IASS News April 2021

About the IASS

Links to more information:

The TSS is an open access journal. If you would like to contribute an article to the Ask the Experts, New and Emerging Methods, and Book and Software Review sections please approach the TSS editors or James Chipperfield (email below)

The IASS Executive Committee encourage members to subscribe and contribute articles to the Statistics Journal of the International Association of Official Statistics. Website: https://officialstatistics.com/aims-scope .

Please feel free to send items to publish in future IASS newsletters to James Chipperfield james.chipperfield@abs.gov.au  

World Statistics Conference 2021

News from the Scientific Programme Committee (SPC) of the 63rd ISI World Statistics Congress 2021 (ISI WSC 2021)

I am pleased to inform you that SPC’s final selection of IPS proposals has come to an end. As you know, for the first time in its history the WSC will be held online: the ISI WSC 2021 will be held on 11-16 July 2021 on a virtual platform. There is now a final list of Invited Paper Session: Accepted-Live (95), Accepted-Nonlive (49), together with SIPS sessions (26). This set of selections combines recommendations of the SPC with platform availability and ISI’s intent to open the virtual conference to as many participants as possible.  To these we add the IASS SIPS live: the IASS President session and the IASS journal session. In total 13 sessions over the 121 accepted live (95 IPS live and 26. IPS live). Logistics on the platform will be shared in a few weeks on the ISI WSC 2021 website.

All the IASS session proposed have been accepted: there were 9 proposed by IASS members and 6 co-organized with IAOS. They all were selected by the SPC for the live (or synchronously streamed) Invited Paper Sessions at the 63rd ISI World Statistics Congress 2021 (ISI WSC 2021).

IASS celebrates the year dedicated to Women by dedicating 3 sessions about women’s research in survey sampling, statistics and data science. Thanks to the support given by the ISI Committee on Women in Statistics.

IASS Sessions on emerging topics in survey sampling and survey methodology are also relevant for IAOS members, for the ISI Data Science Working Group (evolution of the Census surveys, smart surveys, model based estimation, imputation, citizen science, inference from big data sources) and for statisticians in other fields (nutrition outcomes and indicators for Sustainable Development Goals during the pandemic).

IASS-Sponsored Invited Sessions

As of 10th March 2021, the following IASS- sponsored invited sessions were accepted.

Invited SessionsOrganiserAffiliation
COVID-19 and household surveys: what have we learned and what does it mean for the future?Haoyi ChenIntersecretariat Working Group on Household Surveys
New Data Sources Meet Household Surveys: Scaling-up Innovation for Official StatisticsHaoyi ChenIntersecretariat Working Group on Household Surveys
Counting People with Administrative Data instead of a Traditional CensusJames ChipperfieldAustralian Bureau of Statistics
The Evolution of the 21st Century Census of Population and HousingJames ChipperfieldAustralian Bureau of Statistics
Model-based estimation of binary and count survey data at granular levelsAndreea ErciulescuWestat
Recent Advances for Estimation and Imputation in Complex SurveysScott HolanUniversity of Missouri
Women’s Roles in the new, post-pandemic worldJessica KohlschmidtOSU CCC
Women in survey sampling research and practiceAlina MateiUniversity of Neuchatel
Past, Present and Future of Women in Statistics and Data ScienceGuadalupe Gomez MelisUniversitat Politècnica De Catalunya- Barcelonatech
How survey experts can contribute to the better use of citizen-generated data for public policyYongyi MinUNDESA
Statistical methods for assessing the effectiveness of e-learning during the COVID-19 eraCristina MollicaSapienza University of Rome
Inference under non-probability samples and big data: Data integrationIsabel MolinaUniversidad Carlos III Madrid
SDGs indicators: methods to analyze survey data to monitor/measure vulnerabilitiesMonica PratesiUniversity of Pisa – Centre Dagum
Modelling Population Nutrition Outcomes with Historical Survey Data in South SudanSaeed RahmanREACH Initiative
Trusted Smart SurveysShari StehrenbergDestatis

IASS-Special Invited Sessions

IASS President Invited Session

The session will focus on survey sampling and statistical modelling for the production and analysis of survey data. Data integration and model-based estimation as well as the relevance of universalizing methods for the analysis of complex surveys will be discussed. Prof. Ray Chambers and Prof. Thomas Lumley will present the challenges and achievements in these areas. They will be followed by a young survey statistician – the Cochran-Hansen Prize awardee.

IASS Journal Invited Session – The Survey Statistician Session

The session will focus on issues with big amounts of data for survey statistics and will be chaired by Danutė Krapavickaitė. The invited speakers are Anders Holmberg, Paul Biemer, Ashley Amaya and Jean-Francois Beaumont. Frauke Kreuter will be the discussant.

Survey Sampling short courses

Three short courses at the upcoming WSC that are related to survey sampling are listed below.

   10 May – 12 May   Quality of multisource statistics
Instructors: Dr. Arnout van Delden, Dr. Ton de Waal

  25 May – 27 May  Introduction to Graph Sampling
Instructors: Prof. Li-Chun Zhang, Dr. Melike Oguz-Alper

10 June – 11 June  Statistical Disclosure Control: Past, Present and Future
Instructor: Prof. Natalie Shlomo

Workshop Announcement: IASS Supported Virtual workshop EESW21 (European Establishment Statistics Workshop 2021),
14 – 17 September 2021

The seventh biennial European Establishment Statistics Workshop (EESW21) is a prime European opportunity to collaborate with like-minded official statistics methodologists, academic researchers and private sector professionals in the fields of business, economic and other areas of establishment statistics. The overarching theme of the workshop is Adapting establishment statistics to new conditions. We welcome contributions on all topics related to establishment statistics: from designing, collecting and estimating statistics to their use and dissemination.

EESW21 is virtually hosted by Statistics Netherlands and the Office for National Statistics. Website: https://statswiki.unece.org/display/ENBES/EESW21

Conference Announcement: SAE2021 BIG4Small – September 20-24, 2021. Virtual Meeting-Naples – Italy

The link to further information is https://sae2020.org/info@sae2020.org

Important dates

  • April 30, 2021, Abstract acceptance notification – Submission of short paper opening
  • June 11, 2021, Deadline for short paper submission
  • July 2, 2021, Short paper acceptance notification
  • July 23, 2021, Deadline for early bird registration
  • September 20-24, 2021, Conference

IASS Webinars Series

The IASS is pleased to announce IASS’ 7th Webinar that will take place virtually at 1pm CET on the 25th June 2021. To register, use the link https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8674275244716129807

Details of the webinar are below.

Webinar Abstract

In a partnership of the Observatory of Respiratory Syndromes of the Federal University of Paraíba, the Paraíba State Government and SCIENCE, the epidemiological survey “Continuar Cuidando PB”, a household-based sample survey conducted in November and December 2020, collected sociodemographic and symptoms data together with testing of residents for the diagnosis of COVID-19. The total sample of 394 census enumeration areas (CEAs) was stratified into four macro-regions of the state and subdivided within these strata for collection over eight weeks, with equal collection load per week in each stratum. In each selected CEA, a concurrent household listing and sampling protocol was applied using a combination of Bernoulli plus inverse sampling. Listing and sampling of new households stopped when the number of residents tested with the RT-PCR test in interviewed households totaled 25 or more. When a household was sampled and agreed to participate, all residents were tested, even if this meant that the total number of tested individuals in a selected CEA would go above 25. This protocol enabled speedy performance of the data collection, the release of partial results every two weeks, and strong linkage between the data obtained in the socioeconomic questionnaires with the results of the tests performed for COVID-19. Data collection was performed in partnership with teams from the municipal and state health departments, who were responsible for the application of rapid (finger blood sample) and RT-PCR tests, for the timely return of results to the tested participants, and for the provision of appropriate care services to all who tested positive for the disease. All health and safety precautions were taken to protect the team of interviewers and health professionals involved in the data collection, as well as the residents of the selected households who participated in the survey.

Keywords: Serum-prevalence survey; inverse sampling; Bernoulli sampling; household listing; health surveillance.

Presenters: Pedro Luis do Nascimento Silva, Hemilio Fernandes Campos Coelho Colloborators: Mauricio Teixeira Leite de Vasconcellos, and Cristiano Ferraz

Report from the 2021 Cochran-Hansen Prize Committee

The committee for the Cochran-Hansen competition for young survey statisticians from developing or transition countries has decided to award the 2021 prize to Guilherme Anthony Pinheiro Jacob from Brazil. He receives the award for the paper Estimation of gross flows under nonresponse and complex sampling design.

The work of the committee

The 2021 prize committee consisted of Isabel Molina from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (chair), Yves Tillé from Université de Neuchâtel and Jean-François Beaumont, from Statistics Canada. It has evaluated two candidate papers by young authors from South Africa and Brazil. Both papers are unpublished. One paper has two authors, but the candidate’s role and main contribution have been clarified. The committee members have individually assessed and ranked all papers and the final choice of the prize winner was made unanimously in a video conference held 15th March 2021.

The winning paper and motivation

The paper presents methods to estimate gross flows, which describe the changes in the distribution of a categorical variable along two different time points observed in a longitudinal survey. It also describes the new R package surf developed by the candidate, which implements these methods, producing estimates of the model parameters, together with their standard errors, as well as Rao-Scott adjusted Pearson chi-squared test (Rao and Scott 1981). The implemented methods adjust for possibly nonrandom nonresponse according to Stasny (1987) and it accounts for complex designs, by using the Maximum Pseudo-Likelihood extension by Gutiérrez (2014). The paper also presents an application, in which gross labour flows are analyzed using real data from Brazil’s Continuous National Household Sample Survey (PNADC). The estimation of gross flows from longitudinal surveys is an important problem for survey research and survey practice. Moreover, the R package represents a great tool for practitioners and the application conducted is of interest.


  • Stasny, E. A. (1987). Some Markov-Chain Models for Nonresponse in Estimating Gross Labor Force Flows. Journal of Official Statistics, 3, 359-373.
  • Gutiérrez, H. A. (2014). Modelos para estimar cambios brutos en encuestas rotativas con ausencia de resposta en diseños de muestreo complejos. Ph.D. thesis, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Facultad de Ciencias, Departamento de Estadística, Bogotá, Colombia.

Short Bio of the Prize Winner

Guilherme A. Pinheiro Jacob was born on June 21st, 1991 in Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil. He studied for a B.Sc in Economics at the Federal University of Amazonas in Manaus, Brazil, and completed a MSc. in “Population, Territory and Public Statistics” at the National School of Statistical Sciences (ENCE/IBGE) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he is currently a PhD candidate. He was also Leslie Kish Fellow at the University of Michigan’s 2020 Sampling Program for Survey Statisticians.


Isabel Molina, Yves Tillé and Jean-François Beaumont


Upcoming IASS-Supported Conferences in 2021

ICES VI – The International Conference on Establishment Statistics will take place 14-17 June 2021 in New Orleans, U.S.

Website: https://ww2.amstat.org/meetings/ices/2020/conferenceinfo.cfm/   

EESW21- European Establishment Statistics Workshop 2021 will take place virtually 14 – 17 September 2021. Website: https://statswiki.unece.org/display/ENBES/EESW21

SAE2021- BigSmall – Conference on Small Area Estimation, with the theme “Big Data for Small Areas”, will be held virtually 20-24 September, as a satellite conference to the World Statistics Conference in 2021.

Website: https://sae2020.org/ 

11e Colloque International Francophone sur les Sondages – 11th International Francophone Conference on Surveys will take place 6-8 October 2021 in Brussels, Belgium.  Website: http://sondages2020.sciencesconf.org.

Other Conferences on survey statistics and related areas

Statistics in the Big Data Era will take place 2 – 4 June 2021 in Berkeley, USA. Website: https://simons.berkeley.edu/workshops/statistics-big-data-era

Symposium on Data Science & Statistics is planned to take placeJune 2-5, 2021 in Missouri, USA–. Website: https://ww2.amstat.org/meetings/sdss/2021/ 

ANZSC 2021 – Australian Statistical Society and New Zealand Statistical Association Conference will take place 5 – 9 July 5, Gold Coast, Australia.  Website: https://anzsc2021.com.au/

Conference and Special Issue of Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A in memory of Fred Smith and Chris Skinner will be held in Southampton, UK, 8‐10 July 2021. See the August 2020 IASS Newsletter for full details.

63rd ISI World Statistics Congress will take place 11-16 July 2021 and will be virtual.  Website: https://www.isi2021.org/

Joint Statistical Meetings 2021 will take place 7 -12 August in Seattle, USA. Website: https://www.amstat.org/ASA/Meetings/Joint-Statistical-Meetings.aspx

2021 Women in Statistics and Data Science Conference will take place 7-9 October in Pittsburgh, USA. Website: https://ww2.amstat.org/meetings/wsds/2021/

2021 International Methodology Symposium, ”Adopting Data Science in Official Statistics to Meet Society’s Emerging Needs”, will take place virtually from October 15 to November 5. Website:https://www.statcan.gc.ca/eng/conferences/symposium2021/index

The Survey Research Methods Section (SRMS) of the ASA Information on activities of the Survey Research Methods Section of the American Statistical Association (ASA) are available at: https://community.amstat.org/surveyresearchmethodssection/home