Using administrative data to produce economic statistics: a study visit of the ENP-S countries to the NSI-Sofia (Bulgaria) on 23-25 October, 2018
Representatives from ENP-S countries (Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia) visited the NSI of Bulgaria on 23-25 October 2018 to learn more about the use of administrative files to update the business register and as a source for economic statistics. This approach may be an efficient option to substitute for some of the regular business surveys, thus allowing substantial budget saving.
Over the course of three days visit, nine presentations were delivered by the staff of the NSIO-Bulgaria on various related issues such as the Bulgarian and European regulations for business statistics, the business register and its regular updating, the use of the accounting documents database of the Ministry of Finance and the estimates made for the national accounts.
One of the strong points that was highlighted is the common IT platform that has been set up between the different departments involved with the business register (Ministry of Finance, Social Security, INS …). Another point discussed was the online responses from companies that are virtually exhaustive. As a result, the update of the business register is carried out in real time; the estimates for non-response are low given the obligation of response that is made compulsory by the statistical law; the transition to the national accounts is almost automatic and very fast. It is to be noted that the process is still mainly based on Excel sheets and that this is not totally satisfactory; a specific software should be sought that would guarantee a higher level of security.
The only weak point noticed is the computerization of the passages that is always done on Excel sheets. No specific software has been developed either for the business register or for the transition to national accounts.
The discussions were very lively on all the presentations made and the most frequent topics for questions related to the completeness of the data for some industries, the treatment of the informal sector and the one of the non-profit institutions
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The working group for gender statistics established under the MEDSTAT IV project met in Paris on October 9-10, 2018.
Among other discussions, the members of the working group reviewed a publication of comparable gender-related indicators that will be disseminated very soon. The publication covers various dimensions of gender from the disparities among men and women in education, health and employment to the role of women in public life and domestic violence. The main objective is to provide comparable data for the region and as a consequence very recent available data from some countries are not all recorded. The publication gives references to national and international data banks for those who want to get more on certain countries. There are two complementary volumes: a short version focusing on key indicators with graphic presentation and a long version with tables covering more than 50 indicators. This is the first publication of its kind in the region and it is intended to provide new and harmonised information for both the decision makers, the researchers, the press and the general public. This first edition will be updated regularly integrating the results achieved by the working group.
During the two days in Paris, the working group was the occasion for each of the ENP-S countries to inform the group on the most recent activities they deployed in the production and dissemination of gender statistics. Answering the requirements linked to the monitoring of the SDGs and the production of the gender-related indicators is a major challenge for the countries and it was decided to systematically share experiences among the region. The group also identified some priority topics that should be addressed in the future such as women entrepreneurship and the access of women to justice. The group also discussed a study that is under way in the framework of the MEDSTAT IV Working group on Labour Market statistics aiming at the production of comparable indicators on detailed aspects of the participation of women in the labour market. The results of this study will enrich the future versions of the publication on gender indicators.
The working group benefited from the interventions of key partners in the area of gender statistics, namely the UN Statistical Department (gender-related SDG indicators), the UN ESCWA (e-learning course on gender statistics) and Paris21 (new initiative to support gender statistics. Last but not least, the working group discussed the results achieved with the technical assistance MEDSTAT IV provided to four of the ENP-S countries in different areas of gender statistics (Time use survey, survey on domestic violence …). Through this work, MEDSTAT IV intends to feed the sharing of experiences among the countries and to promote South-South Cooperation.
More information at MEDSTAT4@ExpertiseFrance.fr