PROJECT C2.2_72 TA mission on the development of the production account in accordance with ESA 2010 (Ukraine)

Activity type
Technical assistance
Title
TA mission on the development of the production account in accordance with ESA 2010 (Ukraine)
Participants
18 staff members from the National Account of the State Statistical Service of Ukraine (SSSU)
LocationOnline
Timing
1-30 June 2021
Activity codeC2.2_72

The general objective of this technical assistance mission was to produce a detailed diagnostic of the current situation regarding the calculation of households’ final consumption and the production of quarterly GDP flash estimates in the national accounts of Ukraine and, on this basis, to produce specific recommendations for the alignment of the national accounts of Ukraine with European and international standards in relation to these two major issues.

Before the first meeting, a questionnaire was sent to the SSSU dealing with each topic to be addressed during the mission in order to get information about the estimation method implemented, the available data sources and the main difficulties faced regarding the calculation of quarterly GDP flash estimates and of the final consumption of households. The answers to this questionnaire were received prior to the first meeting and, based on this information, the actual calculation process and the main problems could be discussed during this meeting.

During the second meeting, the practice of the EU Member States in relation to both topics was discussed. Between the second and the third meetings, the STEs received a series of questions regarding both topics which had to be answered in writing. Other questions were sent by the SSSU before the third and fourth meetings and all issues could henceforth be discussed in depth during these two meetings.

PROJECT C2.9_64 Training to apply the Harmonised European Time-Use Surveys (HETUS)

Activity type
Online training course
Title
Training to apply the Harmonised European Time-Use Surveys (HETUS)
Participants
There were 23 registered participants from Armenia (4), Azerbaijan (4) Belarus (3), Georgia (4), Moldova (3), and Ukraine (5). All participants came from the NSIs. They were mainly Managers and Senior Specialists working under Social Statistics Divisions, especially in the field of gender, labour, life quality, living standard and demographic statistics.
LocationOnline
Timing
22-24 June 2021
Activity codeC2.9_64

Five of the six participating countries had previously conducted a TUS or were in the process of conducting a pilot or a full-scale survey at the time of the training. This training course enabled participants to become familiar with HETUS 2018 guidelines and its application in ongoing and future TUSs planned in partner countries. Participants deepened their knowledge of HETUS 2018 methodologies, acquired practical knowledge on how to apply learned methodologies in planned or ongoing TUSs and learnt from the experiences of other countries.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the TUS results were emphasised during the country discussion session. One of the examples of countries learning from each other was that adopting the country-specific activity code “Distance learning” by one country was followed by other countries including it in the activity codes of their upcoming surveys.

PROJECT C2.9_19-1 TA to support pilot TUS in Armenia, methodology

Activity type
Technical assistance
Title
Pilot TUS methodology support to Armenia
Participants
Staff of Armstat
LocationOnline
Timing
From June 2020 to June 2021
Activity codeC2.9_19-1

The STEP programme supported Armstat in the conduction of a pilot TUS through the provision of technical assistance (TA) missions on TUS methodology as well as on sampling and IT issues. All activities regarding TUS in Armenia were undertaken in close collaboration with the UN Women Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia based in Istanbul.

The pilot TUS plan and methodology including survey questionnaire were finalised and the pilot survey data were collected in May/June 2021. The household and individual questionnaires were adapted to produce additional information as required by ICATUS coding. One additional column on payment for the main activity was added in the diary. Instructions and background questions in the diary were adapted based on the results of cognitive testing. Templates for manuals and guidelines were developed for interviewers and data coders based on the HETUS 2018 Guidelines and experiences of the STEs.

The Armenian activity list known as ACATUS was developed and used in coding in the pilot TUS. The ICATUS 2016 activity coding list (ACL) at the 3-digit level was used for the main and secondary activities. The HETUS 2018 ACL was used in the coding of context information in the diary.

In total, 14 methodological meetings between Armstat staff and STEs were held and five training courses were conducted on various topics, such as introduction to TUS methodology, TUS classification, data collection, cognitive testing and training for coders.

PROJECT C2.4_45 Training course on business demography statistics

Activity type
Online training course
Title
Training course on the European Framework for Business Demography Statistics
Participants
There were 39 participants from Armenia (10), Azerbaijan (7), Belarus (7), Georgia (7), Moldova (6) and Ukraine (4) participating in the study visit. Participants were heads of business statistics units of partner NSIs and other staff from the unit
LocationOnline
Timing
8-10 June 2021
Activity codeC2.4_45

The training course aimed to teach main EU acquis on business demography statistics, the Eurostat/OECD manual on the topic and application of the theory as to the current situation in the partner countries and discuss how the partner countries can improve their business demography statistics following EU guidelines.

Two senior short-term experts in business demography statistics facilitated this three-day virtual training course, supplementing each other and focusing on their respective areas of expertise. One additional expert contributed as a guest speaker during the second day to the presentations on the major features of the Eurostat-OECD Manual on business demography statistics, and on the impact of the new Regulation (EU) 2019/2152 on the indicators to be developed. The training course had an important workshop dimension, with the sharing of experiences and difficulties of the partner countries regarding the production of business demography statistics and the collective elaboration of national roadmaps for the development of business demography statistics aligned with EU standards.

PROJECT C2.4_53 Study visit to observe best practices on the organisation of Business registers in an EU country

Activity type
Online study visit (host: Statistics Lithuania)
Title
Study visit on the development and management of statistical business registers
Participants
There were 38 registered participants from Armenia (10), Azerbaijan (2), Belarus (5), Georgia (7), Moldova (9) and Ukraine (5). Participants were staff from the Business Registers units of partner NSIs.
LocationOnline
Timing
6-7 May 2021
Activity codeC2.4_53

This study visit was built on the results achieved through the first regional training course on the EU business registers regulation and recommendations manual, which took place on 28-31 January 2020 in Vilnius, Lithuania (C2.4_08). This study visit endowed participants with a hands-on experience of the practice in one EU Member State institution regarding the development and management of a statistical business register. It was agreed during the initial training course that this study visit should address the following issues: main features of the systems, tools and procedures required for the management of the SBR, quality management and measurement applied to the SBR, metadata and documentation of processes, relations with data sources, survey respondents and SBR users, development and management of a specific register survey, and features of the SBR software.

Participants showed great interest in the study visit and the topics in the agenda. Discussions were active and participants raised many questions. The main challenge faced by all NSIs of STEP countries is the limited access to administrative data due to lack of shared data between public institutions.

PROJECT C2.1_42 Virtual group on R

Activity type
Online virtual group
Title
Virtual group on strengthening the use of the statistical software package R
Participants
There were 22 registered participants from Armenia (4), Azerbaijan (3), Belarus (5), Georgia (4), Moldova (4) and Ukraine (2). Participants were staff from various parts of the NSIs (both subject-matter statistics and support units such as IT).
LocationOnline
TimingKick-off: 18 February 2021
Training: 22, 24-26 February and 1 March 2021
Follow-up sessions: 25 March, 15 April and 6 May 2021
Activity codeC2.1_42

The activity was set up as an e-learning course. Participants were given access to Statistics Iceland’s online learning hub Eloomi with video lectures, self-assessment tests, reading material as well as a chat function. The participants studied the online material in the morning with an open session during the afternoons of the course where the course instructors were available to the students, using an open Zoom call with all the students and the interpreters.

In addition, three follow-up sessions were also conducted, which were similar to the open sessions. The main objective of the follow-up sessions was for the students to bring concrete examples or problems they had been working on after the course ended. Then, during the session, they could get help and feedback from the instructors and/or their colleagues in the group.

STEs assessed the work done on the e-learning platform and concluded that the work was carried out well and without any major difficulties or problems from participants. The course contributed to supporting the further use of R within the statistical systems of the partner countries. This is particularly important as R is an open source software which can be used for solving different problems and, with the addition of the GSBPM, the solutions can be made generic over a host of differing statistical outputs within, or between, statistical systems.

PROJECT C2.1_38 Calculation of labour cost index

Activity type
Online training course
Title
Virtual training course on the calculation of labour cost index
Participants
There were 27 registered participants from Armenia (5), Azerbaijan (5) Belarus (2), Georgia (5), Moldova (5), and Ukraine (5). All participants came from the NSIs; they were mainly managers and senior specialists working under Social Statistics Divisions, especially in the field of Labour Statistics.
LocationOnline
Timing
20-23 April 2021
Activity codeC2.1_38
LCI is one of the Principal European Economic Indicators (PEEI), a set of short-term statistics produced by Eurostat aggregating national data, and providing general economic information on European countries. Although there are heterogeneous data among partner countries (regarding for example the kind of data source, the frequency of data collection etc.) and different practices in compiling labour cost statistics, it has been considered necessary to train the NSIs’ staff in the calculation of the LCI, including seasonal and working-day adjustment. Moreover, best practices in Europe on the use and management of administrative data for the compilation of labour cost statistics were presented by the STEs.

PROJECT C2.1_12 Training to apply sampling methodologies in household sample surveys

Activity type
Online training course
Title
Training to apply sampling methodologies in household sample surveys
Participants
There were 28 registered participants from Armenia (5), Azerbaijan (6), Belarus (4), Georgia (3), Moldova (5), Ukraine (5). Participants were heads or senior statistician of sample survey methodological units and/or labour statistics unit.
LocationOnline
Timing
29-31 March and 7-8 April 2021
Activity codeC2.1_12

The training course was structured in five half-days led by the three STEs. At the beginning of the training course, theoretical backgrounds were taught as a foundation for the remaining teaching sessions. In particular, the integration of the R software and its use for sampling operations into the training course was interesting for the participants as it is not used for sampling in some partner countries.

The practical exercise sessions which followed each teaching session were efficient as they required the use of the R software, and participants were very active in learning how to use it in survey sampling techniques. At the end, all the participants were able to accomplish the exercise tasks and some uncertain or unclear issues were clarified during the presentation and discussion on the results of exercise tasks.

PROJECT C2.1_07 STUDY VISIT: USE OF MODERN ICT TOOLS FOR DATA COLLECTION IN HOUSEHOLD SURVEY_INSEE

Activity type Study Visit
Title The use of modern ICT tools for data collection in household surveys
Participants One participant from each of the partner countries (either from labour market statistics or the data collection unit or IT department)
Location INSEE in Paris, France
Timing 10-11 December 2019
Activity code C2.1_07

The majority of partner countries use the traditional methods of data collection, even if several countries partially use CAPI in some surveys (such as the household budget survey). The STEP partner countries expressed their interest in strengthening their capacity and infrastructure in using new methods of data collection, as well as raising awareness among partner countries of the importance of building capacity and developing infrastructure to shift from traditional to modern methods of data collection.

The main objective of this study visit was to identify innovative ways, share best practices, but also identify pitfalls in household sample survey data collection and to provide an informal platform for participants to exchange experiences and possibly to foster collaboration in this area among partner countries and with the host country. 

The programme included 13 sessions involving 17 different experts coming both from INSEE and other representatives of the French national statistical system. A total of 18 presentations were made during the study visit. The participants contributed very actively and asked many questions including on the use of administrative data. In the evaluation of the study visit, the participants said that it would have been beneficial if there had been a participant from both labour market statistics and the data collection unit or IT department.

PROJECT C2.1_25 WEBINAR ON COVID19 AND LFS

Activity typeOnline presentation and Q&A (2 hours)
TitleWebinar on COVID19 and LFS
ParticipantsSenior officials from the NSIs and other producers of official statistics (in principle, all interested could attend as this is a webinar)
LocationOnline
Timing28 May 2020
Activity codeC2.1_25

This activity was the first online regional event in STEP and comprised of a two-hour webinar to inform the participants on guidelines and recommendations from Eurostat and International Labour Organisation (ILO) on how to deal with the consequences of COVID-19 in labour market statistics.

The short-term expert went through the main definitions of labour market status in the labour market statistics and how to treat, for example, temporary absence from the labour market due to furloughs. The short-term expert answered questions from the participants.

This webinar was the first larger online activity in STEP. The webinar was conducted over Zoom. The participants could sign up online. Simultaneous interpretation was provided. There were small problems connected to people getting the right link to sign into the meeting. This was caused by the online registration procedure in Zoom. The online registration has therefore been abolished for future activities as it is actually easier for everyone if the NC sends an Excel file with the registered participants. Some of the countries (Azerbaijan and Armenia) had several people gathered together in one room as opposed to individual connections. This works well as the participants can discuss the content among each other (however, the participants need to agree on the language). Altogether, there were actually around 30 participants from the partner countries.

The six partner countries are now informed about how to treat the consequences of COVID-19 in the labour market statistics according to the recommendations laid out by Eurostat and the ILO. The participants welcomed this initiative and expressed gratitude for the opportunity to go through the recommendations from Eurostat and ILO. Furthermore, according to the participants, most of the logistics (sound, picture, presentation, interpretation) worked well once the meeting had started.