Regional workshop on data quality management and the development of analytical capacities in transport statistics in Brussels on the 27-28 November 2018.

Quality statistics to feed analysis in the transport sector.

The project MEDSTAT IV organised a Regional workshop on data quality management and the development of analytical capacities in transport statistics in Brussels on the 27-28 November 2018.


Transport statistics are primarily produced to respond to users’ needs and to support evidence-based policy decision making. Reaching this goal requires, first, to produce high-quality data on all transport modes and, second, to develop user-friendly analytical tools that will allow enriching the quality statistics with insights on the context and the perspectives of the observed evolutions in the sector. In this respect, one of the major challenges for policy makers is to use transport statistics on past and current evolutions to produce forecasts. Specific models are available that do exactly that.

The first objective of this workshop was precisely to exchange on the challenges faced in using transport statistics for producing forecasts. These forecasts are essential to defining overall transport policies and making decisions on specific infrastructure projects. This exchange benefitted from a detailed presentation of the experience of France in this field. This discussion resulted in the adoption of a roadmap for the development of analytical capacities on transport statistics in the partner countries.

The production of forecasts and, more generally, of high-quality analyses requires disposing of high-quality statistics. One of the key objectives of the MEDSTAT IV project is to contribute to improve quality of statistics, focusing on their harmonisation with EU and international standards, through in particular the implementation of the Statistics Code of Practice for the European Neighbourhood South countries.

The workshop intended to deal with all aspects of data collection and compilation up to the validation stage and to present tools and procedures that could be implemented to ensure the quality of the data. The discussion resulted in the adoption of another regional roadmap addressing the production of higher-quality transport statistics across the Mediterranean partner countries. This roadmap mostly relies on the implementation of a specific self-assessment questionnaire based on the ENP-South Statistics Code of Practice and adapted to the area of transport statistics.

The ENP-S countries have been given 4 months to prepare these road maps and to start implement them. The project will follow closely on this work programme and will provide technical assistance if and when needed.


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Sustainable Development Goals: Are we able to measure the progress that have been made in the MED countries

MEDSTAT IV organises a regional workshop on the “measurement of the SDGs” in Athens on February 6-7 2019.


The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development “encourages member states to conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels which are country-led and country-driven”. Out of the 17 goals and the 179 targets, the Inter-Agency and Expert Group for SDG indicators: IAEG-SDGs, established by the UN Statistical Department, defined 244 indicators that should enable a regular monitoring of the achievements made by countries  in implementing the Agenda 2030. The UN General Assembly adopted this list of indicators on 6 July 2017. Since then, the national statistical systems have assessed their capacities in producing these indicators on a regular basis.

In the ENP-S countries, answering the requirements generated by the measurement of the SDGs may be very challenging. In the MED countries, some areas covered by the SDGs are poorly surveyed or not surveyed at all, and for most of the others, complying with the recommendations made by the IAEG-SDGs may result in a dramatic stress for statistical offices who are poor in resources, human, financial and technical. Even if they are at different stages of work on the SDGs, they are all looking for advice, support and exchange of practices.

MEDSTAT IV will gather experts from the ENP-S countries who will present their respective situation regarding the production of the 244 indicators, the problems they face and solutions they are implementing. Guests from Eurostat and some of the statistical offices in the EU member states (Denmark, Italy, France) will bring their experiences as to set examples for their colleagues in the South of the Mediterranean Sea. Partners from the “Union for the Mediterranée” and from UN-ESCWA will bring additional perspectives into the discussions. Conclusions will be drawn that will help paving the way for more regional cooperation in this area.

Beginning of January, the MEDSTAT IV project will hold a training session on the same issue that will gather 2 participants from each of the ENP-S countries. The conclusions of the training course will be brought into the debate.


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Adapting communication on statistics to the requirements of the 21st century

MEDSTAT IV organises its 3rd regional workshop on Visibility and the relations with the users on February 27-28 2019.


The rapid development of the social media is fundamentally changing the way we communicate and exchange information. This development brings new challenges to the statisticians, in particular those from the ENP-S countries. It is not possible any more to disseminate statistics the way it was done in the last century: Paper publications are almost history; users are more informed and more demanding of a very specific information; tables of data are not read and not suitable for a dissemination through tablets and smart phones.

The MEDSTAT IV project has been working with the Statistical offices of the ENP-S countries in two complementary initiatives: a training course aiming at bringing together journalists and statisticians (Communication for statistics – C4S) and a support project for the production of visual animations and infographics. These two initiatives are coming to an end and it is time to compare national experiences and to draw lessons.

The ENP-S countries will present the work they each carried out in the framework of the two initiatives and the results will be discussed and assessed by specialists from Eurostat and from statistical offices of the EU member states. The conclusions will help in shaping more regional cooperation in an area where the investments are expensive, in terms of both human and financial resources, and may be shared among the countries. Good practices will be identified that may later be reproduced.


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