64th ISI World Statistics Congress - Ottawa, Canada

64th ISI World Statistics Congress - Ottawa, Canada

Towards an On-Demand Register-Based Census for Abu Dhabi Emirate


Abdulla Alqemzi


  • A
    Ahmed Mahmoud Fikri
  • A
    Ahmed AlShaiba Al Sheryani
  • Y
    Yaqoob Ali Alshamsi
  • O
    Omar Mohammed Alriyami
  • R
    Rabaa Mohammed Baniyas
  • A
    Aziz Hmoud Alkayyoomi
  • E
    Ebtesam Mohamed Al Shehhi
  • T
    Thumna Salem Al Rashdi


64th ISI World Statistics Congress - Ottawa, Canada

Format: CPS Abstract

Keywords: abudhabi, census, register-based, register-based_census


The primary goal of population censuses, typically done every ten years, is to fully count a nation’s population to gather crucial data on its demographic composition, geographic distribution, and other important social and economic features. However, in an age of accelerated technological advancements and exponential growth of data, the notion of a ten-year census strategy should be challenged by National Statistics Offices (NSOs) serving the demands of their stakeholders in a timely manner. One such demand is the capability to produce statistics on demand to aid decision-makers across government segments.

Therefore, in an attempt to propose a methodological approach in shifting from traditional methods to more modernized ones, we shall seek to identify the key considerations from a People, Process, Technology and Data framework (PPTD) perspective within the stages of the Generic Statistical Business Process Model (GSBPM) to achieve an on-demand Census capability. An on-demand census is a capability to operate the census upon the government’s request at any given time of the year based on administrative data sources interlinked from different government sectors.

Firstly, in terms of people, understanding how to specify the needs will require the stakeholders to speak the same language to agree on the definitions and standards. For the case of the Abu Dhabi Emirate, statistical definitions and the use of the National Standards for Statistical Data are required for each administrative source entity. Though the standards exist, enhancing the adoption pace is essential for the statistical administrative registers. Additionally, upskilling people in data processing and analysis to the levels serving the census requirements for the government entities categorized as the primary data source. As a result, statisticians and data scientists will continuously oversee the linking and aggregation capabilities needed for the statistical production process through the data ecosystem should a new product or service be induced into the workflow.

Secondly, pursuing a unified vision to be shared across the government entities, calling for proactive engagements and user-centricity in their processes. As a result, a more agile methodology will support delivering products and services shaping the signs of life for census purposes.

Thirdly, on-demand census requires eliminating the dependency on manual data sharing. Therefore, enhanced technological capabilities will enhance the data-sharing mechanisms across government entities. Also, since digital transformation is a continuous requirement for all government entities, investments in technology that guarantees adaptability for any changes in systems delivering products and services within the data ecosystem are a must for an on-demand census.

Lastly, the census output is a public responsibility and a primary driver of government strategies, plans and policies. Therefore, the support for data accessibility and a central data catalogue will set forth statistical productions to align with government entities on the acceptable frequency, timeliness, and cross-linking keys for different data sources.

In 2022, Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi is attempting to move the goalpost by targeting an on-demand registers-based census by 2028. The vision of achieving an on-demand census capability stems from a user-centric outlook that modern NSOs are adopting worldwide.