How to communicate a census?

Nov 23, 2022

About the event

In early 2022, the Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century  (PARIS21) and the Centro de Pensamiento Estratégico Internacional (Cepei) were pioneers in the creation of the first Community of Practice (CoP) on Data-Driven Communications in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This initiative convened national statistical offices (NSOs) in the region and stakeholders outside the statistical system to exchange knowledge and strengthen capacities in data communication for decision-making.


Lucía oscuro

Gonzalo Grandis

Communications Director
INDEC Argentina

paz patiño

Carolina Jaramillo

Strategic and Government Communications



Hernán Muñoz

Data Ecosystem Advisor

The recent experiences of the region’s NSOs have demonstrated that a census is the main input to design public policies and develop the infrastructure for more and better data. 

The information obtained through a census helps characterize the population dynamics in a given territory and provides a sample base for all other undertakings to produce the remaining official statistics.

On November 11, the Community of Practice met for its second communication discussion, focusing on the lessons learned and elements to avoid when communicating the census. 

Carolina Jaramillo, Strategic and Government Communicator in Ecuador, and Gonzalo Grandis, Communication Director at INDEC Argentina, participated as panelists. 

Main points

“One of the key mistakes that communicators make when implementing a communication campaign is omitting the preliminary qualitative analysis to learn about the population’s behavior. For this reason, communication may not be perceived as well-aimed,” assured Jaramillo. She added that all NSOs undergoing census processes must have a specific crisis-management manual to address different scenarios. 

Meanwhile, Gonzalo Grandis shared three mechanisms to handle a communication crisis successfully: 


Strengthen partnerships at all levels


Create operational protocols


Communicate good practices

Additionally, he provided four elements to combat disinformation during the census process:


Identify local and regional fact-checkers


Develop an official spokesperson system


Adopt a —plain and simple— universal language for the activity


Inform during the whole process

Community of Practice on Data-Driven Communications in Latin America and the Caribbean

Cepei and PARIS21 identified that NSO communication experts did not have their own space for peer-to-peer exchange. The Cop provides a learning platform to strengthen communication skills and bring data closer to decision-makers. 


Currently, ten NSOs in the region are members of the Community: Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, and Uruguay. Other countries are expected to join this initiative to strengthen the regional network and exchange common challenges regarding timely and effective data communication.


Share This