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Data Accessibility and Confidentiality in Population and Households Censuses. United Nations Regional Seminar on Census Data Dissemination and Spatial Analysis. Nairobi , Kenya, 14-17 September, 2010. Yacob Zewoldi, Eliahu Ben-Moshe.

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Data Accessibility and Confidentiality in Population and Households Censuses

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Data accessibility and confidentiality in population and households censuses l.jpg

Data Accessibility and Confidentiality in Population and Households Censuses

United Nations Regional Seminar on

Census Data Dissemination and Spatial Analysis

Nairobi, Kenya, 14-17 September, 2010

Yacob Zewoldi, Eliahu Ben-Moshe


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The ultimate goal of any data collection exercise, including censuses, is to safely guard the confidentiality of such census information, while maximizing the accessibility of census data.


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Why is confidentiality important?

Individual data collected by statistical agencies for statistical compilation, whether they refer to natural or legal persons, are to be strictly confidential and used exclusively for statistical purposes

principle 6 of the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics


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Long term benefits

  • better cooperation from the public

  • more data from the public and better quality

  • improved accessibility to data and to higher quality data


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How to guard confidentiality in a census operation?

(i) Confidentiality in all aspects of data collection operations

(ii) Legal framework

(iii) Outsourcing

(iv) Publicity

(v) Training of staff and enumeration manuals

(vi) Enumeration

(vii) Data dissemination

(viii) Database

Transcript of information


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Accessibility is a Census strategic objective

The strategic objectives of the ceneus include:

“implementing policies designed to safeguard the access of all users to census results”


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Quality assurance

Even if data are accurate, they do not have sufficient quality if they are produced too late to be useful, orcannot be easily accessed, or conflict with other credible data, or are too costly to produce


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What is accessibility

  • Accessibility is the ease with which statistical data can be obtained by users, and reflects the availability of information from the holdings of the agency in general, and census information in particular


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Accessibility should take into :account

  • The suitability of the form in which the information is available

  • The media of dissemination

  • The availability of metadata

  • That the user has reasonable opportunity to know the information is available and how to access it

  • The affordability of that information to users in relation to its value to them


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About the education and training of users


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Promotion of, and training on, uses of census data

  • users may be willing to use the information but require additional training to more fully understand the data

  • needs for training need to be identified early in the census planning process


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Prepare in advance

  • Identify areas and types of users in which the statistical office wishes to focus

  • establish partnerships with other bodies to provide training

  • Perhaps, consider also approaches other than classroom training to provide learning-at-a-distance opportunities


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Topics to be addressed

  • potential uses of census data

  • how to access census data

  • interpretation of census data at the broadest level, including the interpretation of its completeness and level of accuracy


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Thanks for your attention


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