UBOS trains supervisors for pilot census

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The Uganda Bureau of Statistics has concluded training of district and national supervisors ahead of the pilot census activities scheduled for later this month.

The two-weeks training is aimed at equipping and empowering the supervisors with knowledge and technical capacity on how to manage the National Population and Housing Census 2023 exercise.

The supervisors are undertaking training to understand and appreciate questionnaires used for census; including household, intuitional, hotel, floating, homeless, and community questionnaires.

Some of the questions that the respondents should expect in the questionnaire include the name of the household head, the number of children, the level of education, the employment status, and the family status, among others.

The 26 participants were drawn from the 13 districts that have been selected pilot census including Kisoro, Buhweju, Bunyangabu, Buliisa, Koboko, Omoro, Kole, Nakasongola, Serere, Kotido, Mbale, Namayingo, and Tororo.

Speaking to the  trainees at Collins Hotel in Mukono, UBOS Executive Director Dr. Chris Mukiza urged the participants to listen attentively and understand the questionnaire for effective delivery of the field exercise.

"Listen, understand, and use the message appropriately," Mukiza emphasized.

UBOS is set to conduct the national census in August this year and all all preparations are underway to ensure that all those who would have slept within the boundaries of Uganda during the census night of August 24/25 are  enumerated.

Mukiza said the census exercise will provide quality, reliable, and timely statistics for planning, policy formulation, and evidence-based decision-making.

Digital technology 

During the first National Census Council meeting held at the Office of the Prime Minister, Amos Lugoloobi, the State Minister of Finance in charge of planning, informed the journalists that the 2023 Census will apply digital technology to collect data from each and every household and institution.

"This is envisaged to minimize data entry typing errors, which were common with the paper questionnaire," Lugoloobi said.

"It will also deliver the census results in real time since the information will be transmitted to the main server at the end of every interview."

He  said this will further speed up data processing and dissemination activities, but most importantly, the quality and accuracy of statistical indicators will be guaranteed.

UBOS will spend Shs132 billion to procure 130,000 tablets to be used during the main census enumeration exercise.

It is, however, understood that a few weeks ago, the Chairperson of the Finance and Planning Committee of Parliament,  Kefa Kiwanuka, presented a shortfall of Shs 160.6 billion in the current financial year 2022–23 that was meant to carry out preliminary census activities such as census launch and publicity, mapping, recruitment, and training of field staff, among others.

Mapping

Dr. Mukiza said that for the first time in Uganda’s history, UBOS was mapping the whole country using electronic gadgets (tablets) with preloaded information to allow the entry of data and information for easy data management.

He said mapping will establish the number of enumeration areas and, therefore, determine the number of enumerators that shall be required to collect data.

According to the UBOS ED, some of the key information that is being collected under the mapping exercise includes the geocode, which will eventually become relevant in locating the various households, institutions, and other relevant facilities around the country.

The mapping exercise will entirely provide up-to date information on social amenities, household location, administrative units, and physical features. In addition, it will ensure that each enumeration area has its own digital map.

It will further determine the period that an enumerator may be required to complete collecting data in a particular enumeration area.

UBOS has so far mapped 40% of the districts, while others are partially done; however, the focus and efforts is now to ensure that the rest of the areas are completed by July before particular area maps can be produced.

Dr. Mukiza said that due to the complexities and various dynamics within the cities, which is characterised by constant movement of people from one location to another, the cities will be mapped a month before the census enumeration. This is intentionally done to ensure the availability of accurate and timely information.

He further noted that to ensure data quality, census enumeration will take 10 days, and one supervisor will oversee only five enumerators.

Sackings 

Meanwhile, it is understood that the UBOS board has raised red tape with some of its errant staff on issues of gross misconduct, sponsoring and uttering false and malicious statements with intention to damage the corporate image of the bureau, undermine credibility of its leadership and discredit statistical products.

Henry Dhikusooka, a former principal officer in the Department of Risk Management, and John Mayende, formerly the  head of Department of Outreach and Quality Assurance, have been dismissed in line with the UBOS human resource policy and in support of other public service standard guidelines required of serving government officers.

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