Click for next page ( 114


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 113
6 Conclusions and Future Work PLANNING FOR THE 2010 CENSUS is, to put it mildly, not easy. The Census Bureau is trying to launch two major initiatives in an increasingly tough fight for federal budget resources. Data products from the 2000 census are still being released, anc! virtually all of the formal evaluation studies for the 2000 census remain to be pub- licly released. The 2010 census planners must strive to keep pace with new opportunities in rapidly changing information technology; they must try to work to achieve design consensus with both Congress and the executive branch, even though three congressional elections anc! two presidential elections will take place between now anct Census Day 2010. It is no easy task, but it is a vital one; decisions made in these early years of the clecacle will be crucial to the success of the 2010 census. In this interim report, we have reviewocl the major components of the Census Bureau's emerging plan for the 2010 census. There is much to like about this plan -its earliness anct its relative bolciness- but major challenges remain. The panel looks forward to continucct work on the issues raisec! here anc! will revisit them in its final report. The panel's interactions with the Census Bureau on several topics 113

OCR for page 113
114 PLANNING THE 2010 CENSUS of interest, including strategies for coverage measurement, refining residence rules, en c! new enumeration methods, are continuing, en c! so we clefer cletailect discussion of these topics to our final report as well. We close this interim report with some further principles anc! suggestions for 2010 census planning. COSTS AND BENEFITS A major conclusion of the panel is that discussion of the 2010 cen- sus design neects to be more fully informed by the evaluation of various tracle-offs the costs en c! benefits of various reasonable approaches in orcler to make wise decisions. For example, there are costs anct benefits associated with the following issues: 1. How accurate will ACS information be relative to long-form in- formation? 2. How inaccurate is the TIGER database at present? What accu- racy will result from various approaches to its enhancement, anc! at what cost per unit of enhanced accuracy? Of what magnitude are the cost reductions that may result from a geographically correct TIGER system, such as more accurate routing of nonre- sponse follow-up enumerators? 3. With respect to nonresponse follow-up anct the use of various types of personal computing crevices, what benefits woulc! offset their respective costs? 4. What cost reductions (monetary anc! nonmonetary) will result from greater use of the Internet anct other high-technology means of enumeration, anc! what are the costs of greater use of these enumeration mocles? - These en cl other funclamental questions neecl to be aclclressecl so that clec~sion makers can make informed selection among the various design options. To expand on some of the preceding examples, the Census Bureau has not proviclect, to clate, a full justification for the use of mobile com- puting crevices (MCDs) to assist in nonresponse follow-up data collec- tion, or for the use of Internet anct interactive voice response (IVR) as

OCR for page 113
CONCLUSIONSAND FUTURE WORK 115 alternatives to initial data collection via mailback. The MCDs are likely to cost somewhere on the orcler of $250 million. Their potential bene- fits include automated data collection anct transmission, higher quality data collection, easier identification of housing units, facilitated naviga- tion from one housing unit to the next, anct facilitated communication of assignments. While these are certainly important advantages, they neect to be quantified to be able to analyze whether the advantages off- set the costs, both monetary (perhaps on the orcler of $250 million for procurement) anct nonmonetary (impacts on training the pool of enu- merators). The use of the Internet anc! {VR as primary mocles of initial data collection comes at a modest cost, but it is plausible that a great majority of those who woulc! make use of these technologies woulc! have been likely to reply to the mailed questionnaire. How much of an inroad these new technologies would make with harct-to-count popula- tions remains an open question. The benefits must then be compared with the costs, among them the potential for duplicate enumerations. PLANNING AND EVALUATION To ciate, the plan for the 2010 census has been presented to the panel with little supporting analysis. In part, this is attributable to the Census Bureau's neec! to clevote more time anc! resources than expected to the intensive, specialized evaluation studies that surrounclect the Ac- curacy anc! Coverage Evaluation (ACE) en c! the debate over statistical adjustment of 2000 census results. Whatever the reason for the delays, though, we are concerned that the selection of design options may have been hampered by a failure to fully exploit the existing information that is available from various management information anc! monitoring sys- tems used to support the 2000 census. In its letter report (National Research Council, 2001c), the panel urged the Census Bureau to "give high priority to evaluation studies anc! data analyses that are important to building an overall 2010 census framework." We further suggested the following as priority issues of concern: the relative impact of various processes (such as the Local Upclate of Census Aciciresses LLUCA] anc! block canvassing) that were used to assemble the 2000 census MAF;

OCR for page 113
116 PLANNING THE 2010 CENSUS the effect of local and tribal partnerships on the data collection process; comparison of estimates from the ACS and 2000 census long- form data, in sites where both are available; coverage of the population, disaggregated by demographic and geographic subgroups; the effectiveness of major automated systems for data collection, capture, and processing; the quality and completeness of long-form data collection; and the effectiveness of operations used to designate special places and enumerate the group quarters and homeless populations. This remains a good list of topics for which evaluation information is . . crltlca. .. In at least two major waves in early and late 2002, the Census Bureau reviewed its planned set of evaluation studies and citing resource demands and the need to prioritize research cancelled dozens of planned evaluations. reducing the total list of studies from . . , c, 149 to 91 (with 18 planned evaluations converted to reports in the ACE/adjustment series) (U.S. Census Bureau, 2002a, 2003b). Agree or disagree with the particular items selected for cancellation we have already cited the cancellation of evaluation F.1 on the Delivery Sequence File as one that is difficult to understand this refocusing of the list has presumably made the formal evaluation workload tractable. Accordingly, the Census Bureau should complete the remaining items on its planned evaluation list as expeditiously as possible; it must also complete and release its "synthesis reports" that are intended to draw conclusions from thematic blocks of evaluations. That done, the Census Bureau must subsequently do the following: Take stock of what it has learned" from the evaluation studies and flesh out the 2010 census plan with empirical support. For example, the Census Bureau's strategy for updating the Master Address File must be grounded in (and, as necessary, changed to re- flect) findings of the relative contribution of good, valid census

OCR for page 113
CONCLUSIONSAND FUTURE WORK 117 aciciresses from the Delivery Sequence File anc! other sources. Further examples: the case for mobile computing crevices must reflect evaluation-basect knowledge of enumerator problems in fincling assignments, anc! logical architecture reengineering must try to correct problems encountered in the interaction of the 2000 census computer systems. Fill gaps in knowledge through further analysis of 2000 census oper- ational data or through census tests. In terms of general census planning, the panel's suggestion in its letter report that contingency planning should be factored into cen- sus planning remains valicI. This is particularly true with regarc! to the still-uncertain budgetary prospects of the American Community Sur- vey. But it is true more generally. Congress proviclec! ample funding for the 2000 census anct, as we have argucct earlier, Congress must be aware that cuts in funding in the years leading up to 2010 could severely im- pact the quality of the American Community Survey ancl other census operations. But the possibility exists that budget fortunes leading to 2010 may not be as generous as in the 2000 cycle, ancl contin~encv plans must be adapted for various levels of budget support. INTEGRATION C, J Finally, as we have reiterated several times in this report, integration of effort ancl integrated planning are keys to successful census plan- ning. We have advocated the creation of two positions within the census hierarchy a system architect ancl a MAF improvement coordinator because they reflect two areas in which coordination is particularly crit- ical. We hope that logical architecture modeling as described in Chapter 2 provides clues to other ways in which effort may be better integrated ancl internal organizations may be realignecl. Other prominent examples of substantive areas in which integration may be lacking inclucle: insufficient efforts to develop requirements for the personal com- puting crevices ancl to understand how these crevices interact with headquarters with respect to acquiring up-to-date maps, assign- . . . . meets, navigation, anc c ata transmission;

OCR for page 113
118 PLANNING THE 2010 CENSUS redefinitions of group quarters, residency rules, and related concepts based on 2000 census evaluations and experiences- that impact within-householct unclercoverage, and the relation- ship between these definitions in the census and the American Community Survey; and clear articulation of responsibility and activity in the Community Aciciress Upciating System (CAUS) of the ACS. In our letter report (National Research Council, 2001c), we recom- menclec! the following: The Census Bureau should produce a"business plan" that provides an overall framework for development of the 2010 census. Such a plan should include: (1) a clear statement of objectives, (2) an approximate timeline for completion of tasks, (3) a cost-benefit analysis of the various components of the plan, and (4) a fuller expla- nation of how intra-bureau efforts will be coordinated. In assessing the costs and benefits (both monetary and nonmonetary) of a reengineered 2010 census, attention should be given to potential effects of new processes on census coverage and differential undercount and their measurement. Clear articulation of such a plan, backoc! by empirical evidence from evaluation studies and census tests and with careful attention to both costs and benefits, would help greatly in building support for the 2010 census plan.