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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Committee on National Statistics
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Workshop on Improving the American Community Survey

   SEPTEMBER 26 - 27, 2018

   The Keck Center of the National Academies
   Lecture Hall 100
   500 5th Street NW
   Washington, DC 20001


The U.S. Census Bureau requested the Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) convene a workshop to discuss recent methodological research conducted by the Census Bureau to improve the American Community Survey (ACS), which replaced the previous decennial census long-form sample. The workshop will address evaluating administrative data as a replacement for survey questions, which may also improve accuracy and/or reduce costs. It will also examine efforts to improve communication materials provided to respondents to encourage response as well as the follow-up procedures with respondents. The workshop is a successor to, and extension of, the previous Workshop on Reducing Response Burden in the American Community Survey, held on March 8 - 9, 2016, and is intended to suggest best practices from analogous work by other agencies and the private sector to guide the next few years of ACS research and development.
Specifically, the workshop will focus on two critical topic areas:
1. Uses of Administrative Records and Third-party Data to Improve ACS Operations
(September 26)
Presentations and discussions will examine broad visions for use of alternative data resources in conjunction with the ACS—among them substitution of question content on the survey itself, editing and imputation for nonresponse, and blending of ACS and other data to produce more useful and informative data products. Presentations and discussions will focus on a variety of applications utilizing both survey and nonsurvey data that may point to “lessons learned” and research priorities for the ACS.

2. Boosting Respondent Participation Through Improved Communication
(September 27)
The workshop will reacquaint the audience with the actual respondent experience in the ACS, as context for discussing the alternative approaches used by other statistical agencies and survey organizations. Presentations and discussions will delve into the Census Bureau's testing of revised contact strategies and suggest feedback, including discussion of reframing the ACS administration dynamic based on a strategic communication framework and of incorporating respondent feedback on the survey experience.

   Daniel Cork, Study Director
   Anthony Mann, Program Associate
   Brian Harris-Kojetin, Director, CNSTAT

Warren Brown (Chair), Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research, Cornell University
Susan Brower, Minnesota State Demographic Center
Shawn Bucholtz, Housing and Demographic Analysis Division, Office of Policy Development and Research,
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Michael Davern, NORC at the University of Chicago
Donald Dillman, Department of Sociology and Social and Economic Sciences Research Center, Washington
     State University
Beth Jarosz, Population Reference Bureau
Patrice Mathieu, Social Survey Methods Division, Statistics Canada
    For additional information, please contact Daniel Cork at or (202) 334-2573   


  Session A: Introduction to the Workshop  
Session B: Broad Visions for Administrative Data Use in American Community Survey (ACS) Production     
Session C: Census Bureau Research and Practice on Administrative Records in the ACS     
Session D: Applications and Emerging Best Practices for Substitution/Replacement and Editing/Imputation Purposes     
Session E: Applications and Emerging Best Practices for Blending and New Product Creation Purposes
Session F: Wrap-up and the Way Forward    
Session G: Reintroduction to the Workshop    
Session H: Overview of Respondent Contact Strategies    
Session I: ACS Testing on Respondent Contact Strategies    
Session J: Rethinking the Communication Process with Respondents: Toward a Strategic Framework    
Session K: Listening to ACS Respondents    
Session L: Wrap-up and the Way Forward     

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