2020 round of population and housing census: The use of new technologies to improve accuracy, coverage and timeliness

Thursday, 23 January 2020, 10:00 AM (EST)

Population and housing censuses have been used for centuries to provide a wide range on information at various disaggregated levels on population and housing units. They are regularly conducted in most countries and represent an important source for reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals as well as to inform policy decisions. However, given the scale and complexity of censuses, they are exposed to vulnerabilities at various stages, especially during mapping, enumerations and data processing. National Statistical Offices face a number of challenges in conducting population and housing censuses, including decreasing response rates, timely dissemination of results, and increasing data collection costs.

Censuses, when combined with new technologies such as satellite remote-sensing data, smart mobile devices, GPS and mobile connectivity, present opportunities to improve how populations are counted and characterized with improved accuracy, coverage, and timeliness. The Guidelines on the Use of Electronic Data Collection Technologies in Population and Housing Censuses prepared by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) present some of the new data collection technologies that can be used to improve census coverage, data quality and timeliness of census results.

The webinar is part of the UN World Data Forum webinar series. It will highlight the use of the new of technologies in the 2020 round of population and housing censuses and will provide an opportunity to learn from country practitioners and the international community about the successful use of contemporary methods in population and housing censuses in developing countries.

  • Moderator: Rachel Snow, Branch Chief of Population and Development, UNFPA

  • Panelist: Linda Peters, Global Business Development Manager, Esri


  • Panelist: Amjad Harb, Director General of the Information Systems and Computer Directorate, Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS)


  • Panelist: Isaac Chirwa, Assistant Commissioner of Statistics, National Statistical Office of Malawi