During the 68th plenary session of the Conference of European Statisticians (CES) (22-24 June 2020), the chief statisticians of all CES member countries, will discuss:

  • Impact of COVID-19 crisis on official statisticsjointly with the OECD Committee for Statistics and Statistical Policy (OECD CSSP):
    • Data stewardship – new roles of NSOs in the changing world (organized by UNECE)  
    • Impact of Covid-19 crises on business continuity of official statistics (organized by OECD)
  • Using geospatial data and tools for measuring COVID-19 impact - jointly with UN-GGIM:Europe

Related initiatives

Top of the page

Country practices

The examples below illustrate how NSOs deal with the challenges of continuing their operations during the COVID-19 crisis.

The main sources of information are: (1) a special survey carried out by the UNECE Task Force on Measuring Hazardous Events and Disasters (and follow-up communication with NSOs), (2) the UNSD COVID-19 response website, (3) NSOs' websites and (4) information provided directly by NSO. 

For updates and adding of information please leave a comment at the bottom of the page or contact Malgorzata Cwiek.

Oops, it seems that you need to place a table or a macro generating a table within the Table Filter macro.

The table is being loaded. Please wait for a bit ...

CountryCategoryTitle and/or linkDescriptionSourceDate added
AustraliaConsumers and data suppliers management

ABS COVID response webpage

Australian Statistician's Briefing to the Australian Business Economists

ABS has created three webpages dedicated to COVID-19 response:

On 30 April, the Australian Statistician gave a briefing to the Australian Business Economists on:

  • how ABS has responded to the changed world
  • how ABS arrived at the suite of outputs they had released over the previous month
  • how ABS had transformed the way they do things to embrace new, rapid response surveys to give governments and the community the most up-to-date statistics possible, and
  • how ABS data can help decision-makers navigate the uncertain economic terrain over the coming months.
311 May 2020
AustraliaStatistical production

ABS COVID-19 statistical products

Australian Statistician's Briefing to the Australian Business Economists

The ABS is committed to delivering timely and accurate information about the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on Australian society and the economy.

The ABS is producing a range of existing and new statistical products, providing relevant insights on households, employment and industry to inform government, business and community responses to the pandemic. A dedicated task force has been established to identify and secure new data sources to supplement the production of existing ABS products, address emerging policy questions and data needs in response to COVID-19, and deliver novel and innovative products in the future.

New statistical releases will provide information on:

  • Business impacts such as cash flow and turnover
  • Additional monthly analysis on hours worked, including reasons for working less hours, and quarterly hours worked analysis by industry
  • Preliminary retail turnover data
  • Interactive employment maps
  • Preliminary import and export data
  • COVID-related employment and health implications for households
  • Additional analysis of short term overseas visitors and international students
  • Interactive age and health conditions population maps
  • Confidentialised microdata for Australian businesses will be made available for researchers through TableBuilder so they can produce tables, graphs and maps.
311 May 2020
AustraliaStatistical productionProtecting the health of staff and respondents, while ensuring the business continuity

ABS is protecting the health of its staff and respondents, while ensuring the ongoing operating capacity.

By mid-March, given the risks associated with travel and gatherings in confined spaces, ABS reduced the number of agencies and individuals attending lock-ups for market sensitive statistics. ABS also suspended surveys that required close face-to-face contact, including those within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, to protect vulnerable populations.

Some of the regular activities were paused to free up resources to ensure the key economic series weren’t at risk, or to make way for the collection of COVID-19 related data. Critical teams were identified, and surge capacity and shadow teams put in place to keep production processes going in the event that infection rates of ABS staff rose to critical levels.

311 May 2020
FranceStatistical productionImpact of COVID-19 on statistical production (press releases of 16 March and 25 March) and a dedicated COVID-19 web page

INSEE has been complying with the confinement and has been able to ensure continuity of its mission through teleworking. This required redefining priorities and adapting certain operation to the new conditions. INSEE informs about the impact of the COVID-19 on its work through press releases and a dedicated web page.

Registers: INSEE assured the public about that it will continue to maintain the population register and the business register which are under its responsibility.

Surveys: INSEE carries household surveys exclusively by phone or online if possible (employment survey and living conditions survey). ICT survey will not be carried out in 2020. Replies already provided by companies online will be preserved but there will be no reminders and no legal consequences of non-response. Certain large companies whose responses are indispensable can be contacted.

Statistical production: INSEE aims to ensure the continuity of the production of national accounts. The provisional annual accounts for 2019 should be published as planned. The publication of trimestral accounts for first and second trimester 2020 may not follow the usual calendar, in particular the first estimate, which is scheduled 30 days after the end of each trimester.

INSEE will continue to publish according to the usual calendar (or almost) all the main economic indicators, including monthly industrial production index, trimestral employment figures and monthly price index. Economic developments and difficulties in data collection may however affect the quality of certain indicators. This will be systematically documented.

Every week, INSEE will publish daily number of deaths reported by the communes, based on the civil registration system.

INSEE is in contact with mobile operators to measure the distribution of the population on the territory. This work will lead to a publication as soon as possible.

Economic impacts: INSEE aims to publish an analysis of the economic situation every two weeks. INSEE will issue updated press releases as necessary if conditions of data collection deteriorate or if INSEE encounters difficulties in ensuring continuity of service.

44 May 2020
NetherlandsStatistical productionA dedicated website Coronavirus crisis: CBS figuresStatistics Netherlands created a dedicated website with CBS figures on COVID-19 impacts on economy, society, public health, public mobility and supply chains, and related news articles.44 May 2020
NetherlandsStatistical productionMeasuring article stockpiling with scanner dataOn 24 March, Statistics Netherlands published an analysis on article stockpiling  based on weekly transaction data.44 May 2020
NetherlandsConsumers and data suppliers managementMessage to users of CBS data and those providing data to CBSOn 26 March, Statistics Netherlands published a message to users of CBS data and those providing data to CBS that:
  • Explained in simple terms how the COVID-19 outbreak affects the operations of Statistics Netherlands
  • Assured about their continued efforts to maintain the production of statistics at the highest possible level
  • Underscored the importance of reliable data during a crisis  for various stakeholders and the need to continue the data collection
  • Thanked in advance those who provide the data for their collaboration under the difficult circumstances.
44 May 2020
NetherlandsStrategy and leadershipInterview with CBS Acting Director General Bert Kroese on reliable data in times of corona and beyondOn 22 April, Statistics Netherlands published an interview with CBS Acting Director General Bert Kroese, who further explained the impacts of the outbreak on the CBS work, importance of reliable, timely data and the need for continued collaboration between the Dutch national and municipal authorities, the academic world and the business community during the crisis and beyond.44 May 2020
ItalyStatistical production

Actions to ensure continuity of statistical production, a special internal task force

Due to measures adopted by the government to contain the virus, Istat has implemented a series of actions to ensure the continuity and quality of statistical production even in this emergency situation.
The institute has reorganized data collection by sustainable acquisition techniques, innovative methodologies and use of data sources; it also provided most appropriate solutions to support statistical production processes, in full protection of workers’ health.
Official statistics are fundamental for measuring the evolution of economy and society; their production and dissemination at the service of institutions, policy-makers, families and businesses, therefore, cannot be stopped, but need to be rethought to be ready to provide the country with all necessary answers, and above all to support and monitor the future country’s recovery.
Istat has long invested in dematerialisation and can therefore ensure full operation of its databases and accessible online services.

A special internal task force is dedicated to organize and manage the impact of pandemic on the statistical activities. It caused the stop of some survey and the postponing of others.

Istat is working using “agile works” and all the workers are connected and are working as usual.
Web-meeting tools are very often used. A special part of the internal website is well-organized containing all the necessary information.
130 Apr 2020
AustraliaStatistical productionImpacts on the work programmeThe ABS is providing a range of additional, up-to-date information to enhance understanding of the social and economic impacts of COVID-19, including new information relating to the Australian Labour Market . In order that the ABS can continue to deliver critical economic and social statistics during this time, it has made some changes to some elements of the ABS Forward Work Program.427 Apr 2020
MexicoStatistical productionNo interruption of production and publication of short-term economic indicators and maintaining information quality standards

The main challenge is not to interrupt the production and publication of short-term economic indicators and maintain information quality standards.

In case of the production of short-term economic statistics, we anticipate problems in surveying and in the imputation methods of missing data, as well as the temporary or definitive suspension of some businesses in certain industries.

The main challenges for the price indices are:

  • Preserving the health integrity of the work team,
  • Carry out the day-to-day work of operation, facing existing restrictions, but seeking to obtain the result by alternative methods.
  • Resolve the no response problem by alternative methods of data collection and processing.
  • Ensure the publication of the National Consumer Price Index, defined as data of national interest.
  • Ensure the quality and reliability of the data.
124 Apr 2020
MexicoRisk managementEvaluation of the operating conditions in economic unitsAccording to the Contingency Plan of the National Economic Surveys, INEGI will carry out an evaluation of the operating conditions that prevailed during the health crisis in the economic units, in such a way that the data available is ratified or rectified.

This activity will be a determining input for the generation of statistical results for the contingency period, in such a way that the data is generated in accordance with the quality, accuracy, relevance and opportunity established by the Law.

It is essential to carry out an evaluation of the actions taken during the contingency, both statistical and non-statistical, in order to prepare a detailed report of the actions, highlighting the impacts, conclusions and alternatives of solution for the areas of opportunity that may be found. This report will be the fundamental input for the design of a contingency plan of greater scope.
124 Apr 2020
GermanyStatistical productionBiggest challenges at the momentMonitoring of company responses and the share of estimation:
Due to the difficulties experienced by companies during the pandemic, non-responses are expected. As far as possible, this is compensated by utilising estimates, accepting a higher error tolerance and reducing the publication depth. The present situation is particularly difficult for many companies, public authorities and private individuals obliged to report data for the production of official statistics. We are nevertheless asking for the submission of data via the familiar electronic transmission channels. Since, this data will help to pro-vide politicians and administrative authorities with the basic information they need to decide on measures for coping with the crisis.

Contributions by other public authorities:
Important contributions by other public authorities might be missing, because they are also affected by the disease.
120 Apr 2020
GermanyHuman resources managementBiggest challenges at the momentA reduction of active staff is expected because of the pandemic. The existing staff is "reorganised" according to the statistical priorities.120 Apr 2020
MexicoHuman resources managementProviding data to government for crisis management
  • NSO sent most of its offices employees to work under a home office structure starting March 23th 2020, keeping just a small crew to operate.
  • Field personal worked on the census until March 30th 2020.
  • On April 6th 2020 practically everyone still in the office was sent home.
  • The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare indicated to NSO that the contracts of its temporary employees who carry out field activities should be maintained.
120 Apr 2020
TurkeyHuman resources managementBiggest challenges at the moment
  • In line with the TurkStat National Data Release Calendar, in order to ensure timely publication of news bulletins and statistics, home office working has been initiated and remote access to databases has been provided.
  • Personnel started to work in shifts both in the central office and regional offices by rotation and by remote accessing from home (telecommuting). Approximately 10 % of the staff goes to work in every unit. In each department, in every unit, there is some staff on duty to take necessary precautions. Except this, each unit organizes their work schedule themselves in control of their superior. As a result, the number of personnel has been decreased in the offices (% 90 of staff telecommuting ) to decrease the contagion of the pandemic. Meetings and other social interactions were stopped, instead of it, video-conferences were organized.
120 Apr 2020
TurkeyStatistical productionData compilation issues
  • There are 26 regional offices of TurkStat (corresponding to NUTS II level regions), which are in charge of the compilation, evaluation, quality control, analysis of the data and its transfer to the Center. Approximately 3/4 of the total staff are working in the regional offices, with the majority of them are interviewers who are primarily engaged in data collection. Therefore, due to the Covid-19 illness, some challenges are expected to be experienced during data collection processes in surveys and hence, some measures mentioned below have been taken by NSO to overcome these challenges.
  • In Regional Offices, face to face interviews with the households and workplaces for some surveys were stopped temporarily. Instead of it, interviews by e-mail, telephone, web survey and data collection by administrative register methods will be continued during the pandemic.
  • Sim cards are bought each consisting of adequate minutes and internet data for interviewers in the regional offices so that they can call the respondents at home, including the first meeting of Labour Force Survey. This application is valid only for three months. Afterwards it is planned to adopt and reorganize the regional offices to our Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) system and software.
  • By optimising the software infrastructure, CATI operators (Working for LFS and CPI Rental Prices) are made to work at home as if they were at office. Thus, all the phone calls are still recorded and given quality scores. Our experts can listen all the calls at their homes by connecting our call center software.
  • An official application to “Informatics and Communication Authority” is made to get a special phone number (1XY) that is only given to governmental institutions working for common good. With this application, it is aimed to make respondents feel safe when they are called-up to conduct a survey.
  • NSO have been sending information letters to the respondents before the starting of the fieldwork of each survey according to the agreement between TurkStat and Turkish Post Office for years. These new practices are announced with our informative letters and Respondent Information Module on our website to inform respondents that they can be called by phone during COVID-19 in order to conduct surveys.
  • Besides letters, respondents are also given information by SMSs and emails.
  • In terms of  business surveys , Computer Assisted Web Interviewing (CAWI) method was the main channel. Our staff in regional offices ensures respondents participation to surveys by reminding them with phone calls and emails.
  • Household Budget Survey (HBS) is postponed 1 month due to quality problems that it is not nominal enough to conduct this survey by CATI.
  • Alternative data sources like outlets’ websites, e-invoice, e-archive invoice, card payments for some studies are used to fill data gaps in data collection during this Covid-19 period.
120 Apr 2020
TurkeyStatistical productionSpecific practicesConsumer Price Index:
In the context of the COVID-19 crisis; weight structure of CPI and classification which is used in CPI compilation will remain unchanged during the year.  However price compilation  of the CPI is guided by the following principles:
  • to continue the price collection from outlets by price collectors whenever possible.
  • to replace missing price  by  price obtained from other sources.
In addition to this, prices will be collected by telephone, e-mail enquiries and outlet's websites.

Short Term Business Statistics:
In Short Term Business Statistics, VAT declaration information is used as the data source in the calculation of turnover indices, retail sales indices and industrial production index. Due to the Covid-19, VAT declaration is extended. VAT declaration information of all enterprises has not been received due to the extension of the declaration periods. For the enterprises without data, industrial production survey, e-invoice, e-archive invoice, card payment and foreign trade data were used in the calculation of the indices in addition to the VAT declaration information. There is no problem for the studies whose data source is questionnaire.

Household Budget Survey (HBS)
Household information is compiled by interview, registration and observation methods in HBS. The households are visited prior to the survey month and the first meetings are held with the Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) method. Then, during the survey month, each household is visited 4 times for taking expenditure records. After the survey month, the survey is completed by making an income interview with the CAPI method.  In this context, if the first interview can be made through a face to face interview it is possible to complete the survey period with CATI method. In March 2020,  field application completed by with CATI method. However, field application is cancelled for April 2020 since the first interviews could not be made through face to face interview.

Household Labour Force Survey:
Before Covid-19, all surveys of the first wave and the majority of the 2nd and subsequent waves were being conducted with CAPI method and a small part of the 2nd and subsequent waves were being conducted with CATI method. Together with the measures taken in the context of the epidemic, all face to face interviews have been stopped. The capacity of the NSO CATI Center has been increased and the CAPI interviewers have started to implement the survey by telephone.

Statistics on Income and Living Conditions Survey (SILC)
SILC Survey's field application period is 4 months starting at March and finishing at July. This year due to Covid-19 household visits were stopped at the beginning of the field application period. After a while the survey method was changed from CAPI to CATI. For the households of wave 2, 3 and 4 the survey has been trying to be done by phone although SILC is a very long and intense survey. For the first wave households' surveys  cannot be conducted and this will be evaluated by Eurostat in the following days.

Death Statistics
Monthly transferring death data from the data source (the Central Civil Registration System (MERNIS) database of the Ministry of Interior, General Directorate of Civil Registration and Citizenship Affairs) does not allow daily/weekly death data production at that moment.
120 Apr 2020
TurkeyHuman resources managementMain lessons learnedThe great importance of technological infrastructure in telecommuting has been understood as it enabled continuation of working process. It has been revealed that the works can be carried out easily by telecommuting and alternately working applications in cases where the personnel health should not be risked, but for this, the existing personnel structure and the technological equipment should be prepared. Flexible working conditions may be applied in the future by evaluating the efficiency of the works.

120 Apr 2020
TurkeyStatistical productionMain lessons learnedIt has been seen how important the coordination with the relevant institutions is for the statistics produced by using administrative records and how important it is to carry out this process with all the stakeholders.
Survey Portal (self-completion of computer-assisted questionnaires via Web survey) and EDI (electronic data interchange) Technologies the so called “e-VT” (standard business reporting programs for reporting business data and electronic interchange) is used in the NSO. The survey portal provides respondent units to fill in electronic questionnaires by themselves in a comfortable and a safe manner with the passwords assigned to them. By this system, no disruption in the data collection from enterprises is experienced during the Covid-19 period which highlights the importance of usage of the technological data collection methods.
In terms of household surveys, we have used CAPI and CATI methods. CAPI was the main method for household surveys but after a six months pilot study we activated our CATI Center with 30 operators to collect data for some specific surveys. In the coming period, NSO is planning to redesign data collection methods for all its national social surveys in order to employ CATI mode. NSO has established a platform for this task.
120 Apr 2020
LatviaStatistical productionBrief flash estimates and new productsCentral Statistical Bureau of Latvia has invested its efforts in providing brief flash estimates and new, detailed products in the context of COVID-19:
417 July 2020
LatviaStatistical productionData dissemination and dedicated section on the web

Data dissemination was adapted timely, so to stay relevant and serve decision makers and public. Extra info graphics were prepared with COVID-19 related statistics, like, map with territories with the biggest share of senior population, number of population with chronic diseases etc. As of 9 April special section on the web page introduced with COVID-19 related socio-economic indicators (number of employees in most affected sectors etc.) All recent releases can be found there.

417 July 2020
LatviaStatistical productionNew practices for existing surveys
  • Labor Force Survey for 2nd quarter complemented with extra questions on remote working
  • Business Tendency Survey has been supplemented with questions on the factors influencing the activities of enterprises
  • Business Tendency Survey in Industry has been complemented with additional questions on product orders
417 July 2020
LatviaStatistical productionExtra activities
  • Daily updates of the Statistical Business Register’s information of the VAT payers' register and the sign of termination of activity for enterprises, which have been liquidated, insolvency and liquidation proceedings have been initiated, reorganized, economic activity has been terminated and receives downtime benefits.
  • In order to eliminate physical contacts, consumer price data collection was adapted giving more significance to the use of alternative data sources - internet sites and telephone interviews.
  • Extra attention is given to the HICP quality indicators - proportion of imputations, marking indices with affected quality. In March only two sub-indices have been marked accordingly in the database - passenger transport by sea and package holidays, which were calculated based on the smaller number of prices. Total CPI for March meets quality requirements and is considered to be reliable. As of April CPI publication, taking into account number of Covid-19 affected sub-indices and considering the importance of keeping data users informed, additional section on the data collection, data quality, number of imputations and imputation methods attached to every CPI press release. Taking into account elimination/ease of Covid-19 restrictions, necessity of further extended comments will be evaluated after the validation of CPI data for July.
417 July 2020
LatviaConsumers and data suppliers managementNew practices and data sources

Considering that since March 2020 all CAPI interviews were suspended, extra efforts were invested to promote and organize wider use of CATI and CAWI for social surveys. The need for timely and qualitative statistical information was recognized by Cabinet of Ministers and National Parliament, so on 30 April special amendments were made and approved in the Order “On Declaring the State of Emergency”, establishing the obligation for the State Revenue Service, Office of the Citizenship and Migration Affairs and the Road Traffic Safety Directorate to provide upon request from the Central Statistical Bureau the information on contact telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of natural persons included in the sample of the Labor Force Survey, EU SILC and ICT survey. Cooperation with involved institutions has turned out very successful. The work of interviewers’ team is being reorganized accordingly.

Besides that, the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia has been able to agree with the State Revenue Service on faster information exchange on the volumes of performed transactions from VAT declarations, in addition to the existing agreement (letter to the SRS, referring to the state of emergency in the country).

417 July 2020
LatviaConsumers and data suppliers managementCommunication with user groups

The Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia has put a lot of efforts in communication with user groups during the COVID-19 outbreak. As soon as state of emergency was announced in mid-March, information on suspended home interviews on social media was published and press release prepared. Soon after separate press release for business statistics respondents and individual persons stressing importance of continuous data providing so to assess the impact of COVID-19 was prepared. In the beginning of April special press release with our greatest gratitude to respondents who have continued to provide data for statistical purposes was issued and special call (info graphics) for enterprises and individual persons to participate in surveys followed shortly after., (Latvian only)

417 July 2020

Top of the page

Do you have questions or want to share your experience ? Let us know in the comments below

You need to log in to be able to add comments. If you are not a registered user, please click here to register. 

  • No labels


  1. I work for the NSO in Mexico (INEGI). We coordinate the Survey on international travellers, in order to obtain the number and expenditure made by tourists from abroad. Since the end of March, face-to-face surveys were suspended, so we don't have the necessary input to estimate data for April. Should you have any suggestions to do so, I will much appreciate your kind guidance on this matter.

  2. Dear Octavio Rios, thank you for your message! As we do not work in the area of tourism statistics, we have shared this question with our network to find some guidance in this matter.

    If anyone reading these comments would like to share some experience in this area, please do not hesitate to do so!

  3. Dear Octavio Rios . Statistics Poland is the same situation. We used to conduct a survey in the vicinity of the border as well on the airports. At this moment we are working on some experimental methodology assuming that there is no data obtained  from interviewees but there are some other data sources which provide update and relevant data to tourism domain. There are two pillars in this approach:

    • updating/correcting prior beliefs on current statistics in tourism domain with bayesian method,
    • weights calibration.

    There is a paper titled "National Accounts Estimation Using Indicator Ratios" by Jan R Magnus, Jan W. Van Tongeren and Aart F. de Vos. Authors proposed several methods. We started with quite simple method presented in Lemma A1 because it is easy to code it in R even for beginners. First, we gathered the time series from auxiliary data sources: Border Guard, airports, accommodation establishments statistics from the survey and from the web scraping of accommodation portals, Google Trends. These data sources are available for the quarter of interest. Also we gathered all time series from our survey with correspond to auxiliary time series e.g. trips with respect to purpose, with respect to country (or group of countries), with respect to type of accommodation etc. These data is not available on the quarter of interest.

    In this bayesian approach you need to pick priors to all time series. They are produced by ARIMA model or simple trend (depends on the length of time series). Bayesian approach is updating/correcting our prior beliefs for the survey aggregates based on the correlation matrix estimated for all time series as well on the difference between priors and update data for auxiliary time series in the quarter of interest. In that way we get what aggregates we should obtain from the survey database in the given quarter (not all possible but the crucial ones).

    Since we do not have a new database from the survey we borrow it from the previous year. Then we calibrate weights using sampling package in R. It implements methods described in Deville, J.-C. and Särndal, C.-E. (1992). Calibration estimators in survey sampling. Journal of the American Statistical Association.

    It seems to be a cunning plan but frankly speaking there is a lot of issues. We tried out many phrases in Google Trends to generate anything useful and connected with the purposes of trips. Also, bayesian approach sometimes produced the unacceptable values e.g. negative, thus we tried to start with log transformation of the data at start and log it back at the end. I do not know it is ok any longer... Also I do not know how to compute a precision of estimates.

    I am not sure if it can help you.  Anyway do not hesitate to mail me if you have any questions.

  4. Dear Sebastian Wojcik, thank you very much for your kind answer. I sent you an email providing more elements on this issue. Best regards.