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Cornell Program on Applied Demographics

Census 2020: What State and Local governments need to Know


Partnership Program

The "2020 Census Detailed Operational Plan for: 11. Integrated Partnership and Communications Operation Operation" describes in great detail what the current plans are for 2020 partnership programs.

In 2010 there was an important role for Complete Count Committees and many state and local governments participated in these committees. More on the 2010 Count Committees can be found here.

Copied from the planning document


The Partnership Program is made of the 2020 National Partnership Program (2020 NPP) and Community Partnership and Engagement Program (CPEP).

Internal and external stakeholders for the 2020 NPP are Census Bureau divisions with direct responsibility for the 2020 Census; external governing bodies, such as Congress and the Department of Commerce (DOC); state, local, and tribal governments; and the many organizations, businesses, and other nongovernment entities that represent external stakeholders and partners for a successful 2020 Census. The goals of the 2020 NPP are to:

  • Increase awareness of and motivate participation in 2020 Census, events, and products through building relationships and garnering support from national organizations, federal agencies, and businesses.
  • Support and provide excellent customer service to national partners.
  • Establish and report metrics and objectives for 2020 NPP and partnership efforts.

The Regional Partnership Program from 2010 has been renamed the Community Partnership and Engagement Program (CPEP) in 2020. The CPEP will be similar to the 2010 program by taking advantage of its success and adding a more robust Complete Count Committee program called the State Complete Count Commission, a regional Trusted Voice Mobile Van program, and a more active Trusted Voices emphasis. The purpose, goals, and objectives of the 2020 Census CPEP are to:

  • Increase self-response.
  • Use trusted voices to make census messages relevant at the local level;
  • Grow our partnership audience;
  • Increase awareness among the general public;
  • Increase partnership engagement at the local level through new or improved programs;

A variety of print and electronic materials will be developed and utilized to both inform and motivate residents to participate. Among the products that may be developed are fact sheets, brochures, posters, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and stakeholder-support statements. Informational, educational, and promotional materials are developed and distributed to stakeholders and residents.

For the 2020 Census, the Partnership Program will expand upon and develop new tools and systems to automate and enhance the IPC operation for more efficient and effective communication. As discussed earlier, the IPC has taken great strides in learning more about new innovating technology since the 2010 Census. Many of the innovations are directly reflective to how we communicate. Therefore, there are many opportunities for leveraging new technologies and communication mechanisms. Systems and tools to be used by the Census Bureau and external stakeholders include:

  • Fulfillment Center – Will reside within the Census Bureau National Processing Center (NPC) and will process and ship promotional material and item orders requested via Partnership Portal.
  • Partnership Contact Database – A database used by partnership specialists in the regions, NPP staff, and data dissemination specialists that houses data on census partners collected over the past two decades.
  • Partnership Portal – A web-based portal that will allow registered partners to share information about their upcoming events and provide real-time interaction with a chat feature. Additional features will allow partners to upload and download event materials and order a specific number of free promotional materials and items from the fulfillment center. Partnership staff will also use the portal.
  • Integrated Logistics Management System (ILMS) – An ordering system that will be used by the IPC Fulfillment Center to process promotional materials and items requested by Census Bureau staff and registered partners through the Partnership Portal.

The Partnership Program will use these systems and tools to identify and work with partners to build and promote awareness of the 2020 Census, and ultimately to motivate participation. In working with partners, one of the primary goals is to identify the trusted individuals and gatekeepers within each community who are willing to use their credibility to encourage cooperation from those who are reluctant to respond. In addition, partners support or sponsor promotional activities to raise awareness and encourage participation in the 2020 Census.

Also from the Detailed Operational Plan an overview of planned changes from previous efforts:

Tentative schedule

December 2017 - September 2020

Last modified: February 2, 2018