MEDSTAT IV Support to the cooperation among ENP-South countries: Palestine visits Morocco to duplicate an online dynamic tabulation software for external trade statistics

On July 10-13, 2017, a Delegation of three experts from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) will visit Rabat (Morocco) to organise the duplication of an online dynamic tabulation software that has been developed by the Office des Changes of Morocco (OCM). The discussions regarding this transfer started some time ago and the parties have progressively set modalities to make it successful. They discussed the technical requirements for the adaptation of the software to the specificities of trade statistics in Palestine and for its implementation as a regular tool of the PCBS. In the last few months the two countries have exchanged information regarding particularly the specification of the system in Morocco and the characteristics of the data collection and processing in Palestine.

At this stage of the exchange between the two countries, both sides have the information that is necessary to envisage a more concrete aspect of the transfer. The visit of the Palestinian specialists in Rabat is a central element of the transfer as they will be able to concretely work with their Moroccan counterparts in situ.

When the tool will be developed in Palestine, contacts will be continued between the two teams as to fine-tune the transfer. Several more webinars may be necessary after the mission is completed.



Website of the PCBS:


Web site of the OCM:


There is a huge amount of requests for trade statistics from a large variety users such as the ministries of economy and of finance, private users such as consulting firms and exporters-importers as well as for the compilation of the national accounts and of the balance of payments. So far, the staff responsible for Trade statistics in Palestine processed the daily requests for data at detailed levels using basic commercial software such as MsAccess and Excel. Although this mechanism meets the basic statistical requirements, it has many limitations. The development of a convenient dynamic tool will allow making external trade data available directly on the PCBS website and will enable users to retrieve the data, with the level of detail they need, directly through the new online tool.


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MEDSTAT IV organises a Regional Workshop on Statistics of Informal Work – Paris, 10-12 July 2017

Although it is hard to generalize concerning the quality of informal employment, it most often means poor employment conditions and is associated with increasing poverty. Some of the characteristic features of informal employment are lack of protection in the event of non-payment of wages, compulsory overtime or extra shifts, lay-offs without notice or compensation, unsafe working conditions and the absence of social benefits such as pensions, sick pay and health insurance. Women, migrants and other vulnerable groups of workers who are excluded from other opportunities have little choice but to take informal low-quality jobs.” (from ILO statistics website)

Informal work is an important reality in the ENP-S countries and doesn’t only concern vulnerable groups but a large portion of the working population. The measurement of informal work and the economic impact of informal sector is of a high interest worldwide but faces difficulties because of definitions that are not totally harmonized and data collection processes following different modalities and at a high cost. Several international organisations such as ILO and EUROSTAT intervene with guidance and coordination for the improvement and the harmonisation of statistics in this area. The statistics of informal work are limitedly or partially addressed by the ENP-South countries. The issue is addressed more systematically in Tunisia, in the framework of an ongoing twinning project with France, Italy and Lithuania, and in Morocco. Some countries still need to set a definition for the informal sector and some started introducing some questions relating to the measure of informality in existing surveys. Overall, about half of the ENP-South countries want to learn more on the methodologies and the practices for producing statistics on employment in informal sector that are implemented in other countries within and outside the region.

The regional workshop aims to answer this request. It will be an opportunity to share and to discuss the conceptual frameworks relevant for statistics on informal work and the sources, the methods and the indicators adopted to that effect. A special focus will be given to the use that can be made of these statistics for measuring the impact of informal work on the national economies through the System of National Accounts (SNAs).

The workshop will benefit from technical contributions from the ILO, Eurostat, the European Training Foundation, the national statistical institutes of France (INSEE) and Italy (ISTAT) as well as DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Analyses de long terme), a Mixed Research Unit from the IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement) and the University Paris Dauphine specialised in the measurement and the analysis of the informal sector.







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MEDSTAT IV supports contributions from the ENP-S countries to the scientific programme of the 61st ISI World Statistics Congress (WSC) – Marrakech, July 16-21, 2017

Increasing the visibility of MED statistics

Each two years, the ISI organises its world Conference that is a unique opportunity for statisticians from all over the world to meet and to discuss key critical issues for the development of statistics. This year the Conference will be held in Marrakech, Morocco. The ENP-S countries committed themselves for being very active in the Conference and for contributing to its scientific programme. Most of the Directors of statistics will travel to Marrakech to assist and/or contribute to more than 100 technical sessions during which several hundred papers will be presented and discussed.

More information on ISI: (

and on its Conference 2017: (

The video of ISI Marrakech (by Expertise France)

The ENP-S countries will be directly involved in four sessions of the scientific programme addressing transport statistics, international migration statistics, business registers and gender statistics. In total, MEDSTAT IV will finance the participation of fourteen statisticians from the MED countries who will contribute in one or several of these sessions (Five from Morocco, three for Egypt, three from Jordan, two from Palestine and one from Tunisia).

On transport statistics (Special Topic Session – STS 033), the session will more specifically explore what kind of new data sources could be used to produce transport statistics, what type of new technologies official statisticians can implement to exploit these new data sources and what are the experiences of official statistical systems of the Mediterranean region in relation to the adoption of modernized tools and methods for the production of transport statistics. On Migration statistics (STS 037), the session will deal with the determinants of international migration in the Middle East and North Africa, through discussing insights from the MED Household International Migration Survey (HIMS) developed with the support of MEDSTAT, today implemented in Egypt and Jordan and planned in other countries of the region in the years to come.

On Business registers (STS 038), four ENP-S countries will present their latest achievements building on the conclusions and recommendations of several workshops and technical works carried out in 2016 and 2017 in the framework of MEDSTAT IV and of other support projects.

Regarding Gender statistics (STS 055), Morocco will present the results of its Time Use Survey and its modelling work on the gender pay gap in the country. Jordan will discuss the costs of violence against women and girls.

At the end of the Conference, MEDSTAT IV will draw the lessons from the support it gave to the experts from the ENP-S countries, building on the individual evaluation sheets that they will have to complete at the end of the Conference and on other sources of information, focusing more specifically on the impact on the visibility of MED statistics.


Workshop on the Mediterranean Household International Migration Surveys (HIMS), Marrakech, July 13-15, 2017

International migration is a key concern for the ENP-S countries: it takes several forms and it has a huge impact on the economy and employment as well as on the socio-cultural fabric. Better understanding the causes and the consequences of international migration may help the countries to design adequate policies, to implement effective measures to alleviate the negative effects of the human drain and to make the arrival of migrants from abroad beneficial to all the involved parties.

In its earlier phase, MEDSTAT has supported the ENP-S countries in designing a series of model questionnaires for the collection of data on International migration through Household International Migration Surveys and the preparation of project proposals and the survey implementation in most the countries. This kind of survey has been implemented in Egypt (2013), in Jordan (2014) and in a region of Morocco (2013). It is expected to be carried out in other ENP-S countries in the years to come. A Steering Committee has been established chaired by Eurostat and involving the World Bank, UNFPA, UNHCR, IOM, ILO and the League of Arab States.

Under MEDSTAT IV, support to HIMS has continued to be given focusing on the consolidation of the model questionnaires, the analysis of the available data from Egypt, the organisation of an experts’ meeting in September 2016 and some activities for coordination and communication. The next workshop is organised by MEDSTAT IV with also the financial contribution of the World Bank, UNHCR, and IOM.

During the next meeting, participants from seven of the ENP-S countries (all except Israel and Libya) will discuss the adaptations to the various model questionnaires, first the extension of one questionnaire to all immigrants, on the basis of the experiences of pioneer countries as well as small experts’ meetings held in previous months. Furthermore, the participants will start working at designing a lighter set of model questionnaire that may ease the conduct of the survey, target the compilation of some key migration indicators and accelerate the production of results.

Some participants in the workshop will then stay in Marrakech to contribute to the scientific programme of the 61st World Congress of the International Statistics Institute (ISI) with a special session dedicated to the presentation and discussion of MED-HIMS and the results of first surveys.