(Karachi Correspondent) – Pakistan’s seventh digital population and housing census began yesterday while a self-enumeration portal was launched on 20th February and will close officially on 3rd March (date extended).
Pakistan Bureau of Statistics’ self-enumeration portal received four million clicks during the seventh digital census in the last few days. Until March 3 the self-enumeration option through the online portal launched on February 20 will continue until March 3. Sarwar Gondal a member of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics said that in just a few days, the response had been ‘very great’.
South Asia’s first digital census he noted was the first of its kind. The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) which handles the technology solutions behind the census has been informed of some minor issues reported he admitted.
Mr. Muhammad Sarwar Gondal the Official Spokesperson of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) and Member Support Services Resource Management (SSRM) shared at a press conference held today in Islamabad that, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics is proud that people are participating actively and stakeholders are appreciating and supporting Pakistan’s first-ever digital census.
As with any new technology initiative, he said some minor issues have been reported which have been shared with National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) which is handling the census technology solutions. In addition to helping National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) improve its systems, Mr. Gondal was thankful for the positive feedback.
According to Mr. Gondal a Member of the Support Services Resource Management (SSRM) Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) concerns were being raised about the process from Sindh especially Karachi Balochistan and a few other places. According to Sarwar Gondal a Member of Support Services Resource Management (SSRM), extensive and intensive consultations were conducted at various levels prior to the census particularly with provincial stakeholders to explain the entire process of digitization.
A lack of understanding of what the census process entails is causing the apprehensions being raised. As part of its commitment to transparency and ensuring that the census is held transparently counting everyone living in Pakistan at the location where they live the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics is once again engaging with stakeholders to explain the facts and clear up all misunderstandings. For this reason, a digitized methodology was chosen.
Mr. Gondal explained the census objective as follows:
The General Statistics Reorganization Act 2011 and the United Nations (UN) Conventions make it clear that the census is a national duty that informs policymaking future planning and development to ensure the country’s progress. Every Pakistani citizen is required to participate in the census and to provide reliable information.
Mr. Muhammad Sarwar Gondal a member of the Support Services Resource Management (SSRM) stressed the fact that spreading fake news or misinformation for any purpose is a criminal offense, and that politicizing it or using it to set agendas is dishonesty to the country and its citizens. As a nation, we have a duty to conduct a successful digital census.
In keeping with its main mandate and following the decision of the Council of Common Interest (CCI) the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics is conducting the first-ever digital census to provide credible transparent and timely data for decision-making. Transparency and accountability and efficiency are guaranteed by digitizing the census.
In response to a question about concerns raised about the process in Sindh particularly Karachi Balochistan, and a few other areas Mr. Gondal explained that extensive and extensive consultations were held before the census particularly with provincial stakeholders to explain the full digital process.
As a response to questions, Mr. Gondal also provided details about how the safety and security of data had been secured in response to the apprehensions raised due to a lack of understanding of what the census process entails. As he explained over 100,000 fully trained enumerators will visit door-to-door and complete the census information with tablets while geo-tagging the structures.