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  1. 1

    Making do with less: the 1990 round of censuses in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    Crowley JG; Hardee-Cleaveland K

    [Unpublished] 1988. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 21-23, 1988. [3], 23, [3] p.

    For sub-Saharan countries, population censuses are crucial in obtaining data about local areas, sociodemographic characteristics, and input for development and policy making. Most sub-Saharan countries cannot afford to fund censuses, and external assistance has been provided by UNFPA, the US, the United Kingdom, and France. The World Bank has recently become involved in supporting census work, and coordination between all these groups is critical. 5 critical areas for making effective use of scarce resources are: country commitment; improved donor coordination; management and planning; institutionalization of census capabilities; and improvement of production, dissemination, and use of census data. Country commitment is affected by fund shortages, and political sensitivities. Census work should depend on agricultural seasons, the school year, and migratory movements. Donor coordination in the areas of funding, data analysis, and technical assistance is important. Planning for future censuses should begin 2-3 years before the actual census date, and management of the census should include short-term training and technical assistance from donor countries. The institutionalization of census activities should address the weakest link in census work--data processing. Lengthy delays in processing data because of nonstandardized equipment, limited access, and lack of skilled personnel have hampered census efforts. A fully configured microcomputer system would also address this problem. Publication and dissemination of census data, sometimes delayed as much as 8 years, could be improved by the use of timely microcomputer reports of preliminary results. Attention to these 5 key areas will improve the 1990 round of censuses, and efficiently use the limited resources available.
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  2. 2

    Report on developments and activities related to population information during the decade since the convening of the World Population Conference, Bucharest, 1974.

    Hankinson R

    New York, United Nations, 1984 Jun. vi, 52 p. (POPIN Bulletin No. 5 ISEA/POPIN/5)

    A summary of developments in the population information field during the decade 1974-84 is presented. Progress has been made in improving population services that are available to world users. "Population Index" and direct access to computerized on-line services and POPLINE printouts are available in the US and 13 other countries through a cooperating network of institutions. POPLINE services are also available free of charge to requestors from developing countries. Regional Bibliographic efforts are DOCPAL for Latin America. PIDSA for Africa, ADOPT and EBIS/PROFILE. Much of the funding and support for population information activities comes from 4 major sources: 1) UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA): 2) US Agency for International Development (USAID); 3) International Development Research Centre (IRDC): and 4) the Government of Australia. There are important philosophical distinctions in the support provided by these sources. Duplication of effort is to be avoided. Many agencies need to develop an institutional memory. They are creating computerized data bases on funded projects. The creation of these data bases is a major priority for regional population information services that serve developing countries. Costs of developing these information services are prohibitive; however, it is important to see them in their proper perspective. Many governments are reluctant to commit funds for these activites. Common standards should be adopted for population information. Knowledge and use of available services should be increased. The importance os back-up services is apparent. Hard-copy reproductions of items in data bases should be included. This report is primarily descriptive rather than evaluative. However, given the increase in population distribution and changes in government attitudes over the importance of population matters, the main tasks for the next decade should be to build on these foundations; to insure effective and efficient use of services; to share experience and knowledge through POPIN and other networks; and to demonstrate to governments the valuable role of information programs in developing national population programs.
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