LISGIS Proposes March 2021
-To Hold Census In Liberia
The Director General of the Liberia Institute Of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) has said a proclamation is now required from the office of the President to the Legislature requesting a Joint Resolution authorizing the Executive Branch to conduct the next national housing and population census at a specified date, preferably March 8,2021.According to LISGIS Director General Francis F.Wreh, March 2021 is ideal for several reasons, noting that it will afford time needed to conduct a national Geographic Planning System (GPS) which is expected to begin in early January, 2020 and will last for a period of at least 10 months.
He said this activity precedes the main census enumeration, he said, adding that one of the essences the GPS is to delineate boundaries of newly-created cities, clans, districts and/or boroughs across the country and update the country’s administration database.
He added that all physical structures across the country will have to be geo- referenced also, while the GPS will inform us of the number of enumeration areas across the country which will serve as the basis upon which enumerators will be recruited for the main census.
He said there are major procurement activities of goods (vehicles and other equipment) and services (local and international expertise) that are ongoing, adding that such an activity is often tedious and time consuming as it is guided by laws.
Director Wreh noted that sufficient time is also needed for the conduct of a pilot census, which is again an acceptable practice for census understanding and will inform everyone of the need for improvement and/or recalibration of the methods and tools to be used for the main enumeration.
He added that March is the height of the dry season during which time road connectivity across the country is best for travels and deployment of field workers across the country, recalling that this month will also coincide with the period of the conduct of the 2008 census.
He stated that while it is true that some resources have been raised from government and partners, there is still need for more resource mobilization given the overall cost of the project, noting that part of the monies raised is now being used to carry out preparatory activities.
“It is noteworthy to mention here that the recruitment of the field mapping assistants across the country has already been done and the procurement of vehicles and GPS equipment to ensure a very successful digital census, the hiring of international and local experts to carry out the GIS Data processing, publicity’ and other key components of the census are ongoing,” he said.
Wreh further stated that cognizant of the slight delay in the conduct of the National Housing and Population Census within the usual 10-year interval, Liberia remains within the 2029 round of population censuses (2015-2024)S enshrined in the United Nations Principle and Recommendation for census taking.