Population and housing censuses provide fundamental information for development planning including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, on the size, growth, distribution, geographical location and characteristics of the population. Censuses also provide data on various statistical areas related to population and housing, disaggregated by small geographic areas, population groups, minorities, and various demographic and social characteristics such as gender, age, education, migration, labor force, and people with disabilities. In recent decades, most countries have conducted at least one population census.
In the Arab region, during the past six years, Egypt, the Emirates of Sharjah and Ajman in the UAE, Jordan and the State of Palestine have conducted a successful census using modern technology, whereas other countries such as Algeria, Iraq and Sudan are undertaking activities in planning for the coming census. Noting that the Gulf Cooperation Council countries are planning to implement register-based censuses in 2020 census round. The implementation of censuses in other countries such as Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Lebanon and Syria remains subject to security and political conditions. Despite the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar have carried out register-based censuses, and Oman Census 2020 is the first census that is fully based on registers, noting that Bahrain conducted a census in the 2010 round that was based partly on registers and partly on the traditional methodology (face-to-face) and the use of self-enumeration using the Internet and the phone, while other countries postponed their censuses for the coming years, with the continued spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
To review the progress made and promote the undertaking of censuses being planned or hindered, the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), in cooperation with the Regional Office of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Gulf Cooperation Council Statistical Centre (GCC-Stat), and the Arab Institute for Training and Research in Statistic (AITRS), is organizing a “Regional Workshop on the 2020 round of Population and Housing Census: Monitoring progress and the way forward”
The workshop aims to review the population and housing censuses that have been implemented and the progress made in countries planning their upcoming censuses, as well as to benefit from regional experiences and good practices in undertaking 2020 census round and the importance of regional cooperation; and to discuss ways to expedite the undertaking of 2020 round of censuses in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The workshop will also discuss obstacles in undertaking censuses in some countries, including scenarios for their implementation and ways of providing technical support and mobilizing financial resources (if possible).