MEDSTAT IV presents its training course on «Communication for statistics – C4S» at the 2018 Conference of the International Association for Official statistics

MEDSTAT IV presents its training course on «Communication for statistics – C4S» at the 2018 Conference of the International Association for Official statistics

Paris, September 21, 2018

“There is a strong mutual interest, from both journalists and statisticians, for establishing a reinforced dialogue around the dissemination of key economic and socIMG_0434ial indicators”.







Experts from the MEDSTAT IV project talked about the training for trainers course “communication for statistics” in front of an audience of senior statisticians on the 3rd day of the 2018 IAOS Conference “Better statistics for better lives”. The C4S course intended to make statisticians and journalists work closer together in order to strengthen communication and information in the media on key statistical indicators and to propagate a sense of trust in official statistics through a better understanding of what is behind the data.

The session was chaired by Eduardo Barredo Capelot, Director at Eurostat. The project Leader, Thierry Paccoud, first introduced the project and the specific C4S activity. Two free-lance journalists, Amiram Dan Barkat from Israel and Nibal Thawabteh from Palestine, gave the audience the perspective they have in the relations with statistics as users and illustrated the way a closer relation may help strengthening their confidence in the data produced by the official statistical system. To conclude, a statistician from the Haut Commissariat au Plan in Morocco, Kamel Gaanoun, presented the C4S national process as it was initiated following the regional training for trainers phase.

The discussion that followed the presentations from the speakers highlighted the multiple challenges that are still ahead before trust and confidence are fully established between the two groups. It also showed that there is a huge interest in the relation with the journalists as medias are a major channel for disseminating statistical information to a large public. However, statisticians and journalists don’t speak the same language and don’t work on the same time frame. Establishing a useful relation may require to better know each other and to better understand the constraints the two groups face in their respective professional environments.

Today in the MED countries, there is a stronger demand of dialogue from the side of the journalists. But, there are lessons to learn from both sides and the relation is two-ways Avenue and the statisticians start seeing also what they have to gain from the exchange.  In some cases, the cooperation may not be as direct and transparent as it was expected. Where the relation should end is also an issue to consider with in mind independence and objectivity on both side. The rapid development of the social media also brings new pressure on both groups and this may lead to give more importance to speed than to reliability.


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Study visit in Statistics Bulgaria: 23 – 25 October 2018




Utilizing the fiscal and financial statements for improving business statistics

Business registers are a key tool for business statistics; in particular, they are a reliable tool for tracing the economic realities. This pushes more and more the statisticians towards implementing better methods and processes to regularly update the business registers which will then be widely used in the analysis and the monitoring of economic development and will also serve as a sampling frame for designing business surveys. Typically business samples are small because of the high costs of surveys and of the time that is necessary to carry them out. Generally, the non-response rate is quite high, and statisticians are always looking for an estimation method to adjust.

Under the MEDSTAT IV project, several workshops were organized on the updating of the business registers and on the methodologies to do it, on the use of administrative sources, on file matching, on sampling, on the methods of extrapolation of survey results. … A study visit to Tunis was organized on these topics on 10-12 October 2017, considering that INS-Tunis is quite advanced on these topics.

The next event is a study visit to Bulgaria Statistics which will have as main subject, the use of the accounting documents, available at the Tax Directorate of the Ministry of Finance and the integration of the data in the business register. This action can replace regular business surveys, help save money and time and allow for a much larger amount of information to be used in regularly updating the register, and, last but not least, to get a better coverage of the economy and more reliable database for analyzes.

This activity of the project will enable the participating countries to know more about the Bulgarian example, and to envisage pursuing in the strengthening of the links between statistics and the tax administration through signing memorandums of understanding with their respective Ministries of Finance for the regular use of the accounting documents of the businesses.

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Gender statistics are now in the radar of the EU-MED cooperation on statistics!

MEDSTAT IV organises a regional workshop to discuss the publication of comparable data on various components of the gender gap in the ENP-S countries


Since 2017, MEDSTAT IV worked together with some of the ENP-S countries on specific aspects of gender statistics. Technical missions have been organised in 4 countries (Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Palestine) with the assistance of the NSIs of 4 EU countries (respectively Stats Finland, Denmark statistics, INSEE-France and ONS-UK). They addressed several themes linked to the improvement of gender statistics: the “genderisation” of data banks, time-use surveys, data on the gender gap and domestic violence. The results of these works will now be shares, discussed and lessons will be drawn from these experiences that may be useful for the whole region.


Most of the ENP-S countries are producing gender statistics but there was no common methodological framework for the region. Based on a prior work made by the UNESCWA, MEDSTAT 4 has gathered data on several gender issues and has worked on the preparation of tables of harmonised data for the ENP-S countries. Two publications have been prepared: a long one containing the whole set of the harmonised indicators gathered and updated and a short on, presenting graphs with the indicators most commonly used and disseminated on the issue. This work is the foundation for an harmonised regional framework for the production and the dissemination of gender statistics.


The meeting will also consider a specific research that has been launched under the auspices of the MEDSTAT 4 working group on Labour market statistics regarding employment and women. The working group is trying to develop common definitions of key employment indicators on women and will present the initial results achieved. This will feed the development of the harmonised regional framework for the production and dissemination of gender statistics.


The workshop will take place in Paris, on October 9-10 and will gather statisticians from all the ENP-S countries as well as some specialists form the EU, the UNSED and UNESCWA.


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