‘Census data key for resource distribution’
The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) yesterday launched its 2022 Population and Housing Census Tier 2 training workshops for enumerators, with provincial ministers demanding credible data that will guide national resource allocation .
Participants in this training will be responsible for training the interviewers who will collect data during the national population and housing census scheduled for next month.
The Population and Housing Census exercise will take place from April 21 to April 30, with April 20 being the reference date.
ZimStat will deploy a high-tech data collection system this year, Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI), which transmits data collected by interviewers over the Internet to a central computer in real time. Accordingly, the mapping exercise will be completed within six months.
Previously, it took up to two years for the national statistics agency to collect and process data before producing the final census report.
In Bulawayo, training is provided at Hillside Teachers’ College, while in Midlands Province it is at Midlands State University and in Matabeleland South at Gwanda State University.
Bulawayo has 181 enumeration area supervisors who will train 1,923 enumerators in the province next month. Bulawayo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Judith Ncube, officially opened the workshop where she urged enumerators to work diligently and give an accurate reflection of the city’s population.
“In 1992 there was a census in Bulawayo and in 1994 it was disputed. Bulawayo’s numbers were below expectations. I think there were about 600,000 or something.
Then the next census took place and the number went down and the last one happened the same way. Then you wonder if family planning is a success in Bulawayo alone,” Minister Ncube said. She said population size determines the size of the national pie the province receives.
“When the figures say for example that hospitals are visited by 400,000 people when in fact the figure is 800,000, it means that the allocation of medicines and other essentials to hospitals concerns half of the patients, so there will be a shortage,” Minister Ncube said.
Ms. Fadzai Ndlovu, Director of Statistical Services at ZimStat, warned supervisors not to cheat during the counting process but to give accurate data.
She urged those involved in the entire process to exercise discipline, show respect and have a good work ethic. In Gweru, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Larry Mavima, said it was important to understand the population census as a comprehensive process, which requires a holistic approach.
“This is key information for our vision as a country towards a prosperous and self-sufficient upper-middle-income society by 2030,” he said.
“As a province and nation as a whole, the census results are critical in our decentralization agenda because the results inform the equitable sharing of resources guided by population profiles, poverty and infrastructure development. Decentralization funds are disbursed to local authorities based on a population-based formula as provided by ZimStat.
“As a result, our 14 local authorities in the Midlands can only assess their capacity after knowing the population of their areas of jurisdiction,” he said.
In Matabeleland South, Zimstat’s director for demography and social statistics, Mr Alusiya Mukavhi, said the success of the census depends on the tier two group which is responsible for cascading training to tier three. He said Matabeleland South province had 1,996 enumeration areas.
“The quality of the cascade will determine the quality of the output, therefore, enumeration area supervisors should be aware of census content, procedures and etiquette questions,” he said.
“Level two supervisors are supposed to solve problems in the field and foster discipline.”
Minister of State for Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs and Devolution Abedinico Ncube also said the census informs
Government decision-making process as it provides information on the size, distribution and age structure of the population. — [email protected]