DESA News Vol. 12, No. 11 November 2008

Technical cooperation

Latin American censuses may gain from geospatial mapping

Census experts will meet in Santiago from 24 to 27 November for a DESA workshop on cartographic innovations in statistical data collection

Widespread availability of geospatial mapping technology is changing cartographic methods and opening up new geo-information opportunities, applications and services. In order to highlight the potential of contemporary technology to enhance census functions in particular, DESA’s Statistics Division, together with ECLAC, will hold a regional workshop on census cartography from 24 to 27 November in Santiago.

This training session for census practitioners will touch on preparation of enumeration projects, enumeration operations, advanced analysis and dissemination of census data, and use of these new technologies. Participants will be introduced to concepts in national census geography, including criteria and process of enumeration area delineation and coding of geographic areas. The different stages of enumeration analysis database and GIS development will be explored with a focus on integration of satellite imagery, aerial imagery, and global positioning data.

The workshop is also seen as an opportunity for Latin American census experts to review the international recommendations on contemporary practices in census cartography, and to discuss DESA’s recently revised Handbook on Geospatial Infrastructure in Support of Census Activities. Finally, those attending will have a chance to exchange experiences on census mapping and related institutional, organizational, financial, capacity-building, and implementation issues.

For more information:

Population and household surveys in West Africa

DESA event in Bamako from 3 to 7 November aims to build census-taking capacity in the region in time for 2010

Quality demographic data is very important for objective decision-making. Yet, fifteen African countries did not carry out a census in the 2000 round of population and housing counts. Demographic monitoring systems tend not to be very well developed in the region, and are especially lacking in small administrative areas beyond the reach of national household surveys. To enhance African capacity to carry out censuses – and ultimately facilitate decision-making – the DESA Statistics Division is organizing a regional workshop in Bamako from 3 to 7 November on census data processing concepts and techniques.

Workshop participants will review international standards for processing population and housing censuses and learn about significant developments in the use of contemporary technologies for census data capture and editing. The training session will also cover census management and planning including outsourcing issues, optical mark, optical character and intelligent character recognition, commercial suppliers of data capture technology, and data coding techniques.

As part of the 2010 World Programme on censuses, the Statistics Division has conducted a range of regional workshops over the last two years on various aspects of statistical development. The Bamako session is the fourth in the series on the topic of census data processing. Similar sessions were held in Doha in May, Dar es Salaam in June, and Bangkok in September.

For more information:

Regional workshops on international economic and social classifications

Training sessions for statisticians, one in Addis Ababa and another in Bangkok, to promote international data collection norms

As part of the worldwide implementation of the International Standard Industrial Classification and the Central Product Classification, approved by the UN Statistical Commission in 2007, DESA’s Statistics Division is organizing two regional workshops this month on international economic and social classifications. The first, jointly organized by the ECA African Centre for Statistics, will take place in Addis Ababa from 3 to 6 November. The second, held in partnership with the Statistics Division of ESCAP, will unfold in Bangkok from 24 to 27 November.

The workshops will focus on recent revisions to international classification norms with a particular emphasis on the relationship of national economic activity to the ISIC and CPC standards. Statisticians attending the training session will have a chance to review the final versions of the revised activity and product classifications, methodological changes related to the application of the classification, and address implementation issues such as those related to regional and sub-regional cooperation in this area.

For more information: