USC Upstate News

Páez Invited To Participate In The World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge, and Policy

04- 09- 2007

Paez, DorisSpartanburg, S.C. -- Dr. Doris Páez, director of the Metropolitan Studies Institute at the University of South Carolina Upstate, has been invited to participate in the prestigious Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) 2nd World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge, and Policy on "Measuring and Fostering the Progress of Societies" which will take place in Istanbul, Turkey during June 27-30.

“This is a most extraordinary opportunity for Doris Páez and the Metropolitan Studies Institute, growing out of its collaborative work with the United Way of the Piedmont and the Spartanburg County Foundation on the Community Indicators project,” said Dr. John Stockwell, chancellor of USC Upstate.

Páez has a Ph.D. in school psychology with a concentration in bilingual special education from the University of Florida, an Ed.S. in school psychology and an M.A. in behavioral sciences/education from the University of South Florida. Prior to coming to USC Upstate, Dr. Páez served as Coordinator of the Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Program at Furman University.

She is a widely published author who has held teaching and administrative positions at New Mexico State University, Florida International University and the Medical University of South Carolina. Páez has earned a number of outstanding awards, including the prestigious Liberty Fellowship, which is reserved for the top young professional leaders across the state of South Carolina.

In June 2007 an exceptional group of 900 people will gather in Istanbul. They will come from across the developed and developing world, and will span the public, private and civil sectors. They will comprise ministers, parliamentarians and senior public servants; eminent academics and the leaders of civil society; senior business leaders, the development sector and representatives from the media. And they will come together to assess and foster the progress of their societies. Thousands of others are expected to follow the discussion through live webcast.

The second OECD World Forum will build on the success of its predecessor, held in 2004 in Palermo, Italy. Attended by 540 people from 43 countries, the Forum was the first international discussion about improving the use of statistics for evidence-based decision making and developing a shared, facts-based knowledge about the progress of societies, a cornerstone of any modern democracy.

Around the world, societies are increasingly concerned with their quality of life. And a consensus is growing around the need to develop a more comprehensive view of progress – one that takes into account social, environmental and economic concerns - rather than focusing mainly on economic indicators like Gross Domestic Product, which while an important measure of economic activity, was not developed to be the sole measure of a nation’s progress. There is also a broad recognition that the development of cross-cutting, high quality, shared, accessible information about how a society is doing is crucial to ensure that decision-making is simultaneously responsive and responsible at all levels (policy makers, businesses, citizens, etc.). But, in an age of unprecedented, and overwhelming, information flows, the common understanding necessary for informed public discourse is often inadequate.
In response, organizations all over the globe are developing comprehensive measures of a society’s progress (or sustainability, wellbeing or quality of life – all terms closely linked to progress). Work is being done at the sub-national, national, and international levels, undertaken by the public, private and citizen sectors, academia, and the media, sometimes in collaboration.

Many challenges are emerging as this work unfolds. Globalization is making the measurement and assessment of a country’s overall progress an issue requiring statistical and analytical approaches that go beyond national borders. Civil society is increasingly taking the lead in calling for – and even building – sets of progress measures. These challenges are putting pressure on all parts of society to find new ways of working with one another to improve their understanding and assessment of societal progress. This collaboration crosses national borders and spans sectors – governments, for instance, are seeking new ways to collaborate with civil society. But until now there has been no “global” discussion about how to do this.

Speakers confirmed for the conference include: Esko Aho (Former Prime Minister of Finland, now  President of the Finnish National Fund for Research and Development); Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa (President of the United   Nations General Assembly); Joaquín Almunia (European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs); Larry Brilliant (Executive Director, Google); Margaret Chan (Director General, World Health Organization); François Bourguignon (Chief Economist, World Bank); Kemal Derviş (UNDP Administrator); Tayyip Erdoğan (Prime Minister, Turkey); Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson (President of Iceland); Angel Gurría (Secretary General, OECD); José Antonio Ocampo, (Ùnder Secretary General, United Nations); Alan Krueger (Economics Professor, Princeton University); Lord Richard Layard (Professor, London School of Economics); Roy Romanow (Founding Chair, The Canadian Index of Wellbeing); Francisco Santos Calderón (Vice President of Colombia); David M.Walker (Comptroller General, USA); and Baroness Shirley Williams (UK House of Lords).

More information, visit the OECD World Forum website at www.oecd.org/oecdworldforum.