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Presentations & background documents


Expert Group Meeting

Population Data for the 21st century:

Advances in data collection methodologies

UNFPA Headquarters, New York City

4-6 December 2019

Click on the titles in the programme below to access presentations and a few additional documents (*).

Video-recordings of the sessions are available here.


Day 1 - Wednesday: Data & methods needs; New census, survey and sampling approaches


●   Rachel Snow, Chief, Population and Development Branch, UNFPA

●   Tom LeGrand, President, IUSSP

●   Irina Dincu, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada

1. Panel discussion on data and methods needs:Regional perspectives

Moderator: Alex Ezeh (Drexel University; former Director of APHRC)

●   Regional Perspective from Africa
Pali Lehohla (22 ON SLOANE, former Statistician General of South Africa: 2000-2017)

●   Regional perspective from Latin America & the Caribbean
Victor Garcia-Guerrero (CEDUA, El Colegio de México)

●   An Asian Perspective
Lisa Bersales (University of the Philippines; former National Statistician of the Philippines: 2014-2019)

●   The Nordic Perspective
Helge Brunborg(Statistics Norway)


2. 2020 census round: New technologies and methodologies

Moderator: Sabrina Juran (United Nations Population Fund)

Discussant: Srdjan Mrkic (United Nations Statistics Division)

●   Overview of Innovations in the 2020 Census Round. Use of handheld technologies, geospatial referencing of households and digital census data collection
Tapiwa Jhamba (Population and Housing Census, UNFPA)

●   Improving Cartographic Mapping and Household-level geo-referencing in the Egyptian Census: Perspectives from the Field and Implications for Census Enumeration and Census Data Usage
Hussein Sayed (CAPMAS, Egypt)

●   Qualitative Contributions of the Electronic Devices in Various Stages of the 2013 Census
Papa Ibrahima Sylmang Sene (National Statistics Office, Senegal)

●   Cartographic assessment and quality assurance for the 2019 population and housing census in Haiti
Daniel Milbin (National Statistics Office, Haiti)
& Mohamed Laghdaf Cheikh Malainine (United Nations Population Fund)

3. Hybrid census innovations in insecure settings and fragile contexts

Moderator: Sabrina Juran (United Nations Population Fund)

Discussant: Robert Chen (CIESIN, Columbia University)

●    Lessons learned from Afghanistan and other settings: Potential for hybrid censuses
Andy Tatem (University of Southampton; WorldPop/Flowminder)

●   Opportunities and Challenges for Adapting Hybrid Census Approaches in the Democratic Republic of Congo: An Examination of Preliminary Results
Homere Ngoma Ngoma (National Statistics Office, DRC)

●   Combining Census and Satellite Data: The High-Resolution Settlement Layer
Gregory Yetman (CIESIN, Columbia University)

4. Advances in mobile technologies for data collection

Moderator: Dennis Feehan (University of California, Berkeley)

Discussant: Emmanuel Letouzé (Data-Pop Alliance)

●   Using Internet and mobile data sources to complement public health surveillance efforts [slides not available]
Rumi Chunara (New York University)

●   Innovations in Population and Individual Data Collection Using Mobile Technology
Madhuram Nagarajan (Johns Hopkins University)

●   Computer vision methods to improve population data
Stephane Helleringer (Johns Hopkins University)


Day 2 - Thursday:CRVS; responsive, adaptive and indirect approaches to collecting data

5. Advances in the collection of validation data to measure the completeness and quality of civil registration data

Moderator: Romesh Silva (United Nations Population Fund)

Discussant:Patrick Gerland (United Nations Population Division)

●   An Overview of Current Approaches in validating the completeness of civil registration data using population censuses and household surveys
Chalapati Rao (Australian National University)

●   Integrating disparate mortality systems with official death registration systems: Insights from Peru and Ghana
Daniel Cobos (Swiss Tropical Health Institute)

●   Current Approaches and Future Directions in assessing the completeness and quality of marriage registration data using the decennial census round
Sandile Simelane and Mengjia Liang (
United Nations Population Fund)

6. Innovative approaches to assess the quality and completeness of civil registration data

Moderator: Patrick Gerland (United Nations Population Division)

Discussant: Romesh Silva (United Nations Population Fund) - Discussant Comments

●   Estimation of Fertility in Colombia through an adjustment for coverage of births with immunization records.
Carlos Ramirez (UNFPA Colombia)
& Mariana Francisca Ospina Bohorquez (DANE, Colombia)

●   Recent Advances, Challenges, and Lessons Learned from CRVS Scale-Up Initiatives in 19 countries
Philip Setel (Vital Strategies, New York)

7. Responsive & adaptive survey designs, and data quality

Moderator: Dennis Feehan (University of California, Berkeley)

Discussant: Pedro do Nascimento Silva (ENCE, Brazil) - Discussant Comments

●   Dynamic survey designs for measuring wealth and poverty
Olivier Dupriez & Aivin Solatorio (World Bank)

●   Using responsive and adaptive survey design to control data quality and costs
James Wagner (University of Michigan)

●   CAPI, Web-based Survey Management, and Interviewing Quality Control: Illustrations from Nepal
Bill Axinn & Stephanie Chardoul(University of Michigan)

8. Hard to reach populations: Indirect techniques and using networks to assess hidden populations

Moderator: Tom LeGrand (International Union of the Scientific Study of Population)

Discussant: Ayaga Bawah (RIPS, University of Ghana) - Discussant Comments

●   Innovations in collecting siblings’ survival histories
Stephane Helleringer (Johns Hopkins University)

●   Using social networks to estimate adult mortality
Dennis Feehan (University of California, Berkeley)
    *Feehan, Mahy, Salganik 2017 - The Network Survival Method with SOM


Day 3 - Friday:Measuring sensitive topics, attitudes and ideals

9. Measuring sensitive topics, ideals and attitudes

Moderator: Dennis Feehan (University of California, Berkeley)

Discussant: Barbara Mensch (Population Council USA) - Discussant Comments

●   Challenges in measuring Individual and social norms changes around harmful practices: the case of female genital mutilation
Nafissatou Diop (UNFPA-UNICEF joint programme on Female genital mutilation)
& Kathrin Weny (United Nations Population Fund)

●   Social desirability bias by mode
Frauke Kreuter (University of Maryland)

●   Using card sorts to measure relationship scripts
Maggie Frye (University of Michigan)

●   Studying sensitive issues with surveys: Addressing incentives to conceal
Yang-Yang Zhou (University of British Columbia)

10. Indirectly measuring sensitive topics

Moderator: Tom LeGrand (International Union of the Scientific Study of Population)

Discussant: Gabriel Borges (IBGE, Brazil)

●   Using the network scale-up method to estimate the prevalence of hidden populations in 27 Brazilian cities
Francisco I. Bastos (FIOCRUZ, Brazil)

●   Using confidants to learn about abortion
Clementine Rossier (University of Geneva)

●   Innovations in direct and indirect estimation of abortion incidence
Beth Sully (Guttmacher Institute)

●   Youth respondent-driven sampling to uncover hidden contraceptive behavior
Michele Decker (Johns Hopkins University)
    *Key references and resources for Respondent Driven Sampling.

End of meeting.


●   Quantifying cities for sustainable development; developing a new approach to generating representative population data in rapidly growing cities
Felix S. K. Agyemang (University of Bristol)

●   Spatial approach to probability sampling: Lessons from PMA Kaduna State GPS mapping exercise
Temitope Erinfolami (Obafemi Awolowo University-Ile-Ife)

●   Mortality estimates from sample registration and household surveys: Evidence from India
Aashish Gupta (University of Pennsylvania & IUSSP CRVS Fellow)

●   The Household Document Inventory Method: A Qualitative Approach to Assessing Registration Status Among Vulnerable Populations
Amanda R Cheong (University of British Columbia & IUSSP CRVS Fellow)

●   Improving birth, marriage and death registration in Burkina Faso: The case of Nouna Health and Demographic Surveillance System (NHDSS)
Louis Niamba (Centre of Excellence for CRVS Systems, IDRC, Canada)