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The website of the 2010 World Population and Housing Census Programme facilitates the international exchange and sharing of knowledge and information on census taking, as well as provision of guidance to countries, and monitoring progress on the implementation of the Programme.

The website presents practical information and guidelines on census methodology and on best practices to help countries plan and carry out a census, as well as an up-to-date account of national census taking activities and of provision of support to countries in the implementation of the census round. The website also provides information on national, regional and international activities related to the 2010 World Programme. A major component of the website is the census knowledge base that is a repository of documents on census methodology, including reports on what has been done by countries during their censuses.

The 2010 World Programme on Population and Housing Censuses was approved by the Statistical Commission at its 36th session and adopted by the United Nations Economic and Social Council in resolution A/2005/13. The programme recognizes population and housing censuses as one of the main sources of data for effective development planning and objective decision- making. In addition, the data are useful for monitoring population trends and programmes, as well as for evaluating policies. The 2010 World Programme is primarily aimed at ensuring that each Member State conducts a population and housing census at least once in the period from 2005 to 2014 and disseminates the results.

The Marrakech Action Plan agreed at the Second Meeting of the International Round Table on Managing for Development Results held in February 2004 identified implementation of the 2010 World Programme on Population and Housing Census as one of the key areas of action for improvements in national and international statistical capacity. The action plan calls on countries to plan to carry out a census during the 2010 census round, and for the United Nations to provide guidance for the collection of official statistics, including the coordination of international standards for outputs and support for countries undertaking censuses.

Major activities of the 2010 World Programme include the development of census methodological guidelines, facilitating exchange of experience, and assisting countries in improving their statistical capacity in census taking. Given that census methodology is constantly changing and in some cases advancing, exchange of national experience and know-how will significantly contribute to the quality and timeliness of census results and the efficiency and effectiveness of census operations. In this connection, a major focus of the Programme is on regional cooperation, including the fostering of South-to-South cooperation.

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