Thirty (30) census statisticians and IT specialists from 15 countries in Asia and the Pacific participated in a regional training workshop on the use of the IHSN Microdata Management Toolkit in documenting and archiving population census data. The PARIS21 Secretariat, the Asian Development Bank and the Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific organised the training which was designed to expose participants to relevant international standards and tools for census microdata documentation and archiving, initiate the documentation of one of the latest population censuses, by each country, and discuss strategic and technical issues relating to microdata dissemination.
In her welcome speech, SIAP Director Margarita Guerrero reminded the participants that “ the large amount of resources invested in a census of population and housing warrants that the invaluable information it collects about our respective countries should remain in the eye of the public and those who need it, in the most accessible manner legally and practically possible. That is, we need to maximize the return on this investment. “
She cited findings a 2008 survey of statistical offices carried out by the Statistics Division of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) that the main barrier to data dissemination is the fear that users may misunderstand or misuse the data and that this fear is correlated with the lack of data documentation and editing skills. Thus, the IHSN toolkit provides census statisticians and IT specialist with tools and skills to empowers users of statistical data.
This workshop was conducted in the context of the joint OECD/PARIS21 – World Bank Accelerated Data Program (ADP, www.ihsn.org/adp). The IHSN Microdata Management Toolkit was developed by the International Household Survey Network to facilitate the documentation, preservation and dissemination of surveys, censuses and other microdata in accordance with international standards and best practices (www.ihsn.org/toolkit). The Toolkit is used in more than 70 countries worldwide.