Framework for Quality Assurance in Population Censuses under Fragility and Adverse Conditions Dr. Luay Shabaneh Chief Technical Advisor, Population Census UNFPA-Iraq
Introduction • NSOs are committed to provide accurate, timely, and cost-effective population count through censuses. • Experience reveals areas of potential risk that could hamper efforts in conducting censuses, particularly regarding 1. quality assurance (QA) 2. quality control (QC)
Concept of Quality QC and QA No single definition for quality in the census context Here are some of the many definitions of “Quality.” • Conformance to requirements. • Conformance to mutually agreed-to expectations. • Fitness for use. Quality is “getting the job done, on time, within budget, so that it meets the specified requirements”
Why Quality in Census • New Development Emerging issue • New dimensions • Politicization • Office census • Frame based • Register based • Sample based • ICT outsourcing Census taking became more complex • Outsourcing human resource Justify public expend. Gain Trust of public Deserve Authority Protect from interven. QA program can decrease the risks associated with these factors. An effective QA function can reduce the chances of expensive missteps that require rework or last minute work-around solutions
Conceptual Framework Quality= Fitness of use. It has to satisfy: Utility: usefulness for user Objectivity: accurate, reliable, and unbiased, clear Integrity: protection from unauthorized access
Conceptual Framework For operational purpose, some countries operationalized the definition of utility, objectivity, and integrity in terms of six dimensions: • Relevance • Accuracy • Timeliness • Accessibility • Interpretability • Transparency.
Message 1 Quality is very important dimension. It hasNotan Abstract Definition, it has to be derived from the domestic situation, in line with • Technical capacity • Census infrastructure and capacity of staff • National and Political Context of the census • Potential use or misuse of the data
Quality Control and Quality Assurance QC refers to quality related activities associated with the creation of census deliverables. It is used to verify that deliverables are of acceptable quality. • Peer reviews • Testing process. QArefers to the process used to create census deliverables, and can be performed by census management. • Checklists • Preventive measures system • In-process census audits.
Adverse Conditions and Risk Analysis Adverse conditions are processes of transition towards consolidated statehood. Types of Adverse Conditions: • A crisis state is a state under acute stress, and unable to manage conflict and shocks. • A fragile state is a state that is failing, or at risk of failing, with respect to authority, legitimacy and comprehensive service entitlements of citizenry. • A post-conflict state is a state that has emerged out of conflict, crisis or fragility and is progressively establishing institutions
Message Two • Census is not only a statistical activity, it has political significance • Census launching tradeoff is important • Quality tradeoff is important • Out-of-box ideas are always needed
Risk Assessment Framework 8 Validation & feedback and modify accordingly 1 Select census stages & form risk assessment team 7 Put measures and actions into a systematic pastern 2 Decompose each census stage into main activities 6 Identify preventive measures and interventions 3 Analyze risks and identify its sources 4 Identify the likelihood of each risk and vulnerabilities 5 Identify the causes of threats
Activities within QA framework- design stage • Central/regional committees for monitoring and controlling field work. • Adequate selection and training of staff. • Well established database on other sources information to compare with. • Cross fertilization with other running surveys (sources: registers) in terms of concepts, classifications and operational definition. • Developing accurate maps and checking its accuracy on regular basis through field visits and office checks.
Activities within QA framework- Census Fieldwork • Involve population, local authorities, religious/political/ethnic groups/leaders, associations/NGOs, fieldstaff (directly or indirectly) and other relevant bodies. • Analyze the modalities of which a risk could occur including threats on field staff, call for boycott census among certain ethnicity/group/area, etc. • Prevent addition/omission of housing units, household, persons in households, persons in institutions, destruction of forms collected and intrusion in the information technology systems. • Communicate on the goals of the census, addressing the concerns of political/religious/ethnic groups
Activities within QA framework- Census Fieldwork • Communicate on the strong quality control mechanism, and identify potential risks, areas and groups. • Maintain the general features of field control which should be a part of the quality assurance and improvement programme of the census • Ensure the commitment of all partners and standard application country wide. • Involve many persons – mix ethnicities to neutralize fraud and include as much as possible comparison with other sources • Make listing, previous censuses, administrative sources, etc)and applicable and acceptable by the public
Activities within QA framework- Census Fieldwork • Involve census stakeholders on the results at each stage of launching the census and consistency/inconsistency of results. • Establish good enumeration and implementation environment that does not arouse suspicion except for minor boundary issues. • Ensure transparent, open and competitive procedure, avoid party or special interest lists, recruit enumerators from community using catchment zone strategy • Recruit supervisors from other communities to avoid misuse of power.
Activities within QA framework- Data Processing Stage • Plan dissemination at an early stage of census design • Identify what to release and when • Take into consideration other national events to avoid misinterpretation of dissemination timing, particularly in the highly politicized atmosphere • Try not to surprise the political level and plan very well for releasing the census results • Release in an official event where all relevant bodies are invited or informed on the day of releasing the results
Activities within QA framework- Data Processing Stage • Do not make any compromise on the professional ethics, but also absorb the situation and not provoke any influential bodies • Report on the development of the progress of the census in a transparent way to all relevant bodies • Release census data once and not to give privilege to any person or institution or party • Deal with census results as “public Goods” • Do not release the data before checking it very well, including PES
Conclusions • Adverse conditions are not exceptional anymore • A well articulated practical and operational guidelines on census organizations and management is needed to complement the standard United Nations P&R • UNSD as well as regional commissions and UNFPA country offices might play a vital role to develop such guidelines • In adverse conditions, census might be employed as a peacemaking and national reconciliation tool • Adverse conditions might hamper census if the census management was unable to mobilize an enabling environment to incubate it
Conclusions • Openness on international experiences is a wise step to provide sound technical support and motivate enabling environment • Understanding of national and political context of the census is a key factor • Compilation of tradeoffs regarding the census implementation and/or its quality based on religious risk analysis including sources of risks, its likelihood to happen and its impact on the census is a wise step • Setting up a comprehensive quality assurance system based on the results of the risk analysis is important
Conclusions • QA system should cover all census stages including design, planning, implementation, supervision, dissemination and evaluation. • QA system should be comprehensive, integrated, sound, demand driven and country-specific. • Census management has to absorb national local conditions, public acceptance and political sensitivities. • Out of box ideas, tools and approaches might be employed within the international standards boundaries.