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The HLG-MOS oversee and manage:

(blue star) Collaboration groups: Standards, Capabilities and CommunicationBlue Skies and Machine Learning Community

(blue star) Modernisation Projects 2021: Synthetic Data and Input Privacy-Preservation

(blue star) Specialised topics: Dissemination and CommunicationData CollectionStatistical Data Editing and Statistical Confidentiality

(blue star) Modernisation Expert group meetings, workshops and seminars

(info) What is the HLG-MOS                   (info) HLG-MOS Outputs             (info) Modernstats Updates

Generic Statistical Business Process Model (GSBPM) describes the core business processes undertaken by statistical organisations to produce statistical outputs. It is used by more than 50 organisations world wide. Read more here

Generic Statistical Information Model (GSIM) describes the core pieces of information needed by statistical organisations to produce statistical outputs. Read more here

Common Statistical Data Architecture (CSDA) is reference architecture and guidance for the modernisation of their processes and systems. Read more here


Strategic Communication Framework is a guide for Statistical Organisations to the development and implementation of a communication strategy. Read more here

Generic Activity Model for Statistical Organisations (GAMSO) extends and complements the GSBPM by describing overarching activities and processes to support the production of official statistical production. Read more here


Common Statistical Production Architecture (CSPA) helps statistical organisation create interoperable tools to share within and between statistical organisations. Read more here

Generic Statistical Data Editing Model (GSDEM) is intended as a reference for all official statisticians whose activities include data editing. Read more here


Machine Learning for Official Statistics the 2019-2020 project continued as a collaboration community in 2021. Read more here

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Blog on Recent highlights and updates

We have combined the output of the HLG-MOS Strategic Communication Framework projects (2018-2019) and additional use cases and examples into a paper publication. Please find below a reprint of an article kindly prepared by our colleague Fiona Willis-Nuñez for UNECE news. (click here for the original)

01 July 2021

Statistics are all around us. All the more since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Rarely do we see a news story, political debate, press conference or even a social media debate that doesn’t reference statistics. In this environment, the custodians of the figures—the national statistical offices (NSOs) which produce, curate and publish official statistics—have an unparalleled role to play in communicating with their users.

The new Strategic Communication Framework for Statistical Institutions serves as a guide to help them navigate the changing demands of this role.

News statistics

Statistical communication is about more than writing press releases or answering user questions and requests. NSOs need a modern, proactive communication strategy with clearly defined key messages, and must use different channels to reach various target audiences. This may seem obvious, but it is a relatively new concept for many NSOs, which have traditionally focused their efforts and resources on dissemination—publishing their figures in tables, databases and sometimes analytical reports and leaving users to get on with the task of finding what they need, processing it and making sense of it. Dissemination has often been designed principally for expert users who know what they are looking for and how to interpret it.

Increasingly, though, NSOs are embracing the idea that their ‘target audience’ includes all types of users, or even non-users, and that two-way communication with citizens and improving statistical literacy fall within their remit.

With this in mind, the High-Level Group for the Modernization of Official Statistics (HLG-MOS), a group of chief statisticians reporting to UNECE’s Conference of European Statisticians (CES), decided back in 2018 to make strategic communication a key priority. They launched a project to develop a common framework that can serve as a guide for individual NSOs as they rethink their approaches to communicating with data users and with the public. The resulting framework, developed by a group of experts from 11 countries - Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom and the United States - plus OECD and Eurostat and endorsed by CES, highlights examples of success and lessons learned from countries in a range of aspects of communication: rebranding in Canada and Poland; issue and risk management in Australia; and crisis communications in the United States of America.

The framework is designed to give NSOs the tools they need to build communication into their overall corporate strategy, helping to increase their visibility, relevance, and brand recognition. It covers the full range of communications considerations for NSOs, with recommendations on such elements as conducting stakeholder engagement, evaluating external communications, building a mission and vision, and enhancing communication with employees.

The framework offers guidance not only on communicating statistical information but also on communicating about values, purpose and the unique role of official statistics within the broader statistical landscape. The need for this has been highlighted during the pandemic, as producers of official statistics have demonstrated and defended the importance of making trustworthy, politically independent, rapid and comparable figures available for policymakers in response to ever-changing demand.

An evolving collection of case studies, published alongside the framework and still growing as countries’ experiences continue to be shared, demonstrates how NSOs have communicated with their users during the COVID-19 crisis—both about the impact of the pandemic on their operations and with tailored statistical communications about the pandemic itself.  

The work will not end here. An HLG-MOS Task Team devoted to Capability and Communication is now extending the Framework, developing practical guidelines, examples and tools for managing crises and for brand management.

Statistical data combined with location information can provide critical knowledge through the integration with other data in the data ecosystem to understand multi-faceted issues of the current society. To address the information needs of the users in an increasingly complex and intertwined society, there is a great need for statistical data to be geospatially enabled using consistent and common geographies, in an accessible and usable format.

The production of geospatially enabled statistics should be a routine operation for statistical organisations, not just one-off exercise. The crisis such as global pandemic highlighted that statistical organisations should be prepared to produce them in an efficient and timely manner. To ensure this occurs, geospatial-relevant activities and considerations should be integrated into the regular production processes of statistical organisations, so that the design and production of geospatially enabled statistics can be conducted in a systematic and consistent way.

Using two global frameworks, Generic Statistical Business Process Model (GSBPM) and Global Statistical Geospatial Framework (GSGF), the Geospatial Task Team under the Supporting Standards Group of the High-Level Group on the Modernisation of Official Statistics (HLG-MOS) developed a Geospatial view of GSBPM (GeoGSBPM). It describes geospatial-related activities and considerations needed to produce geospatially enabled statistics using the structure of GSBPM while taking into account GSGF principles so that the resulting statistics have a higher level of standardisation and geospatial flexibility, as well as a greater capacity for data integration.

More details about the GeoGSBPM can be found on this wiki page.

Upcoming Expert meetings

Various Expert meetings or workshops are organized as part of the programme or work of the High-Level Group for the Modernisation of Official Statistics. These statistical process based events bring together experts to discuss innovative, best practices and future work in these areas. We welcome submission of abstracts and you can preliminary register for the events.


There were not only more participants in workshops (as these were moved from in-person to online) but also groups and projects saw and increase in participants. We thank all of you for joining the ModernStats community and hope to see you all back in 2021!

2020 involvement in HLG-MOS Activities:

2019 involvement in HLG-MOS Activities:

HLG-MOS promotional video

That's Where We Come In: the High-Level Group for the Modernisation of Offiical Statistics (HLG-MOS).

HLG-MOS 2020 video 360p.mp4 | Download HD version by clicking here | Click here to Watch in Vimeo

Statistics Canada has kindly produced an excellent video showcasing the importance of the HLG-MOS for Official statistics in the UNECE region and beyond. In a nutshell, it explains the role of the HLG-MOS and the range of groups, projects and activities taking place on this collaboration platform to move our statistical community into the future. 

What is the role of Statistical Agencies in data driven societies? How do we adapt to a dynamic and ever changing environment? In a world moving faster than ever, citizens need timely, relevant and quality information from a source they can trust without being overburdened. That's where we come in. We are the High-Level Group for the Modernisation of Official Statistics. Guided by the Conference of European Statisticians, we are a network for leaders of statistical agencies; a place to collaborate on the global modernisation agenda. We originate from the UNECE. That is the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe which represents Europe, North-America and parts of Asia. But our work is shared with all. Our groups are open to all and our network is global. Statistical agencies are facing new challenges: a rapid evolving environment, new channels, increasing costs and difficulty of acquiring data, competition for skilled resources, changing expectations of citizens visa viz data, need for new standards for the management of digital information, new ethical questions. These problems might be too big for a single organisation to handle on its own. That's where we come in. Collaboration is key. We coordinate global efforts to modernise statistics by providing experts with the venue to develop strategies and solutions. Our mission is to work collaborative to identify trends, risk and opportunities as well as to provide a common platform to develop solutions.

Stuck in the Past? I don't think so. Together we are moving the Statistical Community into the Future. You can count on it!

Public web space of the UNECE High Level Group for the Modernisation of Official Statistics (HLG-MOS)

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