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content header icon of EconMAP Statistician Position Description for EconMAP Statistician

For additional information or to apply for the position of EconMAP statisitician, please contact us at [email protected].

The EconMAP Program and Functions

The Economic Monitoring and Analysis Program (EconMAP) is designed to address the need for professional expertise to assist in maintaining and developing existing economic statistical series and economic analysis in the three Freely Associated States (FAS): the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Republic of Palau. The core features of the program are the annual production of a series of economic statistics to enable macro-economic monitoring and surveillance of the FAS. This dataset forms the base of the annual Economic Reviews and Briefs produced by the team, and also economic analysis conducted by the multilateral agencies: the IMF, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank. In the last few years and during the COVID period the scope and coverage of the program has been extended to cover topical issues such as the economic impact of COVID-19, immigration flows, minimum wages, impact of tax reform, etc.

The EconMAP Team

The EconMAP team is managed by a GSUSA program Director in Honolulu, and a team leader resident in Palau, but with frequent travel to the other FAS and to Honolulu. The team statistician will also be resident in Palau, travel to the other FAS, and work in close collaboration with the team leader and the statistics offices of each FAS. The remaining EconMAP team is represented by two part time economists/financial analysts resident in Honolulu and Washington DC.

Core Statistics Functions of the Program

The EconMAP team is responsible for assisting the FAS in preparing a set of core economic statistics:

  1. National Accounts: Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by industry, GDP by expenditure, GNI and GNDI, and GDP per capita, in current and constant prices,
  2. Employment numbers and wages by industry and by institution,
  3. Government payroll trends, numbers and wage costs,
  4. Industry sector statistics: tourism, fisheries, and agriculture,
  5. Consumer Price Index (CPI),
  6. Government Finance Statistics (GFS),
  7. Balance of Payments (BOP), External debt; and International Investment Position (IIP), and
  8. Money and banking statistics.
  9. Migration and demographic data

The responsibility for the compilation of the series is shared between the team leader and statistician depending on their respective skill sets. At present the team leader takes responsibility for the GFS, Money and Banking and BoP capital accounts, while the statistician compiles the remainder.

Sources and Methods

The program draws heavily if not exclusively from administrative data sets maintained by the FAS governments. These include Social Security employment and wage data, tax records based in the Business Gross Receipts tax currently deployed in all 3 FAS, trade data on imports and exports, wage tax data, immigration data, annual single audits (for government and public entities), and financial statements from leading enterprises in both the private and public sectors. This information base is supplemented with data from key entities, for example in the fisheries and tourism industries.

The compilation of the economic data series is conducted in MS Access and Excel. A comprehensive knowledge of both these standard productivity tools is essential. In addition to the Microsoft products, the economic series utilizes the NADABAS national accounts product: an excel add-in, see https://sites.google.com/nadabas.net/nadabas . NADABAS provides a robust means to link spreadsheets and classifications through a common database.

Partners

The main partners of EconMAP are the FAS statistics offices with which the team maintains a close working relationship. Counterparts will range from experienced senior officials to new staff needing patient guidance and assistance. The division of work is split between the FAS and EconMAP depending on the stage of development of each statistics office. In Palau the statistics office prepares much of the estimates with EconMAP providing oversight, quality control, and advice on classification and treatment of issues arising consistent with the SNA, as well as compiling the expenditure account (SUT) and associated balancing adjustments. In the RMI and FSM, the local office supports EconMAP with the provision of the key underlying administrative datasets with EconMAP compiling the source data into the statistical series.  As the competence in the islands develops EconMAP encourages the local staff to take on greater ownership and responsibility, thus enabling EconMAP to allocate resources to other tasks. The relationship with the FAS statistics staff involves both capacity building and supplementation.

A key partner and funding source is the US Department of the Interior, Office of Insular Affairs. The core functions of the statistical program of EconMAP are funded through an OIA contract and publication of the annual statistical economic series is a key deliverable. The annual cycle is conditioned on the requirement of the FAS to complete their annual audits by June 30th. This enables compilation of the series and in time for the annual bilateral meetings and presentations with the US government, usually in Honolulu.

EconMAP has a close relationship with the donor community: the IMF, the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre in Suva, the Asian Development Bank, and World Bank. The outputs of EconMAP and statistical series play a critical role in the provision of information for these agencies to fulfill their respective mandates and programs. EconMAP prepares its data series to coincide with the annual IMF Article IV consultations and staff visits to the greatest extent possible. The program has also developed a close relationship with the ADB in support of its programs especially during the COVID-19 period. EconMAP has been awarded several AsDB contracts, including a recent regional TA on filling data gaps relating to Migration, Remittances, FDI and SMEs.

Key Qualifications for the Job

This is a senior role requiring knowledge and experience in compiling economic and other statistics. Experience in a developing country context and an ability to relate and work with nationals in overseas countries is critical. While there is a need for leadership and theoretical knowledge, the work is hands-on with much of the compilation work done by the Statistician. A high quality of statistics is aimed for, but timeframes are important and practical solutions are often required to address data gaps. Periodic presentations are made in country and at regional meetings and ability to communicate and prepare descriptive analysis for reports are important.

Apply Now

If you're interested in joining the EconMAP team as our statistician, or have additional questions regarding the position, please contact us at [email protected].

Camera Photo Gallery

Photos from recent activities hosted by the Pacific and Virgin Islands Training Initiatives (PITI-VITI) in support of conferences, training and leadership development, are available below.