Data collection for the fourth National Population and Housing Census that will chart the course for the country’s future planning and development will begin on November throughout the country, following its launch this week.
Done every 10 years, a national census is crucial to guide decisions on creating social services such as infrastructure, health and education.
An accurate census count is also vital for policy formulation, crisis response and area council profiling, said the Minister of Finance, Johnny Koanapo.
He conveyed that the government is considering ways to centralize census data, to avoid duplication on efforts and cost.
“Government institutions such as Electoral Officer, Civil Registration, Education Department and Area Administrators must work together to reduce the cost of operating a census,” he said.
“Vanuatu is affected by natural disasters every year. A lot of money is spent on assessments following each disaster.
“This 2020 census should provide a baseline information on the population of household and persons 2020 census thus, VNSO must be the first office for us to approach before carrying out field assessments in any future disaster .”
The national census is entrusted to Vanuatu National Statistics Office (VNSO).
When addressing the recent National Population and Housing Census launch, Minister Koanapo urged citizens and residents to participate in the census.
A large number of field workers will be deployed in November for the first phase of the census, to count all person living in the country.
According to Director Andy, around 700 field workers, 150 field supervisors and 50 headquarter supervisors will be engaged in the data collection phase for two weeks.
He said interviews will be done in person, over the phone and online.
Information will cover number of people, sex structure as well as their living conditions and other key socioeconomic characteristics.
‘Kasem everiwan. Kaontem everiwan. No livim eniwan’ is the theme of the 2020 census operation.
Director Calo said the operation cost is estimated at Vt200million will be provide by the government and donor partners such as European Union and UNFPA.
The Vanuatu government has already committed Vt100million, EU through the EDF11 is giving Vt50million for ICT and publicity while another Vt10million is given by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
Previous National Population and Housing Censuses were carried out in 1989, 1999 and 2009.
The 2020 national census launching occasion was attended by the Minister of Trades, James Bule, Minister of Justice and Community Services, Esmon Saimon including Minister Koanapo.