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National Statistics Methodology Advisory Committee 11th meeting 17 November 2006

Eleventh meeting, 17 November 2006

The following work-in-progress papers were considered:

Paper 1: The Modifiable Areal Unit Problem: Research Planning

This paper provides background information on the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP) and outlines a proposal for a research programme to investigate three issues:

  • understanding how the MAUP impacts on Office for National Statistics (ONS) data

  • choosing sensible criteria to decide how best to aggregate unit-level data to areas for reporting and analysis, and

  • developing diagnostic tests for sensitivity to geographical partitioning and scale effects

Committee conclusions (to follow).

Paper 2a & b: 2011 UK Census Coverage Assessment and Adjustment Strategy

The first paper presented here outlines the coverage assessment and adjustment strategy for the 2011 UK Census. This paper has been produced in order to inform users and stakeholders of ONS intentions for developing the methodology for measuring and adjusting for undercount and overcount, and some of the innovations that we are proposing. The paper has been presented at a number of internal ONS meetings, involving some external academics, and has been signed off by the Census Project. The second paper presents some initial thinking into how to tackle the problem of bias in Dual-System Estimators (DSE), and proposes a number of options. As this second paper is work in progress it is not available above.

Committee conclusions (to follow).

Paper 3: Developments in the International Passenger Survey

Two changes to the International Passenger Survey (IPS) have been through development and are near to implementation, and these are reported for the opinion of the Committee and for the quality assurance of the approach taken. There is a further project underway to review the weighting approach used in the IPS, and there is an opportunity for the Committee to influence the approach and comment on the initial ideas.

Committee conclusions (to follow).

Paper 4: Current Issues on the Integrated Household Survey

This paper discusses some of the current issues on the planned UK Integrated Household Survey (IHS) due to be launched in 2008. The paper covers our attempts to exploit the two-phase design in the weighting methods, to standardise procedures for covering students; and the difficult problem of assessing and if necessary correcting for discontinuities in time series caused by the change of design and procedures.

Committee conclusions (to follow).

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