The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) will deploy 70,000 field supervisors and enumerators to gather data when the 2021 Housing and Population Census gets underway in June.
The field supervisors and enumerators are part of an 80,000-strong team, including data-quality administrators, trainers and Information Technology (IT) officers, who have been engaged by the GSS to carry out Ghana’s first digital
The Board Chairperson of the GSS, Dr Grace Bediako, who made this known when she paid a courtesy call on the Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr Kobby Asmah, in Accra yesterday, said the enumerators would gather data on every person who would be in the country on the Census Night on June 27, 2021.
Some members of the Daily Graphic Editorial Conference were at the meeting.
Dr Bediako said although the use of electronic tablets and the Internet to gather data would face challenges in communities without stable internet connections, it would nevertheless enhance data quality as compared to the use of traditional paper questionnaires.
“We have used the digital approach for a number of smaller sample surveys but in this case, it’s a magnificent exercise involving at least 80,000 people that we are bringing on board to perform different functions and every part of the country has to be visited.
“So, technology is good for us but it presents some challenges also because not every community has the internet connection that you will require to easily transmit data but it’s good progress for us to have a digital census because data will be collected real-time and if there are issues, they will be reviewed while the enumerators are in the field and the corrections will be made, “ she said.
Providing a breakdown of the 80,000 officers, Dr Bediako said it would include enumerators and their supervisors, data-quality administrators at the district and regional level, monitors, IT officers and trainers.
She disclosed that the GSS had already trained a total of 1,048 master trainers and national trainers who would now train the 5,500 regional trainers who would also train over 76,000 enumerators and supervisors.
Dr Bediako added that about 6,000 enumerators and supervisors would be on standby for redeployment in case of emergencies.
“At the moment, we are in the process of training various groups, we have trained 130 master trainers; they were the ones who trained the next-level 918 national trainers who will now train regional trainers and that’s the last level of trainers and then we will have 70,000 people trained to go to the field; these are going to be supervisors and enumerators, “ she stated.
Dr Bediako said all data collected would be referenced to the Census Night which would be preceded by the listing of structures on June 13, 2021, before the enumeration of the population on June 28, 2021, which would focus on the administration of questionnaires.
“The listing of structures is a way of ensuring that every person is counted and this time because of the desire of successive governments to address the housing issue, we thought that it is a good opportunity to try and understand what the housing situation is,” she stated.
Therefore, she urged the public to bear with GSS officials when they mark structures with chalk as part of the listing because the enumerators will be relying on those markings when they begin gathering data between June 28, 2021 and July 11, 2021.
“We know some will finish a little ahead of that time but a few of them will not finish, so we will give a little time and mobilise people to help them finish in the shortest possible time. A census is not a census unless everyone is counted,” she said.
Dr Bediako said the GSS was currently engaging the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) and hoteliers to ease challenges relating to gathering data on persons who resided in gated communities or lodged in hotels.
Commending the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) for the publicity it had given to the national census, Dr Bediako said the GSS would once again be counting on that collaboration to ensure a successful exercise.
She called for support for activities relating to the census, including the ‘30 Days To Census Night Launch,’ scheduled for May 28, 2021, and press briefings of the GSS.
Responding, Mr Asmah commended the GSS for the impressive measures it had put in place to ensure that accurate data was gathered.
He said a good national census with accurate data would provide the government with effective data to plan and meet the needs of citizens.
Mr Asmah urged all stakeholders to ensure the success of the census by supporting it.
“Undoubtedly there are a number of benefits that a good census will bring to the nation. Besides accelerating the national development agenda, you also have effective data that you can rely on in the planning of issues and meeting the needs of the people.
“With such very important national assignment, there is the need for all stakeholders to get on board and support this national exercise to become a success. It will be an indictment on this country to go through this national exercise and we don’t reap the benefits thereof, he said”.
Mr Asmah also assured the GSS Board Chairperson that the GGCL would remain its key partner during the census.
“On our part, I can assure you that we are going to be key partners in this enterprise, you have mentioned a few things that are very germane. The countdown to the census is wonderful, and we will take it on board so that all of us will be on the same page and the exercise will be successful,” he said.
Members of the Daily Graphic Editorial Conference who were present at the meeting were the Ag Night Editor, Mr Samuel Bio; the Deputy Graphic Business Editor, Mr Charles Benoni-Okine; the Foreign Editor, Ms Mary Mensah, and the Political Editor, Mr Albert Salia.
Other officials in the company of the GSS Board Chairperson were the Service’s Director of Communications, Mr Kojo Asante Mensah, and the Head of Publicity, Mr Francis Nyarkoh-Larbi.