Strengthening Capacity in Population and Housing Census
Strengthening Capacity in Population and Housing Census
India’s efforts helping other Asian countries build capacity in the conduct and analysis of population data.

Challenges

Population and housing census is one of the primary sources of data needed for formulating, implementing, and monitoring policies and programmes aimed at inclusive socioeconomic development and environmental sustainability. It is a comprehensive and complex process that involves the collection, compilation, analysis, evaluation, publication and dissemination of statistical data.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) works with Member-States to enable them to follow international statistical standards, methods, and guidelines in the conduct of the census in order to uphold the integrity, reliability, accuracy and value of the results. Given that new methodologies and technologies are being implemented in the pursuit of reduced costs, improved quality and timely dissemination of census results, countries recognize the importance of and need for sharing knowledge, experiences and expertise on various aspects of census-taking.

Towards a Solution

UNFPA collaborated with the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner (ORGI) of India to assist national statistical offices of other countries in the global South in the conduct of their censuses. ORGI serves as a technical hub on various aspects of census operations and provides cost-effective training to national statistical offices with only logistics expenses borne by recipient countries. Moreover, with UNFPA support, ORGI prepared manuals on demographic techniques and census operations and analysis of census data needed for various training programmes.

A pool of experts has been set up to provide need-based technical assistance to countries. The specific needs of countries requesting assistance were matched with the appropriate experts in the pool who carried capacity-building census training sessions.

Results

Based on demand, a number of developing countries benefited from training on various census operations. These included Timor-Leste on census methodology, Afghanistan on data processing and sample registration system, Myanmar on data processing and dissemination, Bhutan on pre- and post-census activities and Ethiopia on multi-lingual data processing. Assistance was provided to Myanmar, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Nepal and Sri Lanka in mapping their specific needs in carrying out census and identifying suitable experts.

With support from UNFPA and other United Nations organisations, ORGI has set up a state-of-the-art resource and training centre of international standard to cater to in-house and international training on census and surveys. It was designed to offer routine or customized training programmes as well as provide specialized consultancy services.

Lessons Learned

The institutional knowledge in India is made available only when a request is received from another country. Although several such requests have come in, a more structured platform to promote the services across the global South would have benefited more countries.  Relatedly, there is missed opportunity by other countries whose needs are similar to the ones who attended the training programme. Multi-country training would have provided economies of scale and led to cross-pollination of learnings.

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Contact Information

Mr. Sanjay Kumar, Programme Officer, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) India

Countries involved

Afghanistan, Bhutan, Ethiopia, India, Myanmar, Timor-Leste

Supported by

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) India

Implementing Entities

Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India; Bhutan Statistics Bureau; Timor-Leste General Directorate of Statistics; Afghanistan Central Statistics Organisation; Ethiopia Central Statistical Agency; Ministry of Immigration and Population, Myanmar

Project Status

Ongoing

Project Period

2018

Primary SDG

17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Secondary SDGs

03 - Good Health and Well-being, 04 - Quality Education, 05 - Gender Equality, 09 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

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