IARIW Training Session on Advancing the SNA Measurement Framework, Luxembourg 2022

Advancing the SNA Measurement Framework
Priorities in the System of Nation Accounts Update
Training in Advanced Topics in SNA
 Biennial IARIW Conference, Luxembourg 2022


This two-day training session will focus on three priority areas of the upcoming update to 2008 System of National Accounts standards: Globalization, Digitalization and Wellbeing and Sustainability. Presenters are key contributors to the SNA update process, and background materials on emerging new SNA guidance will be provided to participants, who will benefit from first-hand exposure to recent challenges in the System of National Accounts update process.

Sunday, August 21

What’s New in the New System of National Accounts?

Peter van de Ven, Lead Editor, 2008 SNA update

This session will begin by providing a historical overview of the evolution of international standards for national accounts, then focus in on the most recent update, providing participants an understanding of what’s involved in planning and orchestrating the update process.  It will provide a broad overview of the SNA research agenda and the full spectrum of topics under consideration. Participants will obtain an overview of guidance developed by international experts involved in task teams engaged in the update process. Among other considerations, this session will cover how the extension of the SNA into new areas can address the “Beyond GDP” agenda.

Measurement Challenges in a Globalized World

Michael Connolly, Head of National Accounts Analysis and Globalisation Division, CSO Ireland

This session will explore how the revised standards for the 2025 SNA and BPM7 will address key measurement challenges in an increasingly globalized world. It will provide background on guidance on globalisation in the international statistical standards, explaining how multinational enterprises operate across their international group structures, and what compilers must do to describe and explain this cross-border activity.  It will discuss recent initiatives such as BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) of the OECD and explain how the update of the SNA and BPM standards will improve the identification, presentation and understanding of economic activities associated with globalisation.

Accounting for the Digitalized Economy

John Verrinder, Head of National Accounts Methodology, Eurostat

The digitalization of society and the economy has accelerated over the last 30 years, and statistical standards in the System of National Accounts must evolve to reflect emerging industries, products and business models. This session will explore key issues addressed in the SNA update process, including the statistical recording of data, the treatment of ‘free’ digital services, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and describing the digital economy via digital supply and use tables.

Monday, August 22

Selected topics in Wellbeing and Sustainability

  1. Distributions of Household Income, Consumption, Saving and Wealth

Jorrit Zwijnenburg, Head of Sectoral Accounts, National Accounts Division, OECD

This session will discuss the need for and the main benefits of distributional national accounts, provide an overview of the methodology, focusing in on specific challenges in compilation, and present some recent experimental results. It will highlight the importance of accounting for measurement differences between national accounts totals and micro aggregates from household surveys and other micro-based sources that serve as input to the work and describe tools and techniques to bridge the gaps. The session will also clarify new SNA guidance on household distributions specifically, and how this work is different from other initiatives on distributions in national accounts, such as those from the World Inequality Lab. It will conclude with next steps to further refine methods in this area.

  1. Environmental Economic Accounting

Carl Obst, Director, Institute of Development of Environmental-Economic Accounting – IDEEA Group

This session will review recent developments for standards in environmental economic accounting via the System of Environmental and Economic Accounts (SEEA) over the past 12 years and provide a summary of key components across the SEEA Central Framework and SEEA Ecosystem Accounting. An extended discussion on ecosystem accounting and connections to the SNA will be provided, including, for example, the use of the net present value (NPV) method, measurement of degradation, and alternate income aggregates. Key conceptual challenges, such as the estimation of exchange values for non-market ecosystem services will be highlighted. The session will also describe emerging connections and applications of the SEEA, including links to international conventions (CBD, UNCCD, SDG), private sector environmental accounting, sustainable finance, risk assessments and scenario analysis.



Peter van de Ven, Lead Editor, 2008 SNA update

Peter is currently the lead editor of the update of the 2008 SNA. He has been involved in national accounts since 1984., Peter was employed at Statistics Netherlands until 2011, as Director of National Accounts for the last 8 years. He was Head of National Accounts at the OECD for 10 years until 2021. Peter has been engaged in leadership roles for international standards on national accounts compilation for many years, including on the Advisory Expert Group on National Accounts and the Inter-Secretariat Working Group on National Accounts. Peter occupied the role of president of the International Association for Research in Income and Wealth (IARIW) from 2010-2012.

Michael Connolly, Head of National Accounts Analysis and Globalisation Division, CSO Ireland

 Michael is currently head of CSO Ireland’s National Accounts Analysis and Globalization Division, and prior to that headed the Large Cases Unit dealing with the reporting and analysis of large multinational enterprises located in Ireland.   As a member of the Advisory Expert Group on national accounts, he co-chairs the Globalisation Task Team, a joint National Accounts – Balance of Payments team of experts contributing to the update of the SNA and BPM standards.  Michael has occupied leadership roles in international discussions on Globalisation for many years.  He chaired the UNECE Task Force on Global Production that produced the “Guide to Measuring Global Production” and the UN Group of Experts on International Trade and Globalisation that produced   “Accounting for Global Value Chains: GVC Satellite Accounts and Integrated Business Statistics”.                          

John Verrinder, Head of National Accounts Methods, Eurostat

John has worked in national accounts for over 20 years at Eurostat, with experience across a broad range of aspects, including GNI verification, government financial statistics (GFS), financial accounts and dissemination. He currently heads the unit responsible for national accounts methodology. John is a member of the Inter-Secretariat Working Group on National Accounts (ISWGNA) and leads the secretariat for the ISWGNA Digitalization Task Team, an expert team leading the development of new SNA guidance in this area. Before joining Eurostat, John was a user of national accounts data at the UK Treasury.

Jorrit Zwijnenburg, Head of Sectoral Accounts, National Accounts Division, OECD

As Head of Sectoral Accounts within the National Accounts Division, Jorrit joined the OECD 8 years ago after working at Statistics Netherlands for 14 years. In his current role, Jorrit leads work on the development of distributional national accounts and chairs an international expert group on Disparities in National accounts. He has contributed to a wide range of SNA research topics, including the recording of non-bank financial intermediation, pension entitlements, intellectual property products, and accounting for data. Jorrit is highly engaged in the SNA update, leading the secretariat for Wellbeing and Sustainability and contributing to guidance in a range of other spheres, such as the recording of crypto assets and of data.

Carl Obst, Director, Institute of Development of Environmental-Economic Accounting – IDEEA Group

Carl is a Director at the Institute for Development of Environmental-Economic Accounting – IDEEA Group. He was the lead author and editor of the United Nation’s System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) – the international standard for government work on accounting for natural capital. Prior to this work, Carl had a long career with the Australian Bureau of Statistics, including five years as the Head of National Accounts. He also worked for three years with the OECD Statistics Department. Carl’s current work involves projects on natural capital accounting and sustainability measurement within the United Nations system, with the Capitals Coalition and with various companies and governments in Australia and internationally. Carl is a leading player in closing the gap between government and corporate approaches to natural capital accounting.