What We Do

UNFPA provides support to census activities in 80 programme countries.

Census activities take place because governments need to track and analyze population trends in order to develop sound policies and generate the political will to appropriately address both current and future needs.

UNFPA assists countries in every aspect of census planning and procurement, including but not limited to:

  • Identifying risks at the pre-census planning stage
  • Advising on efficient sourcing strategies to meet the technical requirements of the project
  • Preparing international bids through a transparent process in order to achieve the most competitive pricing
  • Supporting logistical coordination of goods, including identifying warehouse and storage facilities to store huge quantities of census items
  • Carrying out market research and managing databases of potential census products suppliers
  • Providing training to strengthen census procurement capabilities around the world

Here is an overview of our experience by region:

  • Africa: UNFPA provides technical and procurement assistance to some 20 sub-Saharan African countries for census activities, including census mapping, data processing and in-depth data analysis. In 2008, UNFPA helped Chad and Malawi prepare effective resource mobilization strategies for their censuses. UNFPA also provided assistance in 2008 for the design of census projects in Angola (its first since its independence), the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Togo; and supported the implementation of census projects in Burundi, Chad, Djibouti, Liberia and Madagascar. In 2009, UNFPA PSB provided census procurement training in Johannesburg, South Africa to governments in the Special Initiative on Census. UNFPA PSB is currently providing procurement support for the 2012 Census in Tanzania for aerial photography images, vehicles, high speed scanners and other goods.
  • Arab States: UNFPA has coordinated complex technical and procurement support arrangements for census activities in Sudan, the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Iraq. UNFPA is also laying the groundwork for conducting a census in Somalia. In addition, UNFPA played a significant role in supporting various stages of censuses in other countries in the region, such as Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Morocco, Oman, and Saudi Arabia.
  • Asia and the Pacific: UNFPA supported population and housing census-related activities in Afghanistan, Cambodia, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Pakistan, Timor-Leste and Viet Nam. UNFPA PSB provided census procurement training to governments in 2009 as part of the Special Initiative on Census in Bangkok, Thailand.
  • Eastern Europe and Central Asia: UNFPA provided technical assistance, such as the design of questionnaires and related software solutions, including GPS and data entry; training for enumerators and data processors; and analysis and dissemination of collected data for use in policy-making.
  • Latin America and the Caribbean: UNFPA provided technical and procurement assistance to Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. UNFPA organized an advocacy and resource mobilization workshop for this region in September 2007 in Panama City, Panama. More recently in 2010, UNFPA PSB provided census procurement training to governments in Panama City and Bridgetown Barbados in cooperation with the Special Initiative on Census.

For census activities, UNFPA PSB engages in numerous international bidding processes to procure key census materials at the best price possible. Such census materials include:


Example of Stationary Kits for Census Enumerators

  • Census questionnaires, forms, scanners and support services
  • Census training manuals
  • Enumeration and training items and supplies
  • Motorboats and outboard engines
  • Freight forwarding services
  • Census ID Cards
  • Satellite Imagery
  • Generators
  • Vehicle mounted public address (PA) systems & megaphones
  • Computer hardware & software for Data Processing Centers
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) hardware, software
  • Furniture, shelving, storage containers
  • Fire-resistant filing cabinets
  • SLR digital cameras and more…..