Triangular Cooperation to strengthen business statistics

Through ADELANTE 2, Ibero-American countries increase statistical institutions’ capacities to apply the gender approach.

The production of quality statistics has a positive impact on the design, implementation and evaluation of public policies, as well as on decision-making. In addition, it is easier to identify gaps ―such as those related to gender equality―, when disaggregated data is available. This also enables the adaptation of resources and policies to be more effective in addressing these types of inequalities.

According to ECLAC, “Incorporating the gender perspective in statistical production implies questioning how certain phenomena impact men and women differently” (ECLAC, 2024). Latin-American countries have complications in this sense, mainly due to the difficult access to data and its registration (National Statistics Office of the Dominican Republic, ONE by its Spanish acronym, 2024, p.7)

In this regard, the international community has been firmly advocating to highlight the importance of applying the gender approach in statistics, starting by disaggregating data by sex, whenever possible. However, some sectors have not been able to make significant progress. For example, it is difficult to have access to reliable information to use and interpret economic statistics properly (ONE, 2024, p. 7) and having gender indicators in this sector would make differences and inequalities visible, enabling the development of effective solutions.

Two figures illustrate the above: according to IDB, only 14% of businesses in Latin-America and the Caribbean are owned by women, and women hold the position of Senior Manager in only 11% of these companies.

In addition, data disaggregated by gender show important differences when comparing areas that require STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and those that do not. For instance, women represent 63% of the total number of employees in the departments of Communication and 64% in the Human Resources area, while in areas related to Operations or IT, female representation drops to 35% (IDB, 2021, p. 5).

In this context, and in the framework of the EU Triangular Cooperation Program ADELANTE 2, Ibero-American countries identified an opportunity to present the project “Strengthening Business Statistics” (ADELANTE 2, 2024). In this initiative, Uruguay acted as first provider and the Dominican Republic was the recipient, while Spain participated as second provider. As a result of its successful outcomes and considering ONE was also already supporting the National Institute of Statistics (INE by its Spanish acronym) of Guatemala, synergies were found among the four countries to implement a second project.

In this new initiative “Promoting business statistics with gender indicators”, the National Statistics Institutes of Uruguay and Guatemala act as recipients and ONA as the first provider. The Foundation for the Strategic Analysis and Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises of Spain (FAEDPYME by its Spanish acronym), in turn, participates as the second provider.

On the one hand, ONE has long-term experience in measuring the gender approach in statistics. On the other hand, since 2020, FAEDPYME has been working on the use of data to generate business indicators with a gender and youth perspective, also making its environmental impact visible (ADELANTE 2, 2024). Hence, this project strengthened the capacities of Uruguay and Guatemala in this area.

To achieve its objective, between 2023 and 2024, six visits were carried out to the Latin-American countries to learn first-hand about the needs of the recipients, and to design a clear and effective roadmap. In addition, two specialized studies were completed, one of which has become a reference for other stakeholders in the region: Methodology to measure business statistics with a gender perspective (ONE, 2024). In addition to preparing another specialized document, FAEDPYME carried out a training course for ONE and the National Statistics Institutes of Guatemala and Uruguay.

The project concluded with an international seminar in the Dominican Republic, in March 2024, where the objectives and outcomes of this triangular experience, which directly benefited approximately 120 people, were presented. Through this initiative, Ibero-American cooperation contributed to SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth), SDG 9 (Industry, innovation and infrastructure) and SDG 10 (Reduced inequalities).


Source: SEGIB based on Agencies and Directorates-General for Cooperation, ADELANTE 2 (2024), IDB (2021), ECLAC (2024) and ONE (2024).

Photos: Uruguayan Agency for International Cooperation (AUCI by its Spanish acronym) and National Statistics Office of the Dominican Republic (ONE by its Spanish acronym).