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17th Regional JODI Training Workshop for MENA Region, Countries

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11-12 December 2018

Beirut, Lebanon

The 17th Regional JODI Training Workshop targeting MENA countries was held in Beirut, Lebanon from 11-14 December 2018. Coordinated by the IEF, the Workshop was held as part of Training on Energy Statistics hosted by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA). It was supported by the IEA and other JODI Partners, including GECF, and UNSD and the newest JODI Associate, OAPEC.

More than 40 delegates from 15 countries representing MENA region and from Africa, as well as 7 International Organisations took part in the workshop which built better understanding of the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI), and raised awareness of the importance of data transparency and strengthening capacity of statistical agencies in this region.

The workshop aimed to train energy data professionals in charge of energy data collection and dissemination at national administrations in this region, raise awareness of the importance of data transparency and strengthen the capacity of statistical agencies in this region. For the first time in the history of JODI Training Programmes, the workshop was held in association with a training programme on building annual energy balances from comprehensive energy commodity statistics. The Cooperative spirit of JODI among international organisations have enabled such joint programme, which provided a comprehensive picture of energy data compilation activities and their linkage.

Several of the JODI partner organisations sent experts to present on the merits and technicalities of JODI, highlighting the importance of cooperation in delivering upon Ministers’ calls for global data transparency. Presentations by JODI Partners detailed the uses of JODI data including and the importance of data granularity for data usability. These perspectives offered valuable insight into the needs of clear data definitions and submissions for a clear, cleaner energy future.

Three Officials for the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) provided welcome insights into the requirements of data users, the need to regularity, constancy, timeliness and transparency in a free accessible data bases. KAPSARC’s presentation also exhibited some end uses of energy data including their input into policy initiatives forecasts and investment models. OAPEC presentation exhibited the highlights of OAPEC’s energy database.

The hands-on nature of the workshop’s training sessions gave delegates the opportunity to learn about JODI definitions in more detail, and to better understand the techniques required to perform the data quality assessment necessary to underpin the accurate and timely completion of JODI questionnaires. Delegates expressed particular interest in the experience-sharing elements of the programme.

The workshop was held as a part of JODI action identified in JODI 5-Year Action Plan toward 2020 to extend its reach to regions where there is room for improving data availability.

UNESCWA and the 8 JODI partners will continue their work with its MENA countries to follow-up on commitments and action items agreed in Beirut with the aim of capitalising on the experience gained during the course of the programme.