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"Directions for the use of census data for Sustainable Development Goals" – an international scientific-practical conference

TASHKENT, October 8th 2021 - An international conference, to strengthen the capabilities of data users for effective use of census results, was organized by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Uzbekistan, jointly with the Mahalla and Family Research Institute. The conference took place on the 6th and the 7th of October 2021 and involved the participation of international experts and specialists from over 15 countries, and local experts.

 

The conference was opened by Malika Kadyrkhanova, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Women and Gender Equality of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis, Gulnora Marufova First Deputy Minister for Mahalla and Family Support of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and Yu Yu, UN Resident Coordinator a.i. and UNFPA Representative in Uzbekistan. Mrs Kadyrkhanova pointed out that ‘’one of the main expectations from the population census is to baseline data for national Sustainable Development Goals to help with setting policies and monitoring their implementation’’. Mrs Marufova stressed the importance of the census in developing policies to improve the living conditions of women and children and support families, to strengthen social policies of the government at community level. Mr Yu highlighted, that the upcoming census offers an opportunity to support the ambitious and profound reforms in Uzbekistan, which would inform ‘’better data driven and evidence-based policies programs and public oversight”.

 

The Presidential Decree No. PF-5655 ‘’on the approval of the Concept of carrying out in 2022 population census in the Republic of Uzbekistan’’ was adopted on 5th of February 2019. The Decree stipulates that reliable information about the population of Uzbekistan and its welfare is the most important basis for developing long-term forecasts and state programs for socio-economic development, programs for creating new jobs and providing employment for the population, formulating the indicators of national Sustainable Development Goals, as well as for scientific research.

 

Taking into account that this will be the first census in the country since its independence, and in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic which impacted preparation work, the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan No. 710 of November 11, 2020 "On measures for organizing and conducting the population census of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2023", set the deadline for the conduct of census for 2023.

 

It is expected that the results of the census will be used to develop evidence-based policies in the planning and establishment of social infrastructure, improve the provision of services for the population and meet the needs of vulnerable groups across geographical regions. The preparation and publication of the census results is a crucial step that requires good planning and building up the analytical capacity of state bodies, analytical centers and other stakeholders.

 

This conference provided an opportunity to familiarize and expand the understanding of data users in Uzbekistan, and participants from other countries on effective use of the results of the population census by sharing international experience and by considering other information sources, such as GIS, thematic sample surveys and mobile data.

 

Experts from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, the Economic and Social Affairs Division, UNFPA, UNAIDS, UNICEF and the leading experts from France, Russia, Poland, Belarus, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Lithuania, Latvia, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Malawi and other countries, leading think tanks made presentations and participated in discussions.

 

The organisation of the conference was supported by the regional program “CISPop: Better Data for Better Policies”, funded by the Russian Federation.