MEDSTAT IV: National strategy for the development of a statistical business register (Amman, 3-4.05.2017)

Participants of the Technical Assistance in Amman, 3-4.05.2017

In the framework of the MEDSTAT IV project, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Palestine asked to benefit from a targeted technical support to discuss their respective national strategies for the development of a statistical business register and the design of roadmaps for their implementation. This support was given by Mr Manlio Calzaroni, expert from ISTAT, Italy, during a meeting that took place in Amman on 3-4 May 2017.

In turn, each country presented its national strategy which was then discussed in details by the expert and by the other countries. During the discussions, constant references were made by the expert to the “Guidelines on Statistical Business Registers – SBRfrom the UN- Economic Commission for Europe which were thoroughly debated. The discussion was thus an opportunity to propose some concrete applications of the recommendations from the UN-ECE on the proposed country strategies and road maps.

Mr Calzaroni developed a step by step approach for the development of an SBR with a precise content for each step. He then asked the participants to locate their respective countries in this general diagram in order to assess at which stage they were, what should be done next and how. He based each of its recommendations to the countries on examples he draw from the experience of ISTAT,

The question of matching the files from the several administrations involved in the creation and regular updating of the Business Register was identified as the major obstacle to the development of a sustainable process. The quality of the identification of the businesses is also a key element to consider. The countries had also a chance to ask specific questions on the step-to-step approach proposed by the expert and they should be now in a position to adjust their strategies and the road maps with the advices received.

The new platform that has been established in Morocco, involving the main national partners in the SBR (Ministry of Finances, Social Security Office and the Chamber of Commerce) and the statistical institute was also presented and discussed. The platform allows an updating in real time for all of the changes and deletions made by one of the partners.

The next step with SBR will be the organisation of a study visit to the INS of Tunisia or to ISTAT Italy in order to see the functioning of efficient process where it is.

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MEDSTAT IV – Regional Workshop on Statistical business register and business surveys (Athens, 11-12.04.2017)

Business and economic surveys in the ENP-S countries

The work carried out by MEDSTAT IV regarding the sector of Business registers and statistics develops under two main themes. The first one concerns the creation and the regularly updating of the register itself and the second targets the design and implementation of business and economic surveys.

Most of the year 2016 has been concentrated on assessing the situation of the ENP-S countries in the area and on discussing the conditions for having a reliable and quality statistical business register. Such a register is crucial to draw samples of businesses on which the surveys may then be based. The workshop that was held in Athens on 11 and 12 of April focused on economic surveys.

Statisticians from the ENP-S countries specialised on business and economic surveys were gathered to exchange experience and to discuss the methodologies used by some European countries (France and Italy). Two EU experts, Mr Manlio Calzaroni (ISTAT – Italie) and Mr Jean Marc Beguin (INSEE – France) were invited to moderate the workshop and to answer to the specific questions raised by the ENP-S countries.

Several recommendations were made by the participants at the end of the workshop to improve the quality of their work and to design and to implement national action plans in this field of statistics. Among the issues that should be given more attention in the future are, among others, the following:

  • the drawing of representative samples, by sector and region, from the SBR. It may sometimes be necessary to replace one unit of the sample by another, due to a no reply or a false address,
  • Using when and where possible, for certain sectors, administrative sources instead of a more costly direct survey,
  • The use of technological tools to minimize errors and save time and personnel, such as (i) tablets for surveys instead of paper questionnaires requiring not only verification but also time and personnel for data entry, (Ii) appropriate software for the quality of responses, the detection of errors and their automatic correction,

The Italian experience regarding surveys of the informal sector was highly appreciated and strongly discussed. The participants expressed the wish to make a study visit to ISTAT (Italy) under the MEDSTAT IV project,

The afternoon of the second day of the workshop was dedicated to discussing the Arabic translation of the glossary of the United Nations SBR Development Manual. The translation of technical terms was reviewed in details and a consensus was reached for a final Arabic version.

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MEDSTAT IV – National Strategy for the Development of a Statistical Business Register, Technical Assistance (Amman, 3-4.05.2017)

Of the nine ENP-South countries participating in the MEDSTAT IV project, four expressed their wish to receive technical assistance to design a national strategy for the development of a statistical business register and a roadmap for its implementation. The four countries were Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Palestine.

In the framework of the MEDSTAT IV project, it was decided to organize a technical assistance mission in Amman from 3 to 4 May 2017 that would bring together participants from the 4 countries. Before coming to Amman, they will first have to prepare a draft strategy for setting up a statistical business that is feasible according to the context and constraints of their respective national statistical systems, which will be discussed and finalized during the meeting.

The objective of the technical assistance is to improve the understanding of the Guidelines on Statistical Business Registers from the UNSD and to discuss the practical application of these recommendations.

Some of ENP-S countries are already well advanced in the implementation of a statistical business register but they still lack of tools to match/compare  administrative files from different sources, or still face problems linked to the identification of the businesses.

The participation of the representative of ISTAT (M. Manlio Calzaroni) will focus on the various steps to be followed without the development of an SBR, as described in the manual and will give practical insights on these issues.  Each country will bring two representatives in Amman under MEDSTAT IV funding. Palestine, decided to finance on its own budget two additional persons from the PCBS.

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Twinning between Statistics Denmark and the CBS Israel by ICBS

EU Twinning on Enhancing Official Statistics in Israel
Objectives and outcomes:

The Israeli Central Bureau of statistics (ICBS) has partnered with Statistics Denmark. The project began on March 2016 and will conclude on March 2018 with a budget of 1,200,000 Euros. Throughout the project experts from Denmark and other EU Member States will participate in the project activities and a number of national stakeholders will be involved and benefit from the project.

The overall objective of the Twinning Project is for the ICBS to align official Israeli statistics with standards, guidelines, and best practices from the European Union and from international organizations such as the OECD.

The Twinning Project has four components:

  1. Quality management of official statistics- As part of this Twinning Project, ICBS will foster quality management and assessment of official statistics in Israel.
  1. Micro-data services to researchers- ICBS will establish a streamline system that will make micro-data access for researchers simpler without compromising the confidentiality and privacy of data.
  1. Infrastructures for agricultural statistics- The ICBS and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) will upgrade the agricultural statistics infrastructure in order to improve the quality – and at the same time prepare for the upcoming census.
  1. Methodological and geo-special tools for improving the quality and the efficiency of field surveys- ICBS will improve the quality and efficiency of data collection in field surveys by implementing geo-spatial tools

The EU-Israel Twinning Project had a successful opening event in Jerusalem on 13 April 2016. The opening ceremony took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the participation of high level officials from the EU, Denmark and Israel. As part of the opening ceremony, a Memorandum of Understanding between the National Insurance Institute and the Central Bureau of Statistics was signed. The Memorandum of Understanding is one of the outstanding achievements of our previous Twinning Project that ran from May 2013 to December 2014.


Three missions took place during the first quarter where leading experts from Denmark provided expertise on Quality Management, Micro-data services and Methodological tools for improving the quality and the efficiency of field surveys. The three completed missions focused on establishing a basis for the upcoming work.

Gender Statistics workshops in Jordan by Statistics Denmark

Gender Statistics workshops in Jordan

Gender statistics was considered a transversal topic in Medstat 2 and 3. This is also the case in the new Medstat 4 project where gender statistics are highly relevant for example in the sectors of the project that deal with Migration and Labour Market as well as Business Statistics. Gender disaggregated data andgender specific indicators in relation to migration and labour statistics would make it possible for the Medstat countries to compare their situation with a special focus on gender and thus gain a better understanding of causes of gender specific problems and potential solutions.

A partnership between The Department of Statistics, Jordan (DoS) and Statistics Denmark was formed under the responsibility and support of The Danish Centre for Gender, Equality and Diversity (KVINFO). The partnership aimed at enhancing the capacity building of DoS employees in the area of Gender Statistics through organizing a number of workshops in order to enhance quality, availability and comprehensiveness of gender disaggregated statistics and gender related indicators for public use, thus enabling DoS to expand the data and information available from various stakeholders and data producers in Jordan as well as improving the role of DoS in analyzing, evaluating and monitoring the effect of developmental efforts on women in Jordan. The workshops targeted Jordanian policy makers, producers of gender statistics as well as users of gender statistics in the local governorates of Jordan such as women’s machinery and relevant civil society, non-governmental and private sector organizations. The participants were more than 60 women and men from all of Jordan’s 12 provinces. During the workshops that lasted between 2 to 3 days Statistics Denmark as well as DoS explained how the two statistical systems work with gender statistics bytelling the story of the process towards gender equality in both countries, and describe the status via statistics on different areas of interest. Participants were actively involved in discussions and provided suggestions on how to improve the laws towards more gender equality, how to design indicators measuring gender equality.

One of the most important outcomes of the workshops was enhancing leadership and networking through a sustained channel of communication and sharing of experiences with other countries on gender issues/statistics and advocacy. Another important outcome of these workshops was the fact that there are many similarities between gender statistics in Jordan and Denmark but also differences. According to Ms. Manal Sweidan, the Head of the Gender Statistics Division at the Department of Statistics in Jordan, Gender statistics make it possible to compare the same issues in different countries and potentially learn from each other and improve understanding which will be used to support the development of evidence-based policies for better gender equality.

Also, Ms. Manal added “As gender issues move forward in national and global agendas, new demands are created for statistics. Policy makers, researchers and advocates request additional data and argue, more generally, that the gender perspective should be a basic assumption guiding which data to collect and to analyze. In this way, gender statistics raise consciousness and provide the impetus for public debate and change”.

by Statistics Denmark

UNDP « Launching Ceremony of the Arab Development Portal », Amman, 25 April 2016

UNDP « Launching Ceremony of the Arab Development Portal », Amman, 25 April 2016

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) have launched the Arab Development Portal (ADP), an open, one-stop, online knowledge platform providing timely data and information on development in the Arab region.

The ADP is a joint collaboration between UNDP and the Coordination Group of Arab National and Regional Development Institutions, the Islamic Development Bank and OFID. It was conceived to address current data gaps and produce a tool that is publicly accessible to a wide range of end-users, from policy-makers to entrepreneurs and journalists.


Information note for Arab Conference on a Transformative Agenda for Official Statistics, 5-7 April 2016 at SESRIC Headquarters in Ankara, Turkey by Turkstat

Information note for Arab Conference on a Transformative Agenda for Official Statistics, 5-7 April 2016 at SESRIC Headquarters in Ankara, Turkey

The Arab Conference on a Transformative Agenda for Official Statistics was organized and hosted by SESRIC in collaboration and partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Statistical Centre for the Cooperation Council for the Arab Countries of the Gulf (GCC-STAT), and Arab Institute for Training and Research in Statistics (AITRS) on 5-7 April 2016 at SESRIC Headquarters in Ankara, Turkey.

Experts from the National Statistics Offices of MEDSTAT IV Countries, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia as well as Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan and Turkey attended to the Conference. The representatives of Eurostat and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) also participated in the Conference.

The Conference organized as a High-Level Forum of official statisticians to seek a broad consensus on the strategic framework for statistics. Moreover, it also aimed at formulating an adequate response to the increased demand for detailed and timely data to monitor progress on the goals and targets of the post-2015 development agenda.

The Conference covered five thematic areas of the Transformative Agenda that was identified by the Global Conference held on 15-16 January 2015 in New York and recognized by the UN Statistical Commission at its 46th Session. The thematic areas were:

  1. Coordination at and between the global and regional statistical systems;
  2. Communication and advocacy;
  3. Integrated statistical systems: data collection, processing an dissemination; through integrated statistical systems;
  4. Innovation and modernization through standards-based statistical business architecture; and
  5. Training and capacity-building.

Text provided by Turkstat

Where to find data and information on the EU-MED cooperation in statistics?

Eurostat web-site
EU Neighbourhood Info Centre
Web-sites of the NSIs of the ENP South countries
  • Data and methodological information – All ref/links

The consortium implementing MEDSTAT IV

This is a Consortium made up exclusively of public NSIs, and can be called upon for:

  • the monitoring of the project;
  • to mobilise the pool of high-qualified experts,
  • to give the opportunity of exchange of best practices and technical knowledge that can give relevant orientation to the project.

Experts mobilisation: A clear procedure of mobilisation of experts has been established. Whenever needed EF will launch a request for mobilisation by sending out ToRs to the Consortium members. Once the evaluation and pre-selection of the candidates has been carried out, EF will inform the Consortium and provide the EC with the selected CV.
Communication: Regular contacts will be organized and permanent communication/information will be set through regular channels (e-mail and telephone).

More information on the working groups

More information on the working groups

Working Groups have been set up presently for the 6 thematic sectors covered by M4 and for the issue of Quality (under the responsibility of Eurostat (WG are created or suppressed by the Forum if/when deemed necessary –Generic terms of reference and mandate of the Working Groups, May 2013). They are led by the partners (lead countries for the thematic sectors and Eurostat for quality) who have a clear responsibility for preparing and chairing the regular meetings and following up on the decisions reached at the meetings.

Other countries may be asked to co-chair or assist in preparing meetings or events. For the WG related to the sectors covered by M4, the Key experts of the project will provide technical support to the lead countries and the project management team support for the organization of the events. The Lead countries regularly report to the Forum and present the work programmes agreed upon by their respective WG.