At each household, field workers shall administer an electronic questionnaire designed to gather the information the government wants to collect (PHOTO/File).
KAMPALA —The Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), a government agency charged with managing the national statistical system has assured the country that the technology it will deploy to collect data for the 2023 National Housing and Population Census is foolproof and free of errors.
The exercise which the agency says will be fully digital in line with the United Nations requirements will be carried out in August 2023.
Mr. James Kizza, who heads UBOS’ Digital Solutions and Data Capability Directorate told reporters on Monday November 14 that the technology has been tried and tested by different countries and it’s results have been effective.
Mr. Kizza also told reporters that UBOS will also put the technology on trials in the up coming census pilot project to be conducted in February, 2023.
“This time we are going to have a technology- based census; so we will be using tablets,” Mr Kizza said.
He added: “We have a foolproof technology system that has an inbuilt quality control and we are sure we will get it right.”
“There are many advantages to collecting data electronically, such as efficiency, timeliness and improved data quality,” he said noting that the agency was in the process of procuring the required items.
“That means that what we have had in the past where complete results come after say one to two years, we should expect that this time round the results will come in much earlier.” he said.
“Experience shows that countries that have conducted censuses in this manner have taken three to four months to produce the final results and we plan to do the same or do better.”
Mr. Kizza didn’t give details of the procurement process including costs and suppliers’ information.
Mr. Godfrey Nabongo, the deputy executive director at UBOS said the tablet computers would be deployed to other government departments after the census exercise.
“When we are done using them, they will go to others arms of government to enhance service delivery,” Mr. Nabongo said.
He revealed that UBOS would soon launch a pilot programme to assess census instruments (IT equipment, questionnaires, manuals and control forms), test and validate the enumeration procedures, authenticate the list of historical events as an aid to age estimation and evaluate the recruitment and training procedures for enumerators and supervisors.
It will also check the quality of the enumeration area maps, test the efficiency of logistics, flow of data from the field to the headquarters, confirm the publicity levels achieved and evaluate data processing strategies.
“Pilot census helps us test the questions to administer, the time it takes to administer the questions, the maps and also testing technical, logistics and personnel for the exercise to be sure ahead of the real enumeration,” he said.
He said that the country normally conducts a census after every 10 years, which has consistently taken place since August 1969, and, in preparation for the exercise, the government agency has started mapping is scheduled to continue after the pilot census is completed.
UBOS needs UGX138 billion to conduct the upcoming national population and housing census.
According to the country’s last population census carried out in 2014, the state-run UBOS said there were 34.6 million people in the country.
The UBOS’ latest estimates show Uganda’s population is about 43.7 million.