National Accounts Compilation Workshop: A Peer Learning Event

November 10, 2014

The Statistics Department (STA) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) organized a workshop on compiling national accounts at the JVI during October 27–31, 2014, for 26 statisticians from nine Eastern and South-Eastern European countries: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR of Macedonia, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, and Ukraine. The purpose of the workshop was to provide hands-on training on national accounts compilation issues. The training was part of the project for Capacity Building for Sustainable Compilation of Real Sector Statistics in Eastern Europe, funded by the Government of Japan. 

The workshop organizers tested peer learning, a nontraditional approach to training. There were no formal lectures or workshops; instead, all participants presented data compilation case studies. These were prepared in advance in consultation with staff of STA’s Real Sector Division. In five sessions, 21 case studies were presented, on (1) quarterly national accounts sources and methods; (2) reconciliation of GDP by production and by expenditure approaches; (3) volume measures of GDP; (4) adoption of new activity classifications; and (5) implementation of the 2008 SNA/ESA 2010. Each session was followed by a round table discussion and a summary of key lessons. 

As the very high overall rating showed, participants were enthusiastic about the new approach. Sharing experience and learning from peers seems to be an effective method for training statisticians from countries where compilation issues are similar and compilers have previously received formal training. Participants suggested more such workshops in the future, with focus on sharing experience and hands-on-training. The workshop was conducted in English and Russian, with interpretation provided by the JVI.

Maria Mantcheva, Statistics Department, IMF

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