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National Statistical Offices are being challenged to introduce telephone-based interviewing and web-based self-reporting techniques at once for many critical data collection operations--such as population and housing, agricultural, and economic censuses, as well as household, business and other types of surveys. In many cases, they need to do it without the benefit of prior experience and with very limited time to conduct detailed analysis and testing of the different alternatives.
The introduction of these new technologies is therefore risky and can be very expensive as well. To make an informed decision on the type of technologies best suited to mitigate disruptions to data collection programmes, National Statistical Offices need to take into account their existing infrastructure, technical capacities and resources.
It is necessary to conduct rapid but thorough testing before the introduction of new IT systems for data collection, in order to prevent further disruptions in critical statistical operations. This testing should cover: