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EU funded technical assistance to support the National Bureau of Statistics of the Republic of Moldova – in progress

During March and May 2021, the activities within the project “Technical Assistance to Support the National Bureau of Statistics of the Republic of Moldova” have well progressed.

The activity on business demography (i.e. statistics on the creation of new enterprises and the closure of unproductive ones) was completed during this period. In this regard, being assisted by an international expert, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) received thorough knowledge about the European best practices, as well as detailed recommendations for improving the methodology and quality on the business population of the Republic of Moldova, taking into consideration that data on enterprise births, enterprise deaths and surviving enterprises are important indicators of the business dynamics in a country for the purpose of policy monitoring and formulation.

The activity on the Construction Cost Index was also completed, the methodology currently used being reviewed and possible scenarios being proposed for the development of the index in line with EU practices. This indicator is relevant both in macroeconomic statistics and for the calculation of the market value of the real estate. Since the construction sector is growing rapidly and it is one of the main factors of the short-term level of economic activity in the Republic of Moldova, there must be reliable construction cost index in order to assess the real changes in products within this sector.

NBS representatives attended online seminars on user satisfaction surveys. The main international standards and methods used for such surveys were explained. A questionnaire to be used for a pilot survey via the NBS website was prepared and discussed.

Moreover, NBS representatives attended an online seminar on Response Burden. The main topics presented and discussed focused around burden measurement indicators and burden reduction techniques, including sample coordination, use of administrative data, cooperation with other producers of official statistics and use of pre-filled questionnaires. Progress was made in drafting two important regulations expected to be completed in June: the regulation on other producers of official statistics other than the NBS and the National Bank, and the regulation on access to individual data for researchers.

Another thematic activity of the project, essential for the professional development of NBS employees is the organisation of English language courses. In mid-May, 60 NBS officials successfully passed the English mid-course evaluation, and as of 1 June the classes will be resumed for a few more months. Mastering the English language at a more advanced level will allow the staff to access statistical data and documents from Eurostat and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, which are the main reference sources for linking official National Statistics to the acquis Communautaire.

Within the ICT components of the project, some tests were organised for the computer applications developed in the framework of the project: a Geographic Information System (GIS) application and a  Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) application for the Labour Force Survey (LFS).

Photo: Oleg Cara, General Director of the NBS

During 24-28 May, workshops for the IT staff and statisticians from the NBS were organised, within which they got acquainted with open-source digital tools such as Apache Zeppelin and Jupyter and the use of these technologies in the Integrated Automated Information System (IAIS). In addition, training activities with experts from the Italian National Institute of Statistics (Istat) were organised.

Last but not least, within the visibility and communication component, in the context of Europe Days, on 14 May, the news portal Unimedia.info published an interview of the NBS General Director Mr. Oleg Cara.

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