During the period of January-February 2021, the EU funded project “Technical Assistance to Support the National Bureau of Statistics of the Republic of Moldova” continued the implementation of project activities combining teleworking with several offline meetings, training activities and one mission to the Republic of Moldova of the project team leader.

The National Bureau of Statistics of the Republic of Moldova (NBS) is assisted by project experts to develop a better set of variables explaining the characteristics and demography of the business population, since there is a large demand for information on business units in the country from relevant state institutions. In this context, a dedicated activity on business demography was initiated on 21 January. The activity aims at providing theoretical and practical guidance in the production of improved data on business demography as well as ensuring its comparability with the figures produced by the EU and neighbouring countries.
On 29 January, the Twinning project together with NBS organised a meeting on legal matters related to official statistics.
Although the NBS can rely on a good National Statistical Law inspired by the best international practices, its implementation still needs improvement and some pieces of secondary law need to be prepared. To support NBS, ParStat has delegated a national and an international expert, to assure coherence and efficiency.

On 2 February, a meeting on the Construction Cost Index was organised to analyse the relevance of this indicator that was highlighted both in macroeconomic statistics and for the purpose of calculating the market value of real estate, as foreseen by the Government Decision. Since the construction is a fast-growing sector and one of the key determinants of the level of short-term economic activity in the Republic of Moldova, it requires reliable construction price indices, a demand arising from the need to assess real changes in the output from the activities in this sector, which cannot be derived solely through reference to regular building and construction statistics. However, as the current methodology and all the statistical tools related to the production of the indicator are outdated, the entire process must be redesigned, and a revised methodology is required. Such information will enable the national statistical institution to overhaul or to create own indices, and to compare their methodology and data sources with those currently used in other countries.
Among the thematic project’s activities, the English Courses provided for the employees of the National Bureau of Statistics play an essential role for the professional development thereof. The classes started on 8 and 9 February for the participants within four level groups. The continuous improvement of English language skills allows NBS statisticians to have direct access to the EU Acquis Communautaire and to the European Statistical System, as well to develop direct personal contacts with the representatives of statistical authorities from EU Member States, thus fostering the international cooperation between NBS and corresponding EU statistical authorities.
The progresses and the challenges of the project activity were discussed on 16 February during the 3rd Steering Committee Meeting. The implemented activities of the projects were reported and the future steps were set up.
In addition to this, a training on statistical disclosure control (SDC) was organised in partnership with Statistics Netherlands, and conducted during 16-19 February, targeting the staff dealing with statistical confidentiality from the NBS and introduced concepts of statistical disclosure control, privacy and data sensitivity. The topics included theoretical principles of SDC concerning tabular data and microdata protection and output checking. Practical case studies from the member states were presented alongside with the opportunity for the NBS staff to use the software on the SDC tabular data and microdata protection. The issues discussed during the training proved to be important to the NBS as an agency trying to move towards more advanced and online modes of data dissemination. This course was a good opportunity for the specialised staff members to increase their theoretical knowledge, and to acquire competences as to the methods and software used in statistical disclosure for tabular data and microdata protection. Moreover, this training was a good occasion to develop additional international cooperation with relevant EU statistics bodies.
On 24-25 February an ESSPROS core system workshop was delivered for the NBS staff.
The participants became familiar with the EU social protection methodological specifications (e.g., key concepts, definitions, conventions, etc.) and the practicalities of providing a complete set of data for the ESSPROS Core System and modules on a regular basis.
A good understanding and the knowledge needed to deliver ESSPROS data in line with the EU methodological guidelines and regulations, will allow the NBS representatives to properly record the receipts and the expenditure of the organisations or schemes involved in social protection interventions.