At the beginning of 2013, the IEF's JODI team analysed JODI submissions on a regional basis and identified an opportunity to deepen ties with both OLADE and statisticians in its member countries, with the objective of ensuring the on-going submission of reliable JODI data.
Recognising the value of face-to-face interaction between the JODI Partners and statisticians from national administrations, the IEF and OLADE set out to organise a joint workshop to strengthen the working relationship and to promote better understanding of the JODI data reporting practices among OLADE member countries.
After months of planning and logistics coordination, the workshop took place from 29 April through 1 May 2013 in Quito, and benefited from the participation of senior statisticians from the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The first day involved a lengthy meeting of professionals from the IEA, IEF and OLADE, in which OLADE explained in great detail the specifics of its data collection techniques, submission cataloguing methods and internal checks performed. One key outcome of this day's meeting was an agreement to comprehensively assess the compatibility between OLADE's monthly hydrocarbon data questionnaire and the JODI-Oil and JODI-Gas questionnaires.
The broader workshop began on 30 April, wherein representatives from 22 OLADE member countries gathered to discuss data quality and reporting methods.
The following OLADE countries were represented:
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- Trinidad and Tobago
OLADE professionals provided a briefing on their JODI data collection mechanism and clarified their approach towards JODI data quality assessments. During the afternoon, the IEF presented slides featuring selected data points from each country's JODI data, and the country representatives discussed, one by one, their data reporting practices and clarified pending questions. These informal yet direct discussions play a fundamental part in addressing gaps in the JODI database, as at times it can be difficult to resolve matters by phone or e-mail. In the spirit of JODI, only the national administrations that submitted the data are permitted to update their data submissions.
On the second day, the IEF spoke about the importance of JODI data to market actors and analysts, using examples of how JODI data are featured in investment bank reports and how JODI data are cited by news services such as Bloomberg. Prior to concluding the proceedings, all OLADE country representatives engaged in an impromptu brainstorming exercise to identify practical steps they could take to improve the quality and reporting of their JODI data (see photo below). Virtually all country participants jointly pledged in writing to follow up on numerous points related to their data submissions and data transparency overall.
Concrete Outcomes of the Quito Workshop To Date
In addition to the unexpected and inspiring “commitment pledge” signed by numerous OLADE member country statisticians, other concrete outcomes of the IEF-OLADE Workshop logged to date include the following:
- Argentina started submitting JODI-Gas data
- Nicaragua resumed its submission of JODI-Oil data
- Suriname submitted JODI-Oil data for the first time ever, and started submitting JODI-Gas data
This workshop would not have been possible without funding from the Government of Japan, whose extraordinary financial contributions to support JODI have provided invaluable support towards capacity building. Moreover, the JODI Partners can all attest to the fact that the submission of data from their member countries tends to improve after workshops and face-to-face meetings. As JODI is a constant work in progress, sustaining these in person interactions is tantamount to sustaining JODI and greater financial support would undoubtedly strengthen the Initiative.