Population and Housing Censuses (PHCs) are a principal means of collecting basic population and housing data which serves as a source of statistical information for economic, social development planning and informs policies implemented to address the needs of the citizens.
Population censuses have been conducted in Ghana since 1891 with approximately ten-year intervals. Though the fifth census was scheduled for 2020, it was disrupted due to the emergence of the pandemic.
Ghana’s 2021 PHC has employed the use of technology and new methodologies which is a requirement by the United Nations Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses. The digital PHC involves the use of Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) devices for electronic data capture and Geographic Positioning Systems (GPS) for recording coordinates of structures as recommended by the United Nations.
For quality assurance, UNFPA Ghana with support from Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) have deployed about 40 international independent monitors from different countries in West Africa to observe and report on the data collection procedures and field operations in the ongoing 2021 PHC in Ghana.
To partake in the census exercise, I joined a team of enumerators in two enumeration areas in the Korle Klottey Municipal Assembly, namely, Osu and Adabraka in Greater Accra Region. The purpose of the monitoring exercise is to also ensure it meets international standards, document best practices, and share lessons learned with other countries to support their own census processes.
With about 51,935 enumeration areas nationwide, every district has a team of 4 people; the District Officer, Data Monitor Officer, District IT Support, and District Field Supervisor to ensure the coordination of activities in the enumeration areas in the various districts. Hence, when challenges are encountered by the enumeration teams in the field, they are reported to the technical teams who are situated in the District census offices for ratification. If the issue is not resolved at the district level, it is transferred to the regional level and subsequently to the HQ if it is beyond the region.
Ghana’s census is everybody’s business. It takes effective partnership, hence, the need for all and sundry to partake in the exercise as a cooperative interviewee, an enumerator, supervisor, district census officer, data and IT monitor and technical advisor.
“A perfect census will benefit the country. It provides relevant data about the people and helps government respond to the needs of the people.”
Ghana’s 2021 PHC commenced on June 28 and scheduled to be completed by July 11. You Count, Get Counted!!