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Country Profile of Occupied Palestinian Territory

Main statistical agency
Main statistical agency name
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS)
Web address
Position in the government
PCBS's head reports to the Cabinet.

The independence of a Central Bureau of Statistics is essential for enhancing the credibility of statistical figures at the national and international levels in addition to enhancing the confidence of individuals and institutions in statistics. This, consequently, increases the potentials of obtaining accurate figures during data collection from individuals and institutions. Likewise, the Bureau is a state institution that provides service to the governmental, non – governmental and private sectors in addition to research institutions and universities.
Organizational structure and finance
PCBS Organizational structure consists of the following:

PCBS President:

Two Assistants to the President

1. Assistant to the President for the statistical programs

2. Assistant to the President for the complementary programs

Nine Directorates:

1. Palestinian Statistical Training Center Directorate.

2. Information System and Computer Directorate.

3. Administrative and finance Directorate.

4. Field Work and Surveys Directorate.

5. Planning, Development and Statistical Coordination Directorate.

6. Area Statistics Directorate.

7. Economic Statistics Directorate

8. Population and Social Statistics Directorate.

9. Census Directorate.

Under each directorate there are subject matter departments (3-5 departments)
Multi-annual or annual work program
PCBS has a detailed annual work plan and general 3-year work program. PCBS used to develop a Master Plan to identify its long-term strategies. The first Master Plan was developed in 1994 for the period 1995 - 2000, and the second one was developed in 2000 for the period 2001 - 2010.
Main duties
Article three, in the General Statistics Law of 2000, has identified the main duties of the Bureau, as follows:

1. To establish a comprehensive and unified statistical system to serve Palestinian authorities as an instrument of guidance for diagnosing problems and evaluating progress made.

2. To provide truthful and impartial official statistics on demographic, social, economic and environmental states and trends to serve the Palestinian citizenry.

3. To enlighten the public with information provided through the mass media, and cooperate with university and other research organizations.

4. To serve the instrumental needs of businesses and their organizations for statistical information on states and trends.

5. To conduct a population and housing census and agriculture census every ten years or less in accordance with the rules of a special census act issued by the President of the Palestinian National Authority, and to conduct an Establishment census every five years or less.

6. To participate in the international cooperation and exchange of official statistics in accordance with international standards which guarantee Palestinian membership in international organizations.

7. To compile essential statistics published on Palestine and the Palestinians by any country or international organization and analyze such statistics.

8. To establish statistical training centers in order to prepare qualified personnel to carry out the statistical activities conducted by governmental or non-governmental departments or agencies.

9. To create and maintain a library of Palestinian and international statistics and an archive of Palestinian censuses and surveys covering the areas listed.

10. To participate effectively in building the different administrative records and central registers to meet the administrative and statistical needs of the Palestinian society

11. To publish statistical yearbook annually.

12. To update the Voting Register based on the Population Register regularly and every three months, and to provide voter listings when needed.

Brief history and other relevant background information
Brief history and other relevant background information
The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) was established in 1993 as one of the Palestinian National Authority's civil and formal organization. The following are the main historical stations for PCBS in the past period:

- The PCBS was established in light of the Palestinian Liberation Organization resolution on September 13th 1993, and commenced its activities on October 1st 1993.

- In January 1994 PCBS organized in New York the first International Conference on developing the system of Palestine official statistics. While, in April 1995 PCBS organized a second International Conference in Palestine to discuss the first Master Plan for Palestine official statistics.

- In December 1997, PCBS conducted the first ever Population, Housing, and Establishment Census with pure Palestinian efforts.

- In July 2000, His Excellency President Yasser Arafat signed the Palestinian General Statistics Law 2000, after approving it by the Palestinian Legislative Council, which confirmed the legal status of PCBS.

- In May 2000, the second Master Plan was prepared for the period 2001 - 2010.

Legal basis
Legal basis
His Excellency, President Yasser Arafat, ratified on 08/06/2000 the General Statistics Law no (5) for 2000, taking into account that this law is among the basic factors for securing Palestine’s membership in the international statistical community.

General Statistics Law 2000 for Palestine defines PCBS's mission, citizens right in getting official statistics, and main role of PCBS in the official statistical data collection. The law also emphasizes the importance of PCBS's collaboration with the line
ministries and other institutions, regulates PCBS' finance and budgeting, and defines rights and obligations of the PCBS's employees.

Other producers of official statistics
Other producers of official statistics
PCBS is the centralized producer of official statistics, and there was a national project to improve the capacity of other governmental bodies in producing sectoral statistics for their own works such as the Ministry of Education, Ministry of national economy, the Palestinian Monetary Authority

Statistical advisory bodies
Statistical advisory bodies
The advisory council was formed in 2004. The importance of forming an advisory council for statistics emanates from its cruciality for laying the general framework as well as directing the priorities of the statistical programs in accordance with national interests. The advisory council is a national body comprising representatives from the governmental, non – governmental and private sectors in addition to academic personalities. The membership of the council is determined based on nominations from the council of ministers. This ensures that the composition of the council involves fully qualified personalities along with national and legal personalities capable of giving solid advise on the national statistical priorities. Nevertheless, the council had no whatsoever legislative or executive authorities in terms of the daily management of statistical activities. The council does not assume the functions of a board of trustees. It is neither part of the Central Bureau of Statistics nor follows up the daily administrative and technical activities of the bureau.

Data collection
Most recent population census
1-16 December 2007
Access to administrative data
PCBS has access to the administrative data in the following areas: education, culture, primary and secondary health care, vital events, crime statistics; it also uses the environmental data as energy, water, land use, pollution ...etc, and beside that economic data such as building licenses, imports and exports ..etc.
Data confidentiality
The General Statistics Law 2000 prohibits disclosure of individual data.

Data dissemination
Release calendar (existence, when and how published)
PCBS starts releasing an advanced statistical calender, the first one was released for the year 2006, the calender is widely distributed for all relevant users.
Main publications
PCBS issues the following main publications: Quarterly Labor Force Statistics, Consumer Price Index, the annual national accounts, quarterly estimates for the national accounts, annual agriculture statistics, the Statistical Abstract of Palestine, and the Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem.
Languages of main publications
All PCBS' publications are bilingual, Arabic and English.
How are data disseminated (Paper, CD Rom, Website, online databases, databanks)?
All PCBS statistical products are announced for the public through hard copies, soft copies (CDs), press releases, conferences, and web site.
Availability of microdata for research purposes
PCBS provides access to micro data for users through CDs only after treating data for confidentiality and individual information in accordance with General Statistics Law (Number 4) for the year 2000.

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