Friday, 18 March 2011

Ten Practical Actions for Promoting the Census [GLA]

Many migrant and refugee forums and community groups are working hard to ensure that community members complete the 2011 Census.  The Office for National Statistics, London Councils and the GLA are encouraging all Londoners to complete the census.

On 7 March the GLA invited forums to City Hall to find out about the Census from the ONS and London Councils, and to share ideas on how to ensure that migrants and refugees are counted on Census Day 27 March 2011.  Below are the Top Ten practical actions and other ideas suggested by the forums.


  1. Communicate a positive message about reasons for completing the census, including its importance in allocating funding for local services, its use in meeting the specific needs of local communities and the opportunity to raise awareness about the presence of specific communities in the area

  1. Find respected and influential members of communities who can get the message out – these will vary with each community -  or identify and support census champions who can actively promote census completion in their communities

  1. Tailor the message to the specific concerns of each community, depending on which arguments or information are more important, such as what happens to personal data and who is it shared with – details about issues, eg who is entitled to complete form, who has to complete form, what is it used for

  1. Use Office for National Statistics online resources at, including FAQs to address concerns about confidentiality of personal data

  1. Circulate the Mayor’s message and download email flyers and other GLA resources at and

  1. Hold completion events to assist people in filling in forms

  1. Prompt regular service users to complete the census form while they are accessing other services

  1. Communicate the message via community based media, including radio

  1. Use meetings and events that are taking place during the census period to publicise the census

  1. Communicate the message via local media links such as housing newsletters and community based media, including radio
For other ideas, download our full list here.

By Dick Williams (, Senior Policy Officer at the Greater London Authority

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