Statisticians as Back-office Policymakers: Counting Asylum-Seekers and Refugees in Europe

Publication date: October, 2019

Author: Funda Ustek-Spilda

Journal/Publisher: Science, Technology, & Human Values, SAGE

This paper looks into the role of statisticians who are not just producing numbers but also deciding what is deemed politically important. The paper coins statisticians as back-office policy makers on the basis that they adopt methodological decisions when operationalizing abstract statistical guidelines and definitions.

The paper highlights the work of EGRISS as a way to demonstrate that refugee statistics were only seen as crucial when the issue was perceived as politically important. 

International Recommendations on Refugee Statistics (IRRS)