After a hiatus in 2020 due to COVID, The International Total Survey Error Workshop this year featured a series of virtual seminars on three successive Friday mornings. The theme of the workshop sessions was Total Survey Error in the Age of COVID-19. The goal of every ITSEW event is to promote discussion of questions of research, methodology and practice relating to Total Survey Error (TSE) and Total Survey Quality. And, as in ITSEW events in the past, the workshop attracted researchers and official statistics organizations from across the globe. The virtual sessions were hosted in Zoom by NISS. Despite the virtual format ITSEW successfully fulfilled it mission to provide a venue for sharing the latest research and insights as well as the opportunity for vigorous discussion.
ITSEW 2021 delivered a stirring message that high-quality data collections were carried out under the most trying circumstances. Among the challenges were inability to collect data in person, political pressure for quick results and remote collaboration. Some ad hoc practices adopted out of necessity seem likely to persist.
During the first Friday morning session on September 24, 2021 four speakers presented papers on the topic of Total Survey Error for Data Collections about COVID. Alan Karr served as moderator for the following speakers followed by the titles of their papers: Jason Fields, (US Census Bureau) "Revisiting the Balance: The Household Pulse Survey in a Total Survey Quality Framework", Carina Cornesse, (University of Mannheim) "Errors of Representation in the Mannheim Corona Study", Andrew Phelps, (UK Office for National Statistics) "Quick but Not Dirty: Balancing the Requirement to Set Up UK COVID-19-related Primary Data Collections at Pace with Maximising Data Quality for Official Statistics", and Jamie C. Moore, (University of Essex - UK) "Bias Prevention and Bias Adjustment in a National Longitudinal COVID-19 Survey". Paul J. Lavrakas, (Private consultant) followed the speakers as discussant providing comments about each paper as well as comments on the general problems faced.
The second Friday saw the brought a similar format but a different topic: The Effects of COVID on Other Data Collection. Olga Maslovskaya served as moderator during the session where the following papers were presented. Martina Helme and Salah Merad, (UK Office for National Statistics) "Mitigating the Impact of the Pandemic on Data Quality in ONS Social Surveys, with a Specific Focus on the Labour Force Survey", Nicky Rogers and Duncan Elliott, (UK Office for National Statistics) "Estimating How Levels of International Migration to and from the UK in 2020 Have Been Affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic", and Jan van den Brakel, (Statistics Netherlands) "Official Statistics Based on the Dutch Health Survey during the COVID-19 Pandemic". John Eltinge, (US Census Bureau) served as discussant for this session providing insights from all papers on this topic.
The final session on October 8, 2021 focused on Total Quality for Censuses. Natalie Shlomo, served as moderator for the following speakers: J. David Brown, (US Census Bureau) "Using Administrative Records to Evaluate the Quality of the 2020 U.S. Census", Owen Abbott, (UK Office for National Statistics) "Busting the Census Count Myth", Stefano Falorsi, (Italian National Institute of Statistics) "The Italian Experience for the Population Census in the Year of COVID" and Christiane Laperrière, (Statistics Canada) "Quality-driven collection operations during the 2021 Canadian Census of Population". Nancy Potok (NAPx Consulting) and former chief statistician of the United States served as discussant.
Review the photo albums of screen shots from the three days of this workshop!
Remembrances of Lars Lyberg
This final session of the workshop ended with a very special 'memorial' session in remembrance of Lars Lyberg, a beloved, widely respected and influential member of this statistical community who passed away in March of 2021. The session was led by Paul Biemer, (RTI International) who reminisced about his interactions over the years with his colleague and friend and then invited others, many of whom also joined in to share their own stories and comments. The group was particularly honored that Lilli Japec, Lars’ wife, was able to join and contribute her thoughts. It was a poignant way to close the session.
Next Year in Manchester, England!
Natalie Shlomo, the conference chair for next year's ITSEW workshop asked everyone to put ITSEW 2022 on their calendars. Planning next year for an in-person event the tentative dates are August 31 to September 2, 2022. Mark this on your calendars!