Evaluation of UNFPA support to population and housing census data to inform decision-making and policy formulation

Mauritania Country Case Study Report

Resource date: 2016

UNFPA comprehensive support to the National Statistical Office (NSO) in Mauritania for the 2013 population and housing census allowed for the successful completion of a quality census in a sparsely populated territory with a majority illiterate population. The appointment of a UNFPA Principal Technical Adviser enabled the NSO, which suffered from gaps in funding, technical knowledge and institutional memory, to complete the census operation in accordance with international standards. Following an initial delay in census administration, originally projected for 2010, the UNFPA played a critical role in mobilizing necessary funds. UNFPA involvement also increased the credibility of the census and engaged various stakeholder groups in the preparatory stages of the process.

Due to the limited capacity of the NSO, UNFPA support in Mauritania focused on the preparation and enumeration stages of the census and lacked a comprehensive strategy for disseminating the results and encouraging data use. This may diminish the utility of the census in the long run, however, particularly since the majority of national authorities do not have the technical knowledge to incorporate statistical data in their policy decisions. The report finds that despite UNFPA extensive capacity-development processes, the ability of the NSO to execute future censuses and promote sustained data use relies on continued UNFPA involvement and technical support at all stages.


  • Mauritania Country Case Study Report