Drawing benefits from the harmonisation of methods for the compilation of Energy balances

MEDSTAT IV discusses with the MED countries the finalisation of a regional publication (Vienna, 26-28 march 2019)

Statisticians from the ENP-S countries have been very keen at harmonising their energy balances with the norms of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and of Eurostat. In the last few years, with the support of MEDSTAT IV, they consolidated their methods and processes, assessed regularly the progress made and exchanged views among them and with experts from the IEA and the EU. The results of this long investment are today ready to be released under the form of a regional publication of comparable energy balances.

The publication, which will be disseminated at the end of May 2019, will present the balances 2017 for each country with a methodological annex and a regional analysis. The meeting focused on the last technical validation of the balances and on the final content and organisation of the future publication.

The meeting was also the opportunity to discuss another publication that will be also available at the end of May and that will concern SDG-related indicators related in particular to energy efficiency for the transport sector.

 

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Better assessing road transport in the MED countries

MEDSTAT IV gathers in Munich statisticians to discuss a regional manual (March 12-14, 2019)

Road transport is an important component of transport statistics in the MED countries, for both merchandises and passengers. It was thus just a matter of time before they decide to work on a common methodology, inspired by the EU standards. The end product of the regional work will be a manual on statistics for road freight transport that will present a synthesis of the existing International and European technical references in this area, describe the local context in each MED country and propose recommendations for rules and standards tailored to the needs in the MED region. The participants agreed to review the work at successive steps of the finalisation of the manual and to make every efforts for the publication to be released at the end of May.

The meeting was also the opportunity to address air transport and in particular the statistical systems in the airports. Mirror analyses show that they may be differences in the estimations of the flows of freight and passengers between outbound and inbound airports, even if they record the same number of flights. These differences may be studied for the good of the valuation of the exchanges among countries.

 

For more information, MEDSTAT4@Expertisefrance.fr

Bridging the gap between statistics and the people who use them!

MEDSTAT IV discussed the results achieved with two project’s targeted activities aiming at improving the relation between statisticians and journalists and at increasing the capacities for data visualisation (Bordeaux, February 27-28, 2019)

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The journalists are important users of statistics as they relay information to different other categories of users. If they understand the data, what they say and how they are build, they may be in a better position to analyse them and to relay an information of quality. This may in turn have an impact on the level of trust and confidence that people put on official statistics. After an intense work at the regional level, MEDSTAT IV coached national teams to prepare and deliver training projects involving statisticians and journalists (Communication for statistics – C4S). The national teams developed country-tailored processes of different kind from training courses involving only statisticians to ones involving only journalists or to courses for both audiences. In most countries, only one course was delivered (2 or 3 days) but in Israel and Morocco, the processes developed as series of articulated workshops on different statistical topics.

The country experiences were presented and discussed in all their details and all the statistical offices present in the meeting acknowledged the usefulness and the interest of improving the relations with the journalists and to make the exercise an integral part of their regular training programmes. They all agree that there are mutual benefits from a deeper relation.

There are today in the region more than 20 persons who have been trained to the C4S tools and approach and have a hands-on experience in delivering such training course; there is plenty of training material available developed by the project and by the national teams. There is thus a large potential for replicating the course and adjust it to different levels in the relation statisticians/journalists.

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The way people consume information and statistics has evolved dramatically in the last 5 years, this being mainly a consequence of the rapid development of the social media. Statisticians must today satisfy an audience of users who wants quick and attractive answers. Traditional dissemination products for statistics don’t match this new demand; the statistical offices must adjust quickly and develop data visualisation tools that better correspond to the needs. Doing this requires the mobilisation of capacities and tools that may not exist in the statistical offices: there is a need for investing in software and applications as well as in the strengthening of human resources. In a time when budgets are scarce, there is a benefit to draw in exchanging experiences, identifying good practices and sharing investments.

Each country presented in turn the data visualisation products it developed in the recent years, such as infographics, videos, visual animations, alone or with the support of the project. The development of all these products was made as a collaborative effort between different capacities: statisticians, designers, communication experts, IT people. Most of them were also tested with users’ groups in order to check their relevance. What was presented during the meeting was of very fine quality and the region is filling quickly the gap. There are still needs for more training and more sharing of good practices.

 

For more information, please contact MEDSTAT4@ExpertiseFrance.fr

A business register of good quality may give a strong push up to the statistical system of a country

MEDSTAT IV brings together business registers specialists of the MED countries to discuss the determinants of quality in this area and to compare their respective experiences

 

MEDSTAT IV organised a technical workshop in Lisbon on February 19, 2019 to discuss the determinants of quality for business registers and ways to improve it.  The event gathered representatives from all the ENP-S countries, from both the statistical offices and from partner institutions involved in the management of the business registers. Two specialists, from INSEE and ISTAT, were also invited in order to present the way quality was addressed in their respective organisations.

The expert from INSEE focused her intervention on the application of the Code of good practices for statistics in the specific area of business registers and surveys. The expert from ISTAT presented in details the regular confrontation between results from economic surveys and from administrative data. From these two very well documented presentations, the participants had a chance to tackle various aspects of quality in the business registers and to identify very concrete ways to improve the existing processes. A particular important aspect of quality for the registers is the extent and the content of the inter-administrative cooperation among those institutions who gather data on businesses. There is a lot to gain in running regularly quality assessments.

On February 20, the MEDSTAT IV working group on Business registers and statistics met for its fifth time to review the work done during 2018, to assess the main results achieved and discuss their impact on the statistical situation in the region. The Working group also debated the future priorities for its work programme in 2019 and beyond. The extension of the coverage of the registers to the agriculture businesses, to the informal sector and to the non-profit institutions remains a common concern in the region.

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For more information, please contact MEDSTAT4@expertisefrance.fr