Statisticians from the Southern Mediterranean countries specialised in business and economic surveys came together in Athens on 11 and 12 of April to exchange experience and to discuss the methodologies used by some European countries (France and Italy) to draw samples of businesses on which surveys can be based. The workshop was held by the EU-funded MEDSTAT IV project as part its work in the area of business and economic surveys design and implementation.
Two EU experts from Italy and France were invited to moderate the workshop and to answer to the specific questions raised by the 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, these include:
- the drawing of representative samples, by sector and region, from the Statistical Business Registers. 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 Statistical Business Registers Development Manual. The translation of technical terms was reviewed in details and a consensus was reached for a final Arabic version.
MEDSTAT IV website