Microdata Library

A gateway to the Pacific region’s survey, census, and administrative-based microdata and documentation

What it does

The Microdata Library allows researchers to browse, search, compare, apply for access and download relevant survey and census information from the Pacific Islands region. It allows data producers to disseminate survey information in a secured environment, in compliance with policies and conditions of use.

Note: security and access of microdata is closely controlled and can be accessed only under strict rules and conditions.Users of microdata need to be bona-fide researchers linked to clearly defined public-good (i.e. non-commercial) research projects.However all associated documentation is openly accessible to all users.

Users can search inside datasets, down to the names of indicators and variables. This is a valuable feature of the library because it allows the possibility to explore a dataset’s variables (if documented) in detail and show response frequencies. This kind of “deep search” allows users to discover data they may not even know existed.


The only thing more important than data is Metadata. Who made this dataset? How was it produced or acquired? When was it last updated? Who’s allowed to use it? What have people already done with it? Are algorithms shared that will allow for reproducing the construction of a dataset or indicator? While the catalog tags each dataset with some basic metadata consistent across all datasets, the amount and nature of the metadata will vary depending on the type of dataset

Tracking data use - citations & visualizations

The Microdata Library also features a list of citations including those from articles and books which referring to a study (dataset). Data producers often don’t get enough credit for their data work - part of the reason is that it’s hard to track where data have been cited, used and re-used. Understanding where and how the data are used helps us understand the impact of the dataset and divert investments in priority data areas in the Pacific. It incentivises data providers to release their data more proactively much like research papers, giving them more accountability.

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