Census data entry work in progress

Work on data entry for the 2019 National Population and Housing Census is progressing at the National Statistics Office/Census Office in Honiara.

The data entry task follows registration of census filled forms, census data quality checks and coding.

These processes are crucial aspect in any census major operation to make sure information that will be made available in the final report is of eminence.

Data entry officers are employed on short-term contract basis and have begun work since last week.

Most are experienced officers and had been engaged by the National Statistics Office (NSO) in previous data entry jobs. Only few are new ones and had gone through basic trainings facilitated by NSO staff.

Government Statistician and Census Commissioner Douglas Kimi said everything is progressing well since work on the processes started fortnight ago.

“No matter how well a census or a survey is organized, it is challenging to assure that quality data is collected. Therefore, it is very important to arrange various data checks or procedures before data are prepared for final report analysis and dissemination to the public,” Mr. Kimi reiterated.

Mr. Kimi then thanked those who have been part of the Census project since its initial stage in 2019 and also encouraged the officers to give their best to the task they have been assigned.

The Solomon Islands 2019 National Population and Housing Census was conducted from 4th November to 8th December last year.

It was the biggest ever census operation with about 3,000 field officers (enumerators and supervisors) being recruited by the Census Office and carried out the data collection across the country compared to previous censuses, and in a short period of time.

Also, it is the biggest-ever census attempted in our development history in terms of the scope and nature of questions being asked from the current population. These include questions about the socio-economic and demographic characteristics of individuals within private households and non-private dwellings such as age, gender, religion, occupation, education, disability, economic activity financial inclusion, natural disaster and even a question on the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) was asked.

Solomon Islands have its first census count in 1970, the second was in 1976, and again in 1986, 1999, 2009 and the latest and the sixth one in the series was in 2019.

Census is the official count of how many people and dwellings there are in the country (SI). It gives a unique snapshot of our communities. Information from the census helps determine how government funding is spent in the community.

The government uses the data collected during the exercise for planning of development programmes. It is also important for the budget allocation process for the national government, and will be used in future planning, as well as monitor the progress of government development programs.

The data is also used by National and International agencies to inform critical decisions on diverse issues.

A preliminary count of the 2019 National Population census is anticipated for mid-2020 while the comprehensive national analysis report is planned for release mid next year, 2021 to be followed by specialised policy-demanded topical analysis such as gender, fertility etc.

Census data entry work in progress
Census data entry officers at work.