Survey and census microdata are invaluable resources for statisticians, researchers and analysts. They constitute important and irreplaceable assets which need to be managed in a way that encourages their use and re-use, while protecting the privacy of respondents. In this endeavor the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) of Nepal has been established a National Data Archive (NADA) to facilitate systematically preserves the valuable survey and census data and to widen the reach of data accessibility and usability options.
NADA is a web-based cataloging system that serves as a portal for researchers to browse, search, compare, apply for access, and download relevant census or survey information. It was originally developed by to support the establishment of national survey data archives. The application is used by a diverse and growing number of national, regional, and international organizations. NADA is a tool developed by the International Household Survey Network (IHSN) and has been implemented by the World Bank and PARIS21. The NADA uses the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) and the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI), the international metadata standards for archiving microdata.
The specific objectives of the National Data Archive are to:
- Promote best practice and international standards for the documentation of microdata amongst data producers in the country.
- Provide equitable access to microdata in the interest of all citizens, by protecting confidentiality and following international recommendations and good practice.
- Promote the effective use of existing survey and census data for statistical and research purposes, thereby encouraging a diverse range of analytical work through secondary research.
- Ensure the long term preservation of microdata and the related metadata, and their continued viability and usability in the future.
The National Data Archive pursues these objectives within the framework of the national statistics legislation (Statistics Act 1958 of Nepal) and of the United Nations Fundamental Principles of Statistics. Where microdata cannot be released due to confidentiality or other reasons, the National Data Archive provides the public with detailed metadata and other publicly available materials.