Botswana is not lagging behind and for the 2021 Census, Statistics Botswana is already in the right gear as its data collectors are currently in the field utilizing the Smart Client software for cartographic mapping and the preparations to use Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) for enumeration are ongoing.
This was said by Statistician General (SG) Dr Burton Mguni when officially opening the 2021 Population & Housing Census (PHC): Stakeholder Consultative workshop on Census Topics at Ba Isago Convention Centre on Wednesday (10/07/2019).
He said the global trend in conducting statistical inquiries is to utilize technological advancements to enhance the quality of data and the speed towards disseminating the results.
On cartography SG said it is a technological processes that involves collection of dwelling unit’s coordinates and creating digitized spatial information whereas the CAPI enumeration on the other hand, involves enumeration using handheld devices such as tablets or smart phones and sending data electronically from the field to a server in the headquarters.
He mentioned that the CAPI method of enumeration combines data collection, entry, editing and coding; all done simultaneously during the fieldwork.
“By the end of the fieldwork, the data would be about 80% clean. This improves efficiency and data quality, as such, as I have already said lead to the release of the main census results more expeditiously”, said Dr Mguni.
Still at the workshop Dr Mguni took time to acknowledge the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) for its long term and unbending determination to support census taking in Botswana.
“I wish to mention that while we have just started preparations for the 2021 Census, UNFPA is already dispensing its support in various ways, among which is, capacity building through targeted trainings and sponsoring attendance of relevant workshops and seminars”, stated SG.
Dr Mguni also reminded the audience about Statistics Botswana (SB) mandate which he said is to collect and disseminate all official statistics in Botswana. He said the importance of official statistics bearing the traits of relevance, accuracy, reliability and timeliness is a culmination of vital processes and procedures that derive from the quest to employ scientific methods in producing information to promote and fasten decision making.
He added that official statistics are used to guide development such as, formulation of policies and programs, monitoring and evaluation, as well as for evaluating the country’s economic growth, thereby, enabling Botswana to continue in its trajectory of evidence based decision making.