iGA participates in World Data Forum 2020 session


Manama, Bahrain’s pioneering experience in conducting censuses from administrative records rather than traditional field visits was highlighted at a United Nations (UN) panel attended by regional and international decision-makers and senior statistics and data industry experts.


iGA participated in the World Data Forum 2020 session,titled ‘The Challenges of Using Administrative Records and Data Integration in Population and Housing Censuses’, Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) Acting Director of Population and Demographics Statistics, Maha Abdulla Sabt provided a brief history of the Kingdom’s experience as the first GCC country to make this transition, including the milestone projects and organizations created to enhance its performance.


“Bahrain is a pioneer in the census field, with its earliest census conducted in 1941, a first among GCC countries,” explained Sabt.


“In 2010, we also became the first country in the region to replace the traditional method of conducting censuses to using Bahrain’s administrative records from different ministries and government bodies. This saved both time and funds while continuing to produce accurate results,” she added.


“This method is also being used to compile the 2020 General Census of Population, Housing, Buildings, and Establishments, which is expected to be released in December this year. Among its objectives is to determine the major demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the population, provide necessary data for assessing changes, and furnishing data on labor force and other structures. This information will better inform decision-making in the Kingdom and support its development process.”


Maha Sabt elaborated on some of the challenges associated with administrative-based censuses, such as the considerable time and effort needed in preparing data as per UN definitions and guidelines, classifications, incomplete registers or coverage in certain areas, the use of different scopes for each database, and the degree to which administrative-based censuses can meet the demand of current and future requirements.


Organized by the United Nations (UN), the pre-recorded session was part of the lead up to World Data Forum 2020, which was held virtually on October 19-21 in parallel to World Statistics Day, which is celebrated by the United Nations annually on October 20 of each year.


The forum brings together data and statistical experts and users from governments, civil society, the private sector, donor and philanthropic bodies, international and regional agencies, the geospatial community, the media, academia, and professional bodies.


It also highlighted ways to spur data innovation, mobilize high-level political and financial support, and support sustainable development through the provision of high-quality data.


Senior panelists speaking alongside Sabt included Executive Director of Data and Statistics Sector at UAE Federal Competitiveness and Statistic Authority, Mohammad Hassan; Senior Researcher and Project Leader at Statistics Netherlands, Eric Schulte Nordholt; Demographer and retired researcher from Statistics Norway, Helge Brunborg; and Former Director of Big Data and Statistics Division at Statistics Korea (KOSTAT), Hae Ryun Kim.


Source: Bahrain News Agency