Measuring Traditional Skills: Taking Stock of What We Have Before We Lose It is a research report by UNESCO researcher Simon Ellis, commissioned by the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise and published in 2015.
"In 2008 a US Aid survey of craft in Aqaba, a Jordan concluded:
‘There is no one central place to find information about handicrafts in Jordan as no database of any kind exists. Information is scattered, segmented, and not organized. This makes it very hard to identify which products are most marketable, where to locate the workshops or businesses, and with whom to cooperate and coordinate’
This is a typical statement that is commonly heard from all countries in the world, but it is completely wrong! The relevant data is collected every three months, almost certainly for many years before 2008, and the latest data shows that in 2013 there were some 20,500 professional ‘crafts’ workers in Jordan. A quick visit to the National Statistics Office in Amman would allow one to verify which kinds of products they produced. Local property registers in Aqaba should enable one to compare this picture with retail outlets and workshops in the town.
In truth data on craft exist in every National Statistics Office (NSO) across the world, but they have no idea what is meant by ‘craft’ in statistical terms, while craft specialists do not know what statistics to ask for! One objective of this paper is to remedy this situation."
Read the full report here.