Govt releases funds for 2020 Census

The government has released GH¢25 million towards the 2020 Population and Housing Census scheduled for March 2020.


Source: Daily Graphic

BY: Rosemary Ardayfio

The amount is part of the GH¢45 million allocated in the 2019 budget which has been approved by the Ministry of Finance for the preparatory phase of the census.

The Government Statistician, Prof. Samuel Kobina Annim, made this known at the inauguration of the National Census Publicity, Education and Advocacy Committee for the 2020 Population and Housing Census yesterday.

The committee, chaired by the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, is to provide policy direction, resource mobilisation and strategic guidance on all aspects of the census.

Prof. Annim said the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) was aware that processes for the release of the remaining GH¢20 million had been initiated.

Census Act

The Government Statistician said on September 24, this year, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo gave his assent to the Census Act 1003, which states in Clause 33 that Ghana is mandated to organise a census in March every 10 years, adding that the release of the initial funds indicated that the government’s commitment was positive.

“While we appreciate the government’s commitment to the 2019 funding of the census, we request that the GH¢300 million needed to successfully conduct the census in March be released by the end of December to enable us to start activities on January 7, 2020,” he added.

Technologies

According to Prof. Annim, one unique characteristic of the 2020 census was that Ghana would be one of the few African countries, aside from Kenya and Malawi, to conduct a digital census.

“We will deploy technology, specifically the use of tablets and a Management Information System (MIS) that will enable us track each step in the census process,” he said.

In addition, he said, instead of directly recruiting people for each data collection activity, the GSS was building a database of field workers who had proved to be experienced, hardworking and credit worthy to build public trust in the census.

“Persons interested in being part of the data collection will be required to register on the bureau and indicate the district they wish to work in and credible references to enable us to conduct background checks on them,” he said.

Furthermore, he said, the GSS would harness the use of geo-spatial data by linking different government data sources in the census field work.

He explained that in 2020, in addition to the demarcation data, the GSS would use geo-spatial data, such as Google maps and previous surveys which collected geo codes, to complement the demarcation data to enhance complete coverage.

Demarcation

The GSS, Prof. Annim said, had completed the demarcation of the country into smaller geographical areas for effective enumeration, adding: “This is a very important exercise because it underscores our ability to achieve total coverage.”

He noted, however, that field work had been completed nationwide, with the exception of Ningo-Prampram in the Greater Accra Region because of land guard issues.

Trial Census

A first trial census was conducted in Dormaa West in the Bono Region and Bunkpurugu in the Savannah Region from May 24 to mid-June, 2019 to test the logic of the applications to be used for data collection.

The second and final trial, Prof Annim said, would be held in four districts — Aowin in Western North, Krachi Nchumuru in Oti, Ekumfi in Central and Kpone Katamanso in Greater Accra — from November 24, 2019 to test all the processes.

Issues to be tested in the final trial are boundaries, Internet connectivity, effectiveness of supervision, duration for enumeration, publicity and functionality of the app.

Government support

In his remarks, Mr Nkrumah reiterated the government’s commitment to support the GSS with the requisite resources to enable it to conduct the 2020 Population and Housing Census, particularly with the creation of the six new regions and over 40 new districts.

He said the census was expected to provide a reliable database for policy reviews ad ensure systematic improvement in the implementation of government’s interventions, such as Planting for Food and Jobs, NABCO, LEAP, Youth in Agriculture and others.

Mr Nkrumah urged the committee members to work hard to drive the population “to buy into the census programme and avail themselves to provide the needed information to guide policy making in our country”.