Presentation on theme: "PROMOTION AND UTILIZATION OF CENSUS RESULTS : Making value visible M. Mubila Statistics Department African Development Bank."— Presentation transcript:
PROMOTION AND UTILIZATION OF CENSUS RESULTS : Making value visible M. Mubila Statistics Department African Development Bank
Outline Introduction Types of data generally collected through a census Why is it important to promote census results? Promotion of censuses and results Merits of sufficient and in-depth analysis of census data Dissemination of census results Archiving Census evaluation Conclusion
Introduction A modern census is defined as a process of data collection, compilation, evaluation and dissemination of demographic, socio-economic data pertaining to a country’s population at a specified time. This implies that a census is complete only when the above activities are fully and successfully undertaken including sufficient and in-depth analysis of census results.
Types of data generally collected through a census Censuses provide very key information on demographic, human settlement, social and economic issues which can be used for local, regional, national, and international purposes. The census is the only census exercise that generates data at smallest geographical domain. For comparability among countries the United Nations for the 2010 round of censuses recommended the collection of data on core topics to facilitate comparability of data and information among countries.
Why is it important to promote census results? Apart from providing basic demographic and socio-economic results of varying detail, a quality and successful census provides the opportunity for mobilizing the country and making statistical activities visible. A census still remains the backbone of statistical development in many African countries. The census is one of the most comprehensive operations that collects varied and relatively comprehensive data about the country’s population at low level geography i.e. small areas. It is, therefore, prudent to fully analyze and promote census findings by disseminating to all relevant stakeholders or users.
Instead of countries only providing basic population size figures, there is unlimited potential to carry out in-depth analysis of the country’s population with respect to education, gender, occupation, economic activity, disability etc. Such analytical results would provide numerical profiles and informed commentaries essential for evidence-based decision making at all levels including small areas such as communities and therefore add value to census results. In fact the common complaint from census data users is that the disseminated results are lacking at community level. By providing such data the profile of census results and activities would be promoted and more valuable especially that a number of African countries are adopting or trying to adopt a decentralizing model of governance.
Promotion of censuses and results Promotion of the census results, has to start by planning and implementing a quality and credible census. This implies that all the three phases of the census, namely planning, enumeration (field count) and post enumeration phases (data capture, processing, analysis and dissemination) should be professionally and objectively undertaken. This will entail obtaining reliable data that will instil confidence into users of census data resulting into its promotion and adding value to the results.
Merits of sufficient and in-depth analysis of census data One of the most important tasks in a census operation is the analysis of census data. The aim is to produce a sanctity narrative that brings together evidence and arguments in support of conclusions about the demographic and socio-economic situation the data is supposed to represent. The census information offers a wonderful opportunity for detailed analysis to add value to census results because of the universal coverage, relatively many items covered and the simultaneity of its conduct
However, for most countries in Africa, the voluminous information collected is only partially analyzed and disseminated and often in an untimely manner. This in turn leads to undervaluing the census and underutilization of the results. To some extent it is a disservice to countries when one looks at the missed opportunity to analyse and provide the needed data pertinent to informed policy and decision- making. There is, therefore, need for in-depth analysis of census data instead to of just basic numbers relating to population size or counts. Thematic areas for in-depth analysis, in addition to regular staff of the national statistical office, may involve subject matter specialists from research institutions, universities, line Ministries etc. In this way you build analytical capacity at the national statistical office. At the same time you satisfy the demand from specialist users of census results. Hence the value and visibility of the census results would be enhanced.
Areas requiring in-depth analysis may include : Age Structure; Mortality, Fertility and Migration; Education; Disability; Aging; Youth; Gender correlates etc. With the production of thematic reports the utilization of census data is maximized and justifies the heavy investment both financial and human resources that go into the implementation of a census program.
Dissemination of census results Dissemination of census results can add value to census results by adopting an aggressive approach that would satisfy an assortment of different users. Timely release of data is a quality measure that cultivates confidence in the census data by informed users. In order to make value visible of the census results the dissemination strategy should entail using different media to cater for different stakeholders. Some of the suggested modes include: Printed reports; CDROMS; Internet dissemination and databases; charts; and walk-in requests from the census office; workshops and seminars; bulletins; 10 % of anonymized micro data and Geographic information System (GIS) web-based mapping.
Archiving Archiving encompasses actions undertaken to ensure that completed questionnaires, control forms, manuals, other relevant documents, maps, data and accompanying metadata collected are managed and maintained in formats that ensures their utility for current and future uses. Unfortunately, for most African countries, archiving of census data and associated documents are usually given the least attention this explains the scarcity of materials and information of previous censuses. This is an area which needs to receive special attention in the 2010 round of censuses. Indeed value of the census results would and its utilization would be enhanced as census information would be readily available for use and analysis time immemorial.
Census evaluation Census evaluation is a necessary activity associated with the census. It promotes the census because informed users or stakeholders recognize and appreciate the census office’s effort of self-evaluation with respect to the census results. In addition, the evaluation adds value to the census as serious users will have some parameters, such as the coverage rates and content measures, to judge the census and how far they can go in interpreting the results. Internationally users will give more credence to the census results knowing that a census evaluation was conducted.
Two known methods of evaluation are currently recommended, namely the use of demographic analytical techniques and the post enumeration surveys (if well designed and implemented). Owing to the paucity of time series demographic data in most Africa countries the former approach is not intensively used. The most common method, therefore adopted, is the post enumeration survey approach. While a number of countries carried out post enumeration surveys during the 2010 census round, some African countries did not.
Conclusion The African Development Bank strongly supports the promotion and utilization of census data. With reliable and sufficiently analyzed census data, countries benefit by formulating policies and making decisions based on objective information. In addition, the much needed visibility of national statistical systems will be enhanced. It is the Bank’s hope that the Many African countries, if not all will take part in the 2020 round of census and add visible value to the census results by adhering to the recommendations which will come from this workshop. I would like to conclude by stating that the African Development Bank supported the 2010 round of census, in some African countries through providing technical assistance and is poised to continue during the 2020 round of censuses.