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Day 1 – Morning Overall census management

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  1. UNECE Workshop on Census Management in SPECA member countries StatCapCA Training Workshop Nr.1 Day 1 – MorningOverall census management Paolo Valente (UNECE)

  2. Reference training material: • Handbook on Census Management for Population and Housing Censuses • Conference of European Statisticians Recommendations for the 2010 Censuses of Population and Housing

  3. Topics covered: 1. The importance of relevance 2. Census planning 3. Management structure

  4. The importance of relevance1.1 Relevance to the users • Core statistical objective of a census: To produce statistics that are relevant to data users Every action must be directed towards producing relevant output that meets the needs of users

  5. The importance of relevance1.1 Relevance to the users • For the census to be relevant, it is important to consult with census data users, and ensure that their needs are carefully considered HOWEVER • There are limits in what information can be collected with the census, due to: 1) Costs (reading, coding, processing, etc.) 2) Burden on respondents  Important to select accurately what topics should be included in the census form

  6. The importance of relevance1.1 Relevance to the users 1st step: Determine census agency’s position Broad criteria for selection of census topics: (a) Is the topic of major national importance? (b) Is there a need for data on the topic for small groups in the population or for small geographic areas? (c) Demand on the topic cannot be met by existing sources? (d) Is the topic suitable for inclusion in the census? (e) Are there sufficient resources available to collect and process the data for that topic?

  7. The importance of relevance1.1 Relevance to the users 2nd step: Prepare an information paper outlining: • The topics planned for inclusion in the census • The topics planned for exclusion from the census • Other topics, to assess user demand  Disseminate the information paper as widely as possible and using different media

  8. The importance of relevance1.1 Relevance to the users 3rd step: Consult and discuss information paper with users • Different forms of consultation and discussion: meetings, seminars, internet (email, forums) • Consultation programme should be targeted at different users: • Central government departments and ministries • Local government authorities • Providers of public and public services (health, police, utilities, etc) • Academics and researchers • Market researchers and other professional / private sector bodies • Other bodies or individuals representing the economic, social, educational and cultural life of the country.

  9. The importance of relevance1.1 Relevance to the users Consultation should cover not only what topics should be included, but also (with selected categories): • Enumeration methodology, possible use of sampling; • Wording of questions; • Definitions and classifications; • Planned tabulations; • Geographic boundaries; • Processing; • Edit and imputation; • Confidentiality and disclosure control; • Coverage and data quality; • Dissemination and conditions of use of the data.

  10. The importance of relevance1.2 Relevance to the general public Not only the census should produce RELEVANT data, but the general public should PERCEIVE that the census is relevant to themand should be supported • Important role of census communication and publicity campaigns. Examples: • Release and publicize data from previous census • Explain how census data are used for planning (building of new schools, hospitals etc.)

  11. The importance of relevance1.3 Relevance to overall national strategies The census is primarily a STATISTICAL operation, however it can also provide opportunities to advance other objectives relevant to a country: • Acquire funding for improving and increasing the stock of IT equipment within the country; • Provide employment in economically depressed areas of the country; • Train a large number of people in tasks such as data processing or census collection duties; • Improvement in the country’s mapping capabilities, through the development of maps for the census.

  12. The importance of relevance1.4 Relevance to the National Stat. System In addition to the direct use of census data, the National Statistical System can benefit in different ways from the census. Examples: • Population estimates: Census data can be used to correct population estimates in the period before the census and as a base for the period after the census; • Household survey programme: Census data can be used to design sampling frame and select sampled units • Develop IT infrastructure, mapping capabilities, and staff skills to be used in other statistical activities.

  13. 2. Census planning2.1 What is census planning • Census planning is the process linking the different phases of the census cycle: • Preparation • Field operations • Processing • Dissemination • Evaluation • Census planning is the most critical process to the completion of a successful census

  14. 2. Census planning • Each phase of the census cycle is dependent on a preceding phase: • The quality of the output from each phase has a direct effect on the success of the next phase

  15. 2. Census planning2.2 Aim of the planning process The aim of the planning process is to ensure that: 1. Each phase is properly resourced and organized 2. The output of each phase is of sufficient quality for all subsequent phases 3. All dependencies between the different phases are identified  Planning should not remain static but be flexible to take into account changes that occur

  16. 2. Census planning Important issues to be considered when planning a census: (a) Specifying the role of the census; (b) The role of Government; (c) Setting goals; (d) Developing project plans; (e) Monitoring project plans; (f) Developing a budget.

  17. 2. Census planning2.3 The role of the census Always remember that: • The census should be considered as part of the larger National Statistical Programme • The prime role of a census is usually to provide an accurate count of the total population for each of the administrative regions of a country. • The key strength of a census is the ability to provide data for small geographic areas and for small population groups. • When data are not required at this level of detail, other statistical methodologies more cost-effective than censuses should be adopted

  18. 2. Census planning2.3 The role of the census …and that: • The census is NOT suitable to collect data on complex issues: consider possibly registers, household surveys or sampling in census (long/short form) • For topics covered in past censuses, it should be verified whether they are still relevant and whether other sources have become available for them.

  19. 2. Census planning2.4 The role of Government for the census (a) Providing a legal framework for the census. It may cover (varying from country to country): - The authority of the census agency to take the census; - The role of other administrations/organizations (ministries, municipalities) in census taking. - Topics to be included in the census; - The requirements of individuals to provide information; - Provisions about data confidentiality; - The date of the census; - Penalties for non-compliance or obstruction (rarely invoked)  The legal framework should allow for a great degree of operational flexibility for the census agency.

  20. 2. Census planning2.4 The role of Government for the census (b) Providing funding for the census. Problem: The census budget is highly cyclical, with a large peak during enumeration and processing phases.  It is crucial that census budget is planned well in advance and cover all known activities.  Census managers should closely monitor the government commitment to the census, to ensure that the agreed funds are actually available when needed.

  21. 2. Census planning2.4 The role of Government for the census (c) Providing logistical support for the census. Support can be provided by government agencies at different levels: Ministries, Local administrations, etc. Support may include: staff, infrastructures, services. All agencies providing support should be aware of specific requirements of a census. Appropriate plans should be prepared and funding be secured in advance.

  22. 2. Census planning2.5 Setting goals Q.: Why setting goals? A.: To provide a framework within which the ongoing management of the census can proceed and decisions can be made. Without clear goals: - It is difficult for staff to make decisions and take responsibility for those decisions - It is easy for the overall census process to deviate from what was originally envisaged - Decision-making becomes centralized and autocratic, causing problems in implementation

  23. 2. Census planning2.5 Setting goals First step in setting goals: identify stakeholders and their requirements. Who are the census stakeholders? 1) Current or potential USERS of census data, including users external and internal to the census agency 2) Other stakeholders within the census programme: - staff and services involved in the different census phases - regional offices supporting the census fieldwork 3) The community: - Only occasional interest of the public in the census - Need for continued cooperation for successful census  Importance of communication . Focus on confidentiality, sensitive questions, time required to supply information

  24. 2. Census planning2.5 Setting goals Needs and requirements of stakeholders should be used to establish the census goals, taking into account: 1) Costs 2) Data quality considerations 3) Logistical implications 4) Need to maintain public cooperation and confidence

  25. 2. Census planning2.5 Setting goals Census goals generally revolve around: (a) Topics to be collected; (b) Confidentiality; (c) Timeliness of data release; (d) Data quality; (e) The nature of the output; (g) The total cost of the census. BUT: Goals interact with one another! Ex.: Trade-off between what topics can be collected and costs  State priorities • Once goals are established, they should be communicated to the staff, and appropriate strategies should be devised

  26. 2. Census planning2.6 Developing project plans The census is a BIG project, which include a number of projects dependent on one another.  Need to develop a framework with a hierarchical structure: • Projects (ex.: Field operations) • Phases (ex.: Field mapping) • Activities (ex.: Enumeration area design) • Tasks (ex.: Prepare enumeration area design manual) The plan should also include: Milestones: Specific points in time at which key outcomes are expected (to measure project’s progress)

  27. 2. Census planning2.6 Developing project plans  In the 2000 census round, 28 ECE countries (2/3 of reporting countries) used management software: - 18 countries used commercial software - 11 countries developed software in-house (Portugal used commercial software as well as software developed in-house) Source: UNECE Survey, 2004 • Project management software can be effectively used to develop project plans, commercial or developed in-house

  28. 2. Census planning2.6 Developing project plans To develop the framework, all components (projects, phases, activities, tasks) must be identified at each level Top–down approach, but often iterations may be needed As long as framework develops: 1. people can be assigned responsibilities, and 2. reporting and review arrangements can be established Need for coordination and communication among activities For each activity, an Issue table can be prepared listing issues to be considered (i.e.: timing, resources, risk mgmt., goals…)

  29. 2. Census planning2.6 Developing project plans  Project plans should also deal with risk management Which risks?  All possible events that could occur and have a negative impact on the success of the census Risks with significant likelihood should be managed explicitly by developing fully detailed plans parallel to the census plan Risk management is essential because of the importance of the census and the fact that it is an infrequent exercise  The success or failure of the census may depend on the implementation of the plans associated with these risks if they occur

  30. 2. Census planning2.7 Monitoring project plans Developing a good census project plan is important, but not sufficient!  The project plan must be MONITORED closely, and feedback be delivered to all levels of mgmt Results should be reviewed on a regular basis Most important components to track are: • Time for completing a task • Resource usage per task • Cost per task • Milestones

  31. 2. Census planning2.7 Monitoring project plans Useful tool for planning and monitoring: the Gantt chart Example: Annex III in Handbook on Census Management

  32. 2. Census planning2.7 Monitoring project plans All deviations from project schedule, cost and resources should be analysed and the impact assessed. In particular, special attention should be given to: (a) Slippage of critical tasks leading up to milestones; (b) Critically late tasks, indicating that the estimated time to complete is later than the planned finish date; (c) An over-commitment of resources in the remainder of the project; (d) Too many tasks appearing to be “nearly complete” (“99% complete” syndrome) Rebaselining: If it is estimated that a task cannot be completed in the planned time, then the task must be extended on the Gantt chart.

  33. 2. Census planning2.8 Census budget IMPORTANT: Census budget MUSTbe planned well in advance and cover all known activities. Take into account that the census budget is highly cyclical (peaks during enumeration and processing) Sufficient resources must be allocated to each phase Funds allocated and used effectively on planning and preparation will result in savings in all other phases, namely in enumeration and processing operations.

  34. 2. Census planning2.8 Census budget The resource needs of the dissemination phase need to be realistically assessed.  The users will judge the census on the ability to deliver the data on time and in the way desired  In the 2000 census round, ECE countries spent on average only 5% of their census budget for publication, dissemination and documentation  23 countries (2/3 of reporting countries) spent less than 3%! Source: UNECE Survey, 2004

  35. 2. Census planning2.8 Census budget How to prepare the census budget? Easiest way: Use allocations or expenditures for previous census as a base, and correct for: - Increased costs (ex.: salary increases) - Decreased costs or efficiency gains (ex.: new technology) - Policy changes - Population increase Very important to estimate salary costs (largest component) (For estimating costs for enumerators and data processors, see Handbook on Census Management, Ch.3 sec.B; Ch.4 sec.C)

  36. 2. Census planning2.8 Census budget Monitoring the census budget is fundamental Monitor regularly (quarterly or even monthly) expenditures against funding for each project Estimates of expenditures for all years of the census cycle should be prepared in advance and reviewed yearly  This would allow to identify on time possible shortfalls, and take appropriate measures

  37. 2. Census planning2.9 Administrative report What is it? It’s the census “historical memory”: a report where all census experiences are recorded What is the purpose?To retain as much as possible the skills and knowledge acquired in developing the census, and use them at the time of the next census Why is needed? Because after census results are released, most census staff usually move to other duties

  38. 2. Census planning2.9 Administrative report When it should be prepared? As soon as the decision to take a census is made!  Evaluation and recording should not be left until the end of the census process How? The structure of the report could be similar to the structure of the project plan, but it could be modified (group tasks or create sub-tasks when appropriate) IMPORTANT: Keep record of resources used (staff years and funds) and of changes to the planned schedule of activities (what changes, and why?)

  39. 2. Census planning2.9 Administrative report How to use it? 1) To plan subsequent censuses or other large scale statistical activities(i.e.: “lessons learned”) 2) To create synergies in the current census cycle planning and management tasks 3) To transfer knowledge and share experiences with other countries 4) To provide advice and technical assistance to countries that need them (relevant for donors and development partners)

  40. 3. Management structure3.1 Generic management structure In most countries the census is conducted by the National Statistical Office (NSO)  In this case, the management structure (MS) for the census depends on the MS of the NSO However, some management issues are specific for a project with a long lead time, like the census • The MS may change over the course of the census cycle. Ex.: In the earliest stage, the MS could be composed of a small group of experienced staff addressing strategic issues

  41. 3. Management structure3.1 Generic management structure Each phase of the census cycle is represented in the MS There could be other areas within the NSO that will have an input into the census project. For example: • information technology • classifications • regional offices

  42. 3. Management structure3.2 Top-level management structure Example of generic top-level MS Reporting lines: Flows of advice:

  43. 3. Management structure3.2 Top-level management structure Census agency executive officer • Responsible for the census within the exec. structure of NSO • Has ultimate line management responsibility for all aspects of the census • Takes responsibility for the eventual delivery of census goals. • Usually reports to the NSO executive

  44. 3. Management structure3.2 Top-level management structure Deputy executive officers • The number dependson specific circumstances and size of census project • Assist the executive officer in respective areas of responsibility • Can be responsible for several of the phases • Report directly to the executive officer • Key link in the communications chain

  45. 3. Management structure3.2 Top-level management structure Project managers • In this structure, a PM has been allocated to each phase of the census • PM are responsible for several project teams that will be established for each phase • They should schedule and monitor all activity of project team members • They should be separately identified in the work plan

  46. 3. Management structure3.2 Top-level management structure Project board • High level advisory body providing advice to the executive officer on strategic directions/issues • Includes representatives of major stakeholders in the census programme and other areas within the statistical agency (i.e. IT) • Role particularly important in the early stages of census planning and preparation

  47. 3. Management structure3.2 Top-level management structure Advisory committees • Provide additional expertise and experience to the census team • Responsibility for managing operations rests with census managers • Possible groups: - IT review - system user review - client advisory group - technical advisory groups

  48. 3. Management structure3.3 Project team structure • The MS can be broken down to represent the project teams working for each census phase. Example: • To facilitate coordination of activities between project teams, it is recommended that they be co-located, or that allowance is made for communications and meetings

  49. 3. Management structure3.4 Operational phase management structure The operational phase includes: a) Field operations b) Processing c) Dissemination A different MS is required compared to the development phases, because workforces and tasks performed are quite different  The generic structure will be expanded for these three operational phases

  50. 3. Management structure3.4 Operational phase MS Example: a) Field operations phase • It will be geographically dispersed • Depends on resources available • Not too many levels, to facilitate communication and promote responsibility and ownership • Maximize horizontal communication, to ensure consistency of practices • Particular management action may be required for specific pop. groups: - ethnic minorities - people with some form of disability - nomadic groups, etc.