By Synd Kalimbuka
United States of America (USA) says it is optimistic of high quality data from Malawi’s 2018 Population and Housing Census (PHC).
USA Head of Statistical Bureau, Oliver Fischer said on Wednesday that America was optimistic of good quality data following the use of tablets in collecting data during this year’s census compared to the previous exercises.
Briefing members of the press Thursday at NSO Headquarters in Zomba during his three-day mission to Malawi, Fischer said the use of tablets in collecting data as compared to traditional paper-based questionnaire will improve data quality as enumerators will not have any chance to cook up data.
“Since every tablet has a GPS for location, it will prevent enumerators from cooking information into the system, as a result, there will be high quality data,” said Fischer.
He added the use of tablets will also enable National Statistical Office (NSO) to conduct the census with speed and release the results in time.
He said Malawi has been doing well in data collection during census, and this year, it will be even better because of the new system.
“We are very impressed with the dedication shown by government in conducting this census, especially on leadership and technical part,” he said.
Making clarification to the media on the challenges being experienced during the PHC, Commissioner for Statistics, Mercy Kanyuka, assured Malawians that NSO has paid allowances for enumerators and supervisors and delivered all the delayed equipment to districts on Tuesday.
“As of today [Thursday], payment for training allowances has been made to all enumerators and supervisors through Standard Bank, which will forward payments to other banks.
“Everyone received K20, 000 during the training and was remaining with K100, 000 which they will access from their banks,” said Kanyuka.
She, therefore, said the census had commenced in all the districts following deployment of enumerators to the districts.
On the delay by a day of the exercise in Mangochi, Kanyuka attributed it to the enumerators’ training that was ended on Sunday and then the enumerators had to familiarize themselves with communities on Monday, and then started data collection on Tuesday.-Mana