Identification of Datasets
The primary data source of data should always be the government or in-country institution supporting a country’s mapping activities. Ideally, a partnership with UNFPA should be used rather than direct contact with the government to acquire a dataset. Alternatives to government sources should be examined if there is nothing available from an official source, if the official source can not be processed to an acceptable level or if the dataset cannot be shared with the humanitarian community. The COD-PS should be identified via the IM Network and processed at the same time as the COD-AB as they need to have a one to one relationship which may impact the dataset chosen.
Consider the following criteria when identifying sources for COD-PS:
COD-PS should be operationally relevant and useful.
What are partners currently using and why?
Is the data source authoritative? If not, what is the rationale for identifying it as a COD?
Can it be linked (via P-Code or name) to the COD Administrative Boundary (COD-AB)?
To what administrative level is the data provided? What is the lowest administrative level is operationally required?
Is it age and sex-disaggregated (can an estimation be made)?
Are various sources required to create a complete COD-PS?
Acquire as much metadata about the datasets and keep a data trail
If various sources are available or being used by partners compile these in a table for easy analysis and discussion with partners. (Example of the table)
Government Sources are the most authoritative sources.
The most authoritative source for the COD-PS is the national government. The main reason for this is because humanitarian agencies will be working with the government and likely receiving other CODs / datasets/information from the government and alignment (P-code/name) is more likely to occur, thus helping communication, coordination, and development of a common demographic standard and understanding. The governmental agencies/ministries responsible for Population Statistics is likely different in each country (e.g., Population Census Office, Agency of Land Affairs, Bureau of Statistics, Ministry of Planning, etc.). In some cases, various levels of government may need to be consulted to acquire or understand the various administrative levels in a country.
Alternatives to Government Sources
In some situations, government sources may not be available (e.g., there may be no data for a particular area of the country that is in conflict; the government is not able to share for various reasons, or a COD-AB is required quickly) and alternative sources need to be identified. The first question to ask if government data is not available: what are operational (including development) partners using? Other considerations when contemplating alternative sources are: why is this source authoritative; will using a non-government source impact the humanitarian community's relationship with the government; is the sharing/distribution of the dataset the biggest challenge and can this be overcome with a "humanitarian only, for emergencies only" agreement required; is the government likely to release data if an emergency does occur (thus requiring the community to quickly analyze, clean, and share a new dataset); what are partners using and why; and will exposing an alternate source push the government to share data? Some ideas of alternative datasets are below both categories may be acceptable and the rationale for choosing this source should be included in the metadata.