Population Statistics COD (COD-PS)


Population statistics CODS (COD-PS) include

  1. Demographic tables in spreadsheet (XLSX and CSV) formats, and

  2. Gazetteers of feature names and P-codes.

COD-PS datasets can be linked by database or GIS to COD-AB datasets, when available, when available using the P-codes as a key.

Population Statistics CODs are the baseline population figures of a country's pre-crisis situation, in a disaster preparedness setting, or the latest annual update of the subnational population projections in an operational response setting. To effectively allocate resources and efficiently channel assistance to those who need it most, information about the size, location, and demographic profile of the population is fundamental. This requires information about the likely age-/sex-profile of the population in a given geographic area.

Population statistics are required to inform programming in humanitarian response. Specifically, they are used:

  • to estimate the potential number of affected people both by OCHA but also by all partners (UN and NGOs) who are responding.

  • to plan emergency assistance to pregnant women in areas affected by a crisis.

  • as a basis for another of the three core CODs:  the Humanitarian Profile COD.

  • as a reference/resource in the development of needs assessments and in the analysis.

  • as a framework for data collection.

  • use to gain an understanding of population breakdown (sex and age) to prepare and respond appropriately. 

[the following paragraph is meant to be in a blue ‘information' box…]
The COD-PS is constructed based on the best available data principle – i.e. in a pragmatic way that takes the best available data and constructs an updated set of age- and sex-disaggregated population estimates for the current time period at the lowest practical level of geographic disaggregation possible. As it is a humanitarian tool, the COD-PS is not required to be an official statistical output constructed according to the international standards of official statistics. Rather it is intended to be updated annually according to the best-available humanitarian data standard, or as humanitarian needs and priorities change, and allows for the input data and estimation/projection methods to be of a lower standard than official statistical standards.

The lead agency for COD-PS datasets is UNFPA. UNFPA combines demographic expertise with working relationships with national statistical agencies to identify, validate, and if necessary project the best available statistics.

COD-PS datasets are given a ‘reference year’ (specified in their HDX dataset page and in the COD Portal) referring to the year for which the data were originally collected (normally a census year) or to which they have been projected.


Identification of COD-PSs

In 2018, UNFPA and OCHA formally agreed to leverage UNFPA's expertise and partnerships to increase the availability and quality of COD-PS datasets around the world. As per the agreement, UNFPA Regional Offices together with HQ and CO colleagues will identify the best-available sex-and-age disaggregated dataset for each country and discuss their findings with OCHA's IM at the Regional (and country) level. The agreed dataset is then presented to the IMWG/IM network for further validation and adoption. If adopted, the dataset becomes the official COD-PS for a particular country. In most cases, the COD-PS will be publicly available at HDX. The IM network should include representative(s) from UNFPA, if this is not possible, UNFPA should always be consulted in regards to the population statistics COD.

For countries where the last census was more than 10 years ago and there has been substantial population upheaval in the interim years, modeled-based projections may need to be constructed using the best available data. Such data may include both traditional population data sources and other non-traditional data sources such as remote-sensing information. Regardless of data sources and methods used, UNFPA will be responsible for the quality assurance of the COD-PS.

For more information see: COD-PS Standards and Process