THE Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) yesterday announced that the 2023 Population and Housing Census will take place in August.
The agency will recruit around 13 000 Namibians to carry out the exercise.
Statistician general Alex Shimuafeni said the government has made N$706 million available in the 2023/24 national budget that was tabled in the National Assembly last week.
The national census which was scheduled for 2021 was postponed due to a lack of funds.
At the time, Shimuafeni said the exercise was postponed due to competing priorities, including Covid-19 budget prioritisation.
The census exercise was also postponed last year as it was not provided for in the 2022/23 national budget.
“We are sincerely grateful that our government has committed itself to fund this critical exercise, which is a major source of national data required for planning, decision-making and monitoring of development goals at the lowest possible level there is,” he said.
Shimuafeni said information from population and housing censuses guides the government on development planning and decision-making.
“The census results are also used to develop a sampling frame for conducting relevant and representative socio-economic surveys, providing data for the delimitation commission, as well as results necessary to validate the national voter registration system.
“The census result as an enabler, plays a big role in uplifting communities’ developmental share in terms of schools, hospitals, roads, and public works as it helps the government to decide how to distribute funds and allocate resources across society,” he said.
The national census, which is conducted every 10 years, comprises three phases, namely the pre-enumeration or planning phase, the enumeration phase, and the post-enumeration phase.
“The planning stage includes census mapping, which is a process during which people go to every infrastructure in the country and identify whether each infrastructure is a household or a business entity,” Shimuafeni said.
“The second phase is enumeration, during which you have people going to do the actual collection of data, where they go to households with a questionnaire.”
The NSA has already concluded census mapping and a pilot census, as well as the post-enumeration survey pilot as part of the pre-enumeration or planning phase.
Shimuafeni said the agency is currently busy testing the data collection application, as informed by the outcome of a pilot census in the Zambezi, Erongo, Kunene, Ohangwena, Hardap, Kavango West and Omusati regions.
The field exercise started on 27 February and will run until 10 March, he said.
“The final testing will be done in Khomas region from 14 to 17 March. We are humbly requesting the selected households to assist our field staff when approached,” he said.
The last stage of the census process is the post-enumeration survey, which is a quality assurance exercise undertaken to validate the quality of the information collected during the main enumeration.
This takes place a week after the main count in selected areas in all 14 regions.
To successfully undertake the census, the NSA plans to recruit approximately 13 000 temporary workers, with the enumeration scheduled to take place from August to October across the country.
Shimuafeni said the workers will comprise team supervisors, enumerators, constituency supervisors, information technology technicians, statisticians, data monitors, programmers, human resources practitioners, legal experts, communication specialists, procurement officers and a fleet of other officers.
He said the census positions will be advertised on media platforms, including the NSA’s website, the Namibia Integrated Employment Information System (NIEIS), and regional and local authority offices.
“Job applications will be done through an online recruitment system. Applications can be done via any device that has internet access, such as a smartphone, tablet, or a computer,” he said, adding that applications are open to all Namibians, particularly the unemployed.
“The nation will be informed when the application process starts,” he said.
Shimuafeni said the cencus will be conducted digitally.
“A digital census means we will not go out with paper questionnaires. Yes, maybe in some extreme cases where we have challenges using tablets. But it will all be digital,” he said.
He said the NSA has secured 13 000 tablets, which will be borrowed from external entities such as the United Nations Economic Commission of Africa and Statistics South Africa.
“Transportation of the tablets to and from Namibia will be facilitated by the United Nations Population Fund.
“The census logistics involved is massive and will require around 2 900 vehicles to ensure enumerators reach each and every corner,” Shimuafeni said.
Apart from a digital census, the NSA will also be conducting a spatially enabled census.
“The modus operandi will be that NSA enumerators will visit each and every household in Namibia during a three-week period to undertake a total count and collect demographic and social data,” Shimuafeni said.
He also assured the public that the collected data will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.