Ghana Statistical Services is currently carrying out a trial census in a few selected districts across Ghana. Thus, preparing for the decennial census scheduled to take place in March 2020
During the ongoing trial, field workers were equipped with a tablet containing a digital neighborhood map to document answers to questionnaires. The collected data are sent in real time to the central server via an app on the tablet for the coalition.
The government of Ghana will collate data from the census to assign Ghanaians unique ID numbers and a formal addressing system. They will be able to properly allocate funds and implement policies that are beneficial to the citizenry. Policies around taxation, social welfare, and fund allocations will be taken from a better standpoint.
The government has allocated $84 million for Ghana Statistical Services (GSS) to carry out the census. GSS currently has about 300 staff and will employ up to 60000 ad-hoc field workers for the three weeks long census. The people will be asked questions ranging from the size of household, literacy levels, basic amenities to nationality, migration, and disability status. Before the March census, an Implementation Committee will mobilize and educate them on census requirements and procedures.
It will take a lot of effort for Ghana to successfully execute a digital census. In 2010, the government had to postpone the census from March to September because of insufficient funds. Presently, the GSS is yet to procure the 60000 gadgets needed for the 2020 census. Also, tablets for the trial census needs to be charged after an hour of active use. In view of these challenges, GSS has partnered with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
Malawi conducted its first digital census last year with the support of UNFPA. Kenya has plans to conduct digital census later this year. Ethiopia, on the other hand, postponed an already scheduled digital census to be held in April 2019 due to recurrent natural disasters and security challenges.
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