International Monitoring Operation: An important step is about to be completed but the census operations are not yet over

The International Monitoring Operation (IMO) for the 2013 Population and Housing Census in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) observed the enumeration of the Census. The IMO was established by the European Commission in 2009, upon invitation of the Council of Ministers of BiH to ensure that the Census preparations and implementation comply with European and international standards. The IMO is comprised of representatives of: Eurostat, chairing the Management Group, European Commission Directorate-General for Enlargement, Council of Europe (CoE), United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

A Census is the single largest and most important statistical exercise in any country; data on population, households and dwellings are collected, processed and published. The aim of a Census is to establish the total resident population in a given country, as well as in its administrative units [municipalities] – and to establish data on demographic, educational, economic, migration and other characteristics of the population for policy planning.

The enumeration period is about to be completed. This is an important milestone reached in the overall census process.  However it is not the finalisation of the census process. Important activities such as quality controls, data processing, analysis, tabulation and dissemination of results remain to be completed. All these steps will continue to be monitored by the IMO and a final assessment of the census can only be given after all the whole census process is over.

The IMO will also oversee the publication by the Agency for Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina of preliminary results based on the summary forms completed by the enumerators. These do not constitute final statistical data on population and housing characteristics but only reflect the performance of the enumeration. The final results will normally be made available about one to one and a half year after the enumeration period.

At this stage, the IMO would like to thank the Agency for Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Entity Statistical Institutes, as well as all the census staff for their cooperation during the enumeration operations, and for providing a climate of transparency, which allowed the monitoring operation to be performed. Although some minor specific incidents have been observed, as it is the case in every census, the enumeration was overall smooth and conducted in accordance with the agreed methodology and the international recommendations and this across the whole country.
The IMO would also like to underline the high level of commitment of and acceptance by the population to participate in the data collection. The high interest of the media has certainly contributed to this high participation.

The IMO highlights the importance of performing the remaining stages of the census in a transparent manner, and of keeping a favourable environment throughout the remaining steps of the census process. The IMO will carry on the monitoring activities until the fulfilment of its mandate provided by the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Note to Editors

  • During this 13th mission, the Steering Committee observed the enumeration. Furthermore, the IMO observed the fieldwork performed by the enumerators and the Municipal Census Commissions.
  • The Management Group of the IMO met in Sarajevo to discuss the enumeration as well as the observation.
  • During the enumeration period the IMO monitored the enumeration using 27 international observers from all Europe to support the Steering Committee. The IMO will provide its report to the Council of Ministers about the observation of the data collection phase of the census in the coming weeks. 
  • Mr Pieter Everaers held meetings with BiH Minister of Communication and Transport, Mr Damir Hadzic, EU Head of Missions, with the Agency for Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Institute of Statistics of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Institute of Statistics of Republika Srpska to present and discuss the assessment and the recommendations made by the IMO.