STATISTICS CANADA – 2006 CENSUSInternet Response OptionPresentation at UN Statistical Commission February 28, 2007
Census in Canada • Legal requirement every 5 years, De Jure basis • Last Census May 16th, 2006; 13 million dwellings • 80%-short form (8 questions); 20%-long form (53 questions + 8 dwelling questions ) • Confidentiality is paramount • Combined collection for Census of Population and Census of Agriculture • Development and integration of Internet application and processing systems was outsourced to private sector • Targeted 20% of initial response from the internet
Census 2006 – Drivers for change • Privacy concerns – local enumerator issue • Government On-Line (GOL) initiative • Data Entry Capability/Manual Coding • Recruitment and retention of staff
Radical Change • Most radical changes since 1970’s • Mail-out via Canada Post for 73% of households (Address register critical) • List leave for remainder • Unique dwellingidentifier and internet access code for each questionnaire
Radical Change • Mail-back or Internet option (canvasser method for a few areas) • One Data Processing Centre (CATI or Field Follow-up initiated from it) • Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) • Master Control List • Automated coding
Internet mode of collection • Nothing left on respondent’s computer (Zero footprint) • Log-on using internet access code printed on questionnaire • Innovative Security Solution using GOC “Secure Channel” (PKI “light”, secure “islands”) • One-time recyclable certificates • Multiple sessions for long form (user can assign own password)
How did we do - Results • Metrics • 22% of initial response was by Internet • Overall internet represented 18% of all responses • Graceful Deferral Contingency Procedure seldom used, except on Census night • Data Quality better for internet response
How did we do - Results • Internet available and used (on a gradually declining basis) until end of follow-up period (end of August) • “Push Strategy” experiment (no questionnaire sent, only a letter asking to respond via internet) yielded very good results • Successful use of a reminder letter to non-respondents asking to reply by internet (no questionnaire sent)
Implementation Issues • Operational/development plan • Sizing, technical, integration issues • Testing strategies • Support (technical and respondent) • Security and public perception (independent validations)
Lessons Learned • Integrating with Secure Channel was harder and took longer than expected • Difficult to exercise volume tests that accurately reflected production • Being able to monitor and control the number of respondents accessing the system was critical • Not mailing paper questionnaires increases the internet take up rate • Testing every aspect and linkage is crucial • True partnership with contractors was critical success factor
Going forward - 2011 • Basic methodology will be retained • Aggressive assumption regarding Internet take-up Rate. Significant Potential Savings • Return postage • Paper handling and data capture • Follow-up for edit-failures • Security approach to be determined (availability of Secure Channel? Should we adopt a less customized security method, e.g. SSL?)
Going forward - 2011 • Census Day versus Census Week to spread system load? • In-house, outsourced or hybrid development approach a critical decision • Integration • Competency profile
Going forward - 2011 • Expanding Mail-out (MO) opportunities - currently assessing an approach that will make better use of Mail-out tools as well as encourage response by Internet as opposed to paper questionnaire • Wave 1 - Initial MO - 90% of all dwellings; • 80% of MO dwellings will receive an invitation to use Internet only - no paper questionnaire will be provided; • 20% of MO dwellings will receive paper questionnaire package (areas of low connectivity); • Approximately two weeks before Census Day.
Going forward - 2011 • Wave 2 - All dwellings will receive a mailed "pre-addressed reminder" to complete questionnaire via Internet or paper questionnaire received during Wave 1; • Mailed around Census Day. • Wave 3 - one week after Census Day determine mail-out universe that did not reply - A paper questionnaire package will be prepared and mail-out to each dwelling which did not reply; • Approximately two weeks allowed for package preparation and postal delivery. An additional week will be allowed for households to respond. • Wave 4 - Start Non- Response Follow-up (NRFU) approximately 4 weeks after census Day.
Going forward - 2011 2006 Collection Process Methodology Census Reference Day – May 10, 2011 Wait Time until 80% responses accounted NRFU NRFU ENDS 07/29/11 NRFU BEGINS WAVE 1 WAVE 2 Census Week May 2011 WAVE 3 WAVE 5 Deadline ENRFU WAVE 4