Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Statistics • COVID-19 response

Ensuring continuity

This section provides a space to explore challenges and solutions available to National Statistical Offices to be agile and innovative in adapting their data production methods and processes and ensure continuity of major official statistical programmes.

Challenges of introducing new technologies

National Statistical Offices are being challenged to introduce telephone-based interviewing and web-based self-reporting techniques at once for many critical data collection operations—such as population and housing, agricultural, and economic censuses, as well as household, business and other types of surveys. In many cases, they need to do it without the benefit of prior experience and with very limited time to conduct detailed analysis and testing of the different alternatives.

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From face-to-face interviews to telephone interviews and web-based self-reporting

In an effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, many governments are imposing severe restrictions on the mobility of their populations, disrupting field statistical data collection operations and threatening the ability of National Statistical Offices to deliver high-quality, timely and cost-effective statistical outputs.

Impact of COVID-19 on World Population and Housing Census Programme

As part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations Statistics Division, in its role as Secretariat of the 2020 World Population and Housing Census Programme, is compiling a country-by-country overview of the pandemic’s impact on census-taking activities in the year 2020. This information is updated daily with details provided by the census managers from countries.