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Census goes digital

The Zimbabwe National Population Census next year will for the first time go digital, Government has announced.

The census will be concluded before the end of 2022 in conformity with the Constitution, paving way for the delimitation of constituency boundaries by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) ahead of the 2023 harmonised elections.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa last week outlined measures for the upcoming census which were approved by Cabinet.

“Government assures the nation that, in spite of preparations for the exercise having been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the country remains on course to conduct the census within the prescribed timeframe for the 2023 elections,” she said. 

The Ministry of Local Government and Public Works is expected to conclude the boundary proclamations for wards, districts and provinces in order to ensure that enumeration areas are correctly assigned. 

Thereafter, the census field mapping exercise can be finalised before actual enumeration proceeds. 

Census field mapping involves subdividing the whole country into numeration areas with an average of 80 to 120 households. 

“Cabinet is pleased to report that 55 percent of the country has so far been successfully mapped, despite up to 10 months of programmed time having been lost to Covid-19 restrictions,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

For the first time in the history of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency (ZIMSTAT) will go paperless during census enumeration since the Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) technique will be employed during data collection. 

Given that this is the first time Zimbabwe will use the paperless CAPI technique, more than one pilot census will be run to test the technology, with re-tests being conducted. 

In the mapping exercise people have been visited by uniformed census staff, who all have proper ID cards, using tablets to enter basic data, little more than the number of people in each flat or house visited.

source:herald

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