The Use of Handheld Computers in the 2010 Population Census: An Evaluation of Timing and Quality of the Results
Alicia M. Bercovich
Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics IBGE, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

The field operation of the 2010 Population Census in Brazil was carried out with the aid of handheld computers that were used for interviews and to update the Master Address File.

The operation was monitored using the Management Indicators System - SIGC, which provided almost real-time information to assess the evolution of the field work.

The indicators pointed out areas where data collection had inconsistencies, allowing to analyze them and frequently leading to the supervision of the field work.

The new methodology added agility to control the fieldwork. Some processes were improved using the advantages and flexibility introduced with the utilization of the devices.

The paper addresses two topics: an analysis of the field operation, and an evaluation of the results.

Concerning the field work, as transmission of data was done almost daily in 2010; it allowed quickly comparative analysis of basic tabulations at small area level, and other evaluations.

The quality of the results was evaluated using demographic analysis, demographic discontinuities and comparisons with previous Censuses. The quality of data for some specific topics was assessed.

For the analysis were used data from previous Censuses of Population and Household Surveys, the results of the 2010 Census and Administrative Records from external sources.

Keywords: Population Census; Quality; Discontinuities; Hand Held Computers

Biography: Alicia Bercovich is a demographer, PhD. in Social Sciences and M.Sc. in Mathematics. She has been the Coordinator of the IBGE Population Census Committee for thirteen years and currently is the Presidency of IBGE Adviser for the 2010 Population Census and Special Projects. She is a Member of the Planning and Organization Commission for the Brazilian Census since 1997, Member of the Washington Group on Disability Statistics since its creation, integrating its Steering Committee for several years, Technical Coordinator of the Common Census of MERCOSUR Countries Project.

Her main research areas are Demographic Discontinuities, Population Structure, Fertility, Disability. She has extensive experience conducting Censuses, and on the analysis of Population Censuses, Household Surveys and Administrative Data.

She has been the Coordinator of the IBGE Population Census Committee, Head of the Population Division, others. She has been visiting scholar at the Population Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin.