Population and housing censuses (PHC) have a vital role in the production of official statistics on a wide range of topics. For most countries the census is the only source that produces information on population count and its distributions. For about 40% of the SDGs indicators which are related to population, the census can provide reliable data for denominators, either directly or through the population projections based on census data. They can provide fundamental information for measuring SDG indicators and disaggregation by a wide range of characteristics such as age, sex, labour force status, migration status, and disability and by small geographic areas. In addition to population and housing censuses as instruments for generating small area reliable and accurate statistics, certain administrative sources have similar capacities. This is particularly the case for civil registration and vital statistics systems (CRVS). Registering all vital events (births, deaths, marriages, and divorces) in a country in a universal manner and reporting it to the statistical system, provides - for producing regular, reliable, accurate small area vital statistics – a critical component for monitoring the implementation of policies relevant for the SDG Agenda.
To strengthen the national capacity for producing SDGs indicators directly from PHC and CRVS, a technical report on measuring SDG Indicators through PHC and CRVS has been produced by UN Statistics Division in collaboration with UN Regional Commissions. One of the objectives of the technical report is to achieve better understanding of SDGs metadata and strengthen a capacity for assessing data availability and utilization of existing data sources for monitoring SDGs. The technical report also provides extensive discussions on methods of computing these indicators using PHC and CRVS data and potential challenges in adoption of definitions of SDG indicators.
In this context, the Statistics Division of ESCWA, in cooperation with United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) and with the support of the UNFPA Arab States Regional Office (ASRO), Arab Institute of Training and Statistical Research (AITRS) and UN-HABITAT, is organizing a virtual regional workshop on measuring SDGs indicators from Population and Housing Censuses and Civil Registration Data in Arab countries during the period.
Using the technical report on “Measuring SDG Indicators through Population and Housing Censuses and Civil Registration Data” as a reference document, the workshop aims to discuss how to produce SDG indicators based on their metadata information. The workshop will also provide a platform to further elaborate on utilising Population and Housing Censuses and Civil Registration Data for disaggregating SDG indicators and discuss the use of geospatial information and tools for generating relevant SDG indicators from such data. Ultimately the workshop will help to achieve a common and improved understanding of definitions and methods of computation of SDG indicators.