Government, official statistics should be relevant and accessible to the broadest possible range of users: official statistics are a public good. Government policy should certainly indicate priorities, but it is not exclusively up to the government to determine which statistics should be developed, produced and published.
We provide more high-quality statistics through better planning
We ensure that the statistics we produce are of the highest possible quality and cover information needs as much as possible. We proactively examine the themes for which we need to produce more statistics in order to improve our knowledge of Flanders. We will follow international quality standards for the production and dissemination of official statistics; currently they are generally followed albeit not explicitly and not always. Our ambition is to put quality at the heart of everything we do. That is why we will take a more planned approach to the way we produce and disseminate our statistics, which will be communicated transparently and punctually to the outside world.
We work independently and with transparency
Some of the main distinctive characteristics of official statistics are their trustworthiness and reliability, and their recognition as such by society. They should not only be of high quality, but also be developed, produced and disseminated without any form of political interference. We strive for maximum transparency in the development, production and dissemination of statistics, with clear arrangements in place between the political parts of government and the civil service.
We work in innovative ways and focus on the future
In a society where an increasing amount of data are generated by living our daily lives, it is important to stay informed about new technologies and developments in new data sources and statistical methodologies. This means we will need to develop an innovative mindset and work with external experts, organisations and partnerships in order to be a continuously learning network that can be flexible in responding to complex user needs.
For more information about Statistics Flanders, please contact us.