DATA COLLECTION AND DISAGGREGATION FOR
Economic and Social Council
-- January 2004
PERMANENT FORUM ON INDIGENOUS ISSUES
Workshop on Data Collection and Disaggregation for Indigenous Peoples
New York,19 – 21 January 2004
REPORT OF THE WORKSHOP ON DATA COLLECTION AND DISAGGREGATION FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
Workshop on Data Collection and Disaggregation for Indigenous
peoples was convened in accordance with decision 2003/300 of the
Economic and Social Council, following a recommendation of the
Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at its Second Session. Data
collection was identified as an urgent priority by the United
Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in both its First and
Second Sessions. In
response the draft decision 1 of the Second Session of the Permanent
Forum on Indigenous Issues concerning “data-collection and
indigenous peoples” a workshop was held from 19 to
21 January 2004
Workshop was attended by 36 experts from the United Nations system
and other intergovernmental organizations, governments, indigenous
organizations and academics. The
Workshop discussed a number of
case studies and examined challenges and
made recommendations concerning data collection and
disaggregation concerning indigenous peoples.
recommendations, which appear in Part D of the report, promote
better data collection and disaggregation concerning indigenous
peoples for the consideration of the Permanent Forum at its Third
Session (10-21 May 2004).
FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE PERMANENT FORUM ON INDIGENOUS ISSUES
REGARDING DATA COLLECTION AND DISAGGREGATION CONCERNING INDIGENOUS
presenting the following recommendations, the Workshop recalls that
a requirement of the collection and use of disaggregated data
concerning indigenous and tribal peoples is implied through such
international instruments as the
Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No.169) of the
International Labour Organisation, the International Convention on
the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention
on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the
Convention on the Rights of the Child, and Resolution CD37.R5 of the
Panamerican Health Organization (PAHO), as well as in developing
instruments such as the Draft Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples and others.
following recommendations pertain to states and intergovernmental
organizations, including the United Nations system:
paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19,
21 and 22.
following recommendations pertain to states only: paragraphs 7, 8
following recommendations pertain to intergovernmental organizations
only: 16, 17.
following recommendation pertains to the Permanent Forum on
Indigenous Issues, states and indigenous institutions and
organizations: paragraph 24.
following recommendation pertains to the Permanent Forum on
Indigenous Issues and the United Nations system: paragraph 25.
following recommendation pertains to the Office of the High
Commissioner for Human Rights and the Working Group on Indigenous
Populations: part of paragraph 10.
following recommendation pertains to indigenous organizations only:
The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and other relevant
United Nations and intergovernmental bodies should recommend to
Member States, concerning all relevant data collection exercises, to
include questions on indigenous identity with full respect for the
principle of self-identification.
It is important to develop multiple criteria with local
indigenous peoples’ active and meaningful participation to
accurately capture identity and socio-economic conditions.
The Workshop further notes the desirability of having
long-term, standardized data based on this principle.
Data collection concerning indigenous peoples should follow
the principle of free prior and informed consent at all levels and
take into account both the Fundamental Principles of Official
Statistics as established by the United Nations Statistical
Commission in Decision 47 of 1994 (Appendix V) and the collective
rights of indigenous peoples. For
indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation, data collection
exercises should not be used as a pretext for establishing forced
Data collection should be in accordance with provisions on
human rights and fundamental freedoms, and with data protection
regulations and privacy guarantees including respect for
Indigenous peoples should fully participate as equal
partners, in all stages of data collection, including planning,
implementing, analyzing and dissemination, access and return, with
appropriate resourcing and capacity building to do so. Data
collection must respond to the priorities and aims of the indigenous
communities themselves. Participation
of indigenous communities in the conceptualization, implementation,
reporting, analysis and dissemination of data collected is crucial,
both at the country and international levels. Indigenous peoples
should be trained and employed by data collecting institutions at
national and international levels.
The process of data collection is critical for the
empowerment of the communities and for identifying their needs.
Indigenous communities should have the right to have data (primary
and aggregated) returned to them, for their own use, noting the
importance of the confidentiality of such data, particularly as
applicable to individuals who have participated. In conducting data
collection exercises, governments should involve indigenous peoples
from the earliest stages (planning and community education) and
ensure ongoing partnerships in collecting, analysing and
Data collection exercises should be conducted in local
indigenous languages to the extent possible and where no written
language exists, should employ local indigenous peoples (as
translators/interpreters as well as advisors) to assist in the
Both quantitative and qualitative data, should be used and
combined to provide a holistic picture of the indigenous situation.
The primary responsibility for ensuring data collection lies
Civil and vital registration systems should be explored as
additional sources of statistics on indigenous peoples.
For international organizations, data collection should be
mainstreamed. It should
aim at the formulation of development and other public policies
including those addressing poverty, the full spectrum of the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the 3x5 Initiative on HIV/AIDS
and others. It should
also be used to assess the impact of development assistance and to
promote social dialogue at the national level.
It is recommended that:
The United Nations system use and further refine existing
indicators, such as the Common Country Assessment (CCA) indicators,
the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) indicators, and country
progress reports, other global monitoring instruments, and the Human
Development Indexes, to measure the situation of indigenous and
The National Human Development Reports, produced through
nationally-owned, editorially independent processes, could
systematically include case studies, and should include
disaggregated data on indigenous and tribal peoples.
Participatory poverty assessments of the World Bank could
collect and disaggregate data on the poverty situation of indigenous
and tribal peoples in all its dimensions, including those defined by
indigenous and tribal peoples themselves.
Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys as well as Demographic
Health Surveys of UNICEF
should be beneficially used to collect data on indigenous peoples.
The rights-based approach to development requires the
development of a conceptual framework for rights based indicators,
that are relevant to indigenous and tribal peoples.
It should take into account not only a process of full,
active and meaningful participation of indigenous and tribal
communities at all stages of data collection, but also indicators
that are of particular significance to indigenous peoples, such as
access to territories (land and waters), access to resources,
participation in decision-making, as well as issues of
discrimination or exclusion in the areas of economic, social and
cultural rights. Rights
based indicators to be used for data collection and disaggregation
on indigenous peoples should be capable of reflecting the current
status of the realization of their human rights, be useful in policy
articulation and prescription and should measure both the process
and the outcome of development activities.
They should be able to measure dimensions of the process of
the realization of human rights, such as participation,
non-discrimination, empowerment and accountability.
Office of the High Commissioner for Human
Rights and the Working Group on Indigenous Populations should be
encouraged to contribute to the elaboration of rights based
indicators to measure the situation of indigenous peoples. This
would also allow for a broad participation of indigenous peoples and
others in the discussion and design of such indicators.
In analyzing data, the full diversity and demographic profile
of indigenous communities should be taken into account, including
gender, children, youth and aged persons, as well as people with
In data collection methods and analysis, it should be borne
in mind that indigenous peoples live not only in remote and rural
areas but also in urban areas and in a wide variety of situations in
various countries, and that these peoples are often divided by
national borders. Moreover,
it should be taken into account that they are increasingly migrating
across borders as the result of globalization and conflict and this
reality needs to be reflected in data questions, methods and
In conducting all relevant data collection exercises,
governments should include indicators to capture the full ethnic and
cultural diversity of specific regions to allow the context of the
local indigenous peoples to be fully revealed.
International agencies and governments should support the
development of and further encourage governments in the development,
collection and analysis of data on indigenous and tribal peoples in
regions where this is less developed, in particular in
and part of the Pacific, using extensions of
exiting systems where appropriate.
The data collected should be specific to the situation of
indigenous and tribal peoples, while also allowing comparability
with other national and international populations.
A source of data to be explored is the material collected by
UN agencies, funds and programmes while carrying out development
projects. Such material
is rarely centralized or publicly available.
Agencies should be encouraged, during their development
projects and other activities, to collect data in a way that will
make them easier to share and publicize.
It is recommended that inter-governmental organizations,
funds and programmes launch a coordinated data collection exercise
in one or more countries, with the aim of developing a common
approach and of maximizing the impact of development assistance
concerning indigenous and tribal communities and peoples.
In developing a picture of the living conditions of various
indigenous and tribal peoples, there is a need to ensure that
environment is adequately included in data collected.
Collaboration between national, regional and international
data collecting bodies is strongly recommended to advance this issue
at a global level.
Indigenous controlled statistics initiatives are encouraged
to work as part of the whole data collection system on a national
level to ensure that data collection systems do not become
disjointed or possibly lead to the fragmentation of national
Data collection should include (but not be limited to):
the statistics of nomadic, semi-nomadic and migrating peoples and
peoples in transition, as well as displaced persons;
information on particularly vulnerable sections of indigenous and
Policy makers and those designing data collection exercises
should be sensitized and trained regarding the nature of the
populations being surveyed and the purposes for which data is being
It is recommended as one of the next steps, that a workshop
be organized, with the participation of indigenous peoples, to
develop methodological tools, guidelines, examples of questions that
could assist in identifying indigenous and tribal peoples and
indicators for data collection concerning indigenous and tribal
There is an immense amount of data already in existence in
national surveys, research institutions, scientific publications and
in particular, data generated by indigenous organizations and
Workshop recommends that as part of the next step/s in this process:
sources of statistics at the national level be fully exploited;
Permanent Forum invite an appropriate institution to conduct a
literature watch to capture existing data in scientific reviews and
elsewhere relevant to indigenous peoples and that it should also
examine the feasibility of identifying an institution to serve as a
clearing house for all existing data on indigenous issues.
institutions and organizations be encouraged to generate relevant
data and to co-ordinate their activities in this field and in
partnership with governments to the extent possible.