PROJECT C2.8 TRAINING COURSE ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF ROAD FREIGHT TRANSPORT STATISTICS

Activity typeOnline-training
TitleTraining course on the development of Road freight transport statistics
Participants
Staff from Transport statistics units of partner NSIs.
LocationOnline
Timing16-17 and 30 September 2020
Activity codeC2.8

Project on “Transport statistics: Road freight transport”

Supporting the development of road freight transport statistics aligned with EU standards across all Partner countries

Road transport is by far the major mode of transport for both people and freight. The development of road freight transport in particular has wide-ranging implications on economic and regional development as well as on CO2 emissions and other environmental dimensions. In this context, road freight transport statistics are key to understanding the mobility dynamics at play and to defining the most appropriate policies to deal with these repercussions.

So far, the level of road freight transport statistics is very diverse among partner countries. Some of them do not disseminate any road freight transport statistics. None of them are producing road freight transport statistics aligned with EU standards even though, in some cases, some of the partner countries had some experience with EU standards in this area in the recent past. Hence, it appeared to be of particular importance to hold a discussion on the way to develop road freight transport statistics in the partner countries, to present the European Road Freight Transport Survey and to assess whether and how this European methodology could be of interest in this circumstance.

In this inception phase, it was agreed to implement the STEP C2.8 project on “Transport Statistics: Road Freight Transport” with the objective of promoting the development of transport statistics in compliance with EU and international standards.

This online training course aimed at ensuring knowledge and adoption of the major features of the EU regulation on road freight transport statistics and of the EU recommendations manual “Road Freight Transport Methodology – 2016 edition” within the partner countries’ national statistical institutes. It also allowed the partner countries to take stock of the situation and of the difficulties faced in all partner countries, including issues related to the content, quality and accessibility of the road vehicles’ register, which is a key tool in the development of such statistics.

Finally, this training allowed the participants to elaborate on national roadmaps for the development of road freight transport statistics aligned with EU standards. It relied on the transfer of specific knowledge and know-how by a highly specialised expert, Mr. Peter Ottosen from Statistics Denmark, and on presentations by representatives of the partner countries on their current situation regarding the production of road freight transport statistics, the challenges they face and their objectives in this area.

The lively discussions proved that the training was appreciated and useful to all participants. Most importantly, it afforded the opportunity to identify the next steps towards the development of road freight transport statistics within the partner countries, including the possible content of the technical assistance missions planned in the frame of this STEP project. These achievements will constitute essential elements for the development of the cooperation on road freight transport statistics over the lifetime of the STEP Programme and for the achievement of the expected results within the framework of this specific project.

PROJECT C2.5_09 TRAINING COURSE ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF SITS AND FATS

Activity typeOnsite training
TitleTraining course on the development of SITS and FATS
ParticipantsHead of the trade statistics department accompanied by a senior staff member of the trade statistics unit or the statistics unit at the central bank
LocationTbilisi, Georgia
Timing10-13 February 2020
Activity codeC2.5_09

Statistics on international trade allow the measurement the integration of partner countries into the global economy, their competitiveness and their ability to take advantage of market opportunities granted by international trade agreements in general, and by trade agreements with the EU in particular. The inception phase of the STEP programme showed that partner countries’ statistics on international trade in services and foreign affiliates’ statistics witness important shortcomings and limitations that do not allow a comprehensive, detailed and accurate measurement of international services transactions, whereas these transactions represent a very dynamic component of international trade in general.

In this context, it was agreed to implement the STEP C2.5 project on “International trade statistics: SITS and FATS” with the objective to align the statistics of international trade in services, including inward FATS, of the partner countries with the recommendations of Manual on Statistics of International Trade in Services 2010 (MSITS 2010).

This training course was the first activity to be implemented in the context of this project and was crucial as it had to lay the ground for the implementation of the activities that will follow. In this context, the general objective of this training course was to ensure knowledge and appropriation of the major features of the MSITS 2010 within the partner countries’ national statistical institutes and central banks; to take stock of the situation and difficulties faced in the partner countries with regard to the production and availability of SITS and FATS; and to elaborate national roadmaps for the development of SITS and inward FATS aligned with international and EU standards.

The training course gathered participants from not only the national statistical institutes but also the central banks of most partner countries. It proved to be very useful in the identification and discussion of detailed issues and problems faced by the partner countries in the production of their SITS and FATS, of possible solutions and of priorities in the development of SITS and FATS aligned with EU and international standards.

PROJECT C2.9_17 TA ON TIME USE SURVEY

Activity typeOnsite TA mission
TitleTA on Time use survey
ParticipantsArmstat staff members from labour market statistics unit, IT department and Ministry of Labour
LocationYerevan, Armenia
Timing6-7 February 2020
Activity codeC2.9_17

During the inception mission to Armenia, Armstat expressed that they would like to carry out a pilot time use survey (TUS) with support from STEP and hence it was included in the STEP work programme. Later, it was realised that UNWomen was targeting Armenia and STEP approached the UNWomen’s regional office in Istanbul regarding possible collaboration on conducting a pilot TUS in Armenia. It was decided to organise a two-day meeting in Yerevan to discuss how to support Armstat in carrying out the pilot TUS. The meeting took place 6-7 February 2020 in the premises of Armstat, carried out by the team leader and the key expert on social statistics, with objectives to prepare a detailed survey plan, to identify the issues in the conduct of the pilot TUS and to have a detailed discussion on the nature of the collaboration between Armstat, STEP and UN Women.

The meeting achieved its objectives and three parties agreed on the preliminary timeline and responsible activities. STEP will be supporting Armstat by providing technical assistance (TA) missions on TUS methodologies including the development of survey questionnaires, manuals, survey planning and testing the questionnaires in the field. In addition, there will also be TA missions on:

  • TUS sampling, which will include the sampling of enumeration areas, households and diary days and estimation techniques upon completion of data collection and;
  • IT related issues comprising software development for tablets to record respondents’ answers, data entry and data processing.

PROJECT C2.4 WORKSHOP ON THE IDENTIFICATION OF LOCAL UNITS, KAUS AND GROUPS AND ON ECONOMIC VARIABLES IN STATISTICAL BUSINESS REGISTERS

Activity typeOnline-workshop
TitleWorkshop on the identification of local units, KAUs and groups and economic variables in Statistical Business registers
Participants
Head and staff of Business statistics units of partners NSIs.
LocationOnline
Timing22-25 September 2020
Activity codeC2.4

Project on “Business statistics: SBR and Business demography statistics”

Supporting partner countries in developing and improving their statistical business registers

Statistical business registers are a key tool in the production of many, if not all, economic statistics, including national accounts and, of course, business statistics. They include many data on which statistics can be readily produced and constitute the sample frame for a wide range of economic surveys. In order to answer more and more detailed information requests and to constitute an appropriate sample frame for more and more specific surveys, these statistical business registers need to include ever more detailed information on an ever-wider range of units.

The EU provides guidance for an optimal use of statistical business registers in the production of business and other economic statistics.  This guidance was recently updated through the so-called FRIBS regulation (Regulation (EU) 2019/2152 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 November 2019 on European business statistics).

As of today, the statistical business registers of the partner countries do not fully comply with these requirements. In most partner countries, the economic information included in the business register still has to be developed. Local units and groups are generally not covered. The identification of individual entrepreneurs is also most often an issue. Therefore, few partner countries already produce business demography statistics, while the availability of such statistics is required to assess the performance of SMEs.

In this context, it was agreed to implement a specific STEP project on “Business Statistics: SBR and Business Demography Statistics” with the objective of improving and expanding the existing SBR in the partner countries and to develop and implement methodologies for producing new business statistics broken down by size-classes.

This online workshop was the second regional activity organised in the frame of this project. It specifically aimed at enhancing the statistical business registers of the partner countries with the identification of local units, kind of activity units (KAUs) and groups, and with the introduction of new and/or more detailed economic and links characteristics in these statistical business registers. It relied on the transfer of a specific knowledge and know-how by two highly-specialised experts, Ms. Daliutė Kavaliauskienė and Mr. Maksim Lata from Statistics Lithuania. Presentations from representatives of partner countries also helped. They covered the state of play in their countries with regard to the identification of local units, kind of activity units (KAUs) and groups, as well as discussing the production of economic variables in the statistical business register and links within their statistical business registers, the data sources used or available in the identification of these units and the production of these characteristics, along with the major difficulties faced or expected in this respect.

At the end of this workshop all participants expressed their deep satisfaction and their thanks to the two short-term experts, highlighting their wishes for the continuation of this cooperation. Most importantly, the workshop afforded participants the opportunity to elaborate upon and discuss roadmaps towards the identification of local units, kind of activity units (KAUs) and groups as well as the production of links and economic characteristics within the national SBR across all partner countries. These achievements will constitute essential elements for the development of the cooperation on statistical business registers and business statistics over the lifetime of the STEP Programme and for the achievement of the expected results within the framework of this project.

PROJECT C2.2 TRAINING COURSE ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF GFS IN ACCORDANCE WITH GFSM 2014

Activity typeOnline-training
TitleTraining course on the development of GFS in accordance with GFSM 2014
Participants
Staff from the National Accounts or GFS units of the partner National Statistics Institutes, and from other national institutions involved in the production of GFS.
LocationOnline
Timing2-4 September 2020
Activity codeC2.2

Project on “Macroeconomic statistics: National Accounts and Government Finance Statistics”

Supporting Partner countries in aligning their Government Finance Statistics to 2008 SNA, ESA 2010 and GFSM 2014

Government Finance Statistics are key to ensuring a close monitoring of public finances, transparency and economic stability. In this context, comparability across countries is essential and this comparability can only be achieved through the implementation of international standards, as defined in the Government Finance Statistics Manual, 2014 edition or GFSM 2014.

This new set of standards includes several fundamental changes with respect to the previous version of the manual (GFSM 2001), including the changeover from a cash to an exclusively accrual recording basis for most GFS statements. Most countries around the world, including within the EU, are still struggling to implement these new standards as they represent fundamental changes from both a conceptual and a practical point of view.

In all partner countries, GFS are still calculated on a cash basis. In some cases, GFSM 2001 is still the methodological reference for the production of such statistics. However, all partner countries are aware that the transformation of cash-based figures into accrual figures is required to comply with international standards in this area and, more broadly, to produce national accounts aligned with 2008 SNA and ESA 2010.

In this context, it was agreed to implement a specific STEP project on National Accounts and Government Finance Statistics with the objective, in the area of GFS, of aligning these statistics to 2008 SNA, ESA 2010 and GFSM 2014, and to produce harmonised data on an accrual basis.

This online training course aimed at ensuring knowledge and at fostering adoption of the major features of GFSM 2014 and, more specifically, of the major changes introduced with respect to GFSM 2001. The training allowed the participants to discuss practical challenges in introducing these new methodological standards as well as possible solutions. It also afforded the opportunity to present and discuss possible implementation plans developed in the partner countries, to elaborate on guidelines for the development of such implementation plans where they did not exist, and to assess what further support could be brought in the frame of the STEP Programme in this respect. It relied on the transfer of specific knowledge and know-how by a highly specialised STE, Mr. Louis Bê Duc from Banque de France, and on presentations by representatives of the partner countries about their current situation regarding the production of GFS, the challenges they face and their objectives in this area.

The lively discussions proved that the training was appreciated and useful to all participants. Most importantly, it allowed the participants to elaborate roadmaps towards a full compliance of partner countries’ GFS with GFSM 2014, including the possible content of the technical assistance missions planned in the frame of STEP on this topic. These achievements will constitute essential elements for the development of the cooperation on GFS over the lifetime of the STEP Programme and for the achievement of the expected results within the framework of this specific project.