The Generic Statistical Business Process Model (GSBPM) describes and defines the set of business processes needed to produce official statistics. It provides a standard framework and harmonised terminology to help statistical organisations to modernise their statistical production processes, as well as to share methods and components. The GSBPM is the result of a long process of discussion and sharing of experience that started in 2007 under the umbrella of the UN-ECE, Eurostat and the OECD.
For the ENP-South National Statistical Institutes, who adopted in 2016 the ENP-South Code of Practices (CoP), using the GSBPM may critically help in assessing the quality of their statistical processes and thus contribute to the design of scientifically relevant quality frameworks and indicators.
At the request of the ENP-S countries, MEDSTAT IV will organise a training course on GSBPM. All the technical material on the latest version of the GSBPM is available on various web-sites. The objective of the course is not to train on the concepts but rather to accompany the participants in applying the model on various statistical operations.
The training course will thus be constructed on two phases:
A distance learning phase during which the participants will be given access to the existing material regarding GSBPM and will be asked to review it. One webinar will then be organised to test the knowledge of the participants, to answer questions they may still have on the theoretical and conceptual foundations of the model and to fine-tune the agenda of the face-to-face session
A face-to-face session during which practical cases will be presented and discussed. The participants will be put in “real conditions” for the practical application of the model to various and concrete statistical operations. This phase will take place in Rome on July 25-27, 2017.
At the end of the training process, MEDSTAT IV expects that there will be an enhanced understanding of the statistical production processes, of the quality indicators linked to GSBPM and the added value of the model for the statistician’s work. The training also aims at developing internal capacities in the National Statistical Institutes to multiply the skills acquired and to go towards a generalised use and internalisation of the GSBPM within the National Statistical Systems of the ENP-S countries.
Each ENP-S countries will send two particiapnts to the course that will be delivered with the assistance of experts from ISTAT (webinar and face-to-face sessions) and possibly from the UN-ECE (contributions during the webinar).
The statistical work is very often undervalued and the efforts that go into producing quality data are not fairly acknowledged. For the national statistical systems, catching up with the demand from the users is not easy. The needs of the users of statistics fluctuate according to policy priorities and depend largely on pressure from outside the country. In addition, it is sometimes difficult for users to clearly articulate their needs. The National Statistical Institutes and National Statistical Systems are, for the most part, not organised in a way that makes them quickly responsive to demand. Producing statistics requires the mobilisation of data sources this involving time and resources: the process cannot be changed overnight. Statistical work requires medium term planning, while the demand evolves rapidly. Users and producers acknowledge that they must better understand each other. There is a converging need:
for the statisticians to do a better job of meeting and anticipating the demand for statistics, and to improve communication about their products; and
for the users to gain a better understanding of the statistics that are available, the constraints related to their production, and to better express their need for statistics.
Among the users, the media have an important role for statistics as they relay information to the top, the decision-makers, and to the bottom, the general public. The use of statistical data, in particular by the media, is not often fairly dealt with. There is in general a weak understanding of statistics, how there are produced, what they measure, how they can be interpreted, and media reporting may have an impact on the trust/confidence that people can put on official statistics.
To assist the ENP-S countries in their relation with the media, MEDSTAT IV is implementing a training for trainer course on communication for statistics (C4S-ToT). The course will be developed under two successive phases:
a regional phase (September to December 2017) with the objective to train a critical mass of trainers in each ENP-S country on the topic of communication for statistics and to assist them in preparing “ready to deliver” training projects,
a national or sub-regional phase (first semester of 2018) during which MEDSTAT IV project will accompany the newly trained trainers in delivering their training projects. This will be done initially in four countries.
Three participants will be nominated per country: a statistician specialised on employment statistics, a communication/press officer from the National statistical Institute (NSI) and a journalist. For the choice of the journalist, the project and the countries may be supported by the EU-funded OPEN SOUTH MEDIA HUB project. These three specialists will work all along the training course as “national teams”, bringing their respective capacities and experiences in the design of training projects relevant to the particular context of their respective countries.
The course will be delivered partly under an e-learning approach, particularly in the early stages dedicated to the acquisition of knowledge and to the preparation of the training projects. This will require a strong commitment from the participants along the whole duration of the process. MEDSTAT IV will coordinate with the ENP-S countries to ensure that the training projects prepared by the future trainers are fine-tuned with the communication strategy of the NSIs so as to have a maximum effect on institutional capacity building.
In the framework of the MEDSTAT IV project, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Palestine asked to benefit from a targeted technical support to discuss their respective national strategies for the development of a statistical business register and the design of roadmaps for their implementation. This support was given by Mr Manlio Calzaroni, expert from ISTAT, Italy, during a meeting that took place in Amman on 3-4 May 2017.
In turn, each country presented its national strategy which was then discussed in details by the expert and by the other countries. During the discussions, constant references were made by the expert to the “Guidelines on Statistical Business Registers – SBR” from the UN- Economic Commission for Europe which were thoroughly debated. The discussion was thus an opportunity to propose some concrete applications of the recommendations from the UN-ECE on the proposed country strategies and road maps.
Mr Calzaroni developed a step by step approach for the development of an SBR with a precise content for each step. He then asked the participants to locate their respective countries in this general diagram in order to assess at which stage they were, what should be done next and how. He based each of its recommendations to the countries on examples he draw from the experience of ISTAT,
The question of matching the files from the several administrations involved in the creation and regular updating of the Business Register was identified as the major obstacle to the development of a sustainable process. The quality of the identification of the businesses is also a key element to consider. The countries had also a chance to ask specific questions on the step-to-step approach proposed by the expert and they should be now in a position to adjust their strategies and the road maps with the advices received.
The new platform that has been established in Morocco, involving the main national partners in the SBR (Ministry of Finances, Social Security Office and the Chamber of Commerce) and the statistical institute was also presented and discussed. The platform allows an updating in real time for all of the changes and deletions made by one of the partners.
The next step with SBR will be the organisation of a study visit to the INS of Tunisia or to ISTAT Italy in order to see the functioning of efficient process where it is.