Population census is a crucial statistical exercise that provides policymakers, researchers, and the public with accurate and reliable data on the size, structure, and distribution of a country’s population. In Ghana, the population census is conducted every ten years to provide the government and other stakeholders with the necessary data to make informed decisions. The first census in Ghana was conducted in 1891, and since then, eight censuses have been conducted. The most recent population census was conducted in 2021, and this article provides an overview of the exercise, including the devices used, features, and other important details. Here is the Meaning of 2021 Census Night in Ghana.
The Census Night is the reference date for census enumeration and all questions asked during enumeration will relate to that Night. There will be lots of Active on this day, the men in Black[ Ghana Police Service], Ambulance Service, Ghana Army, Migration Service, National Security and all the other Protective services will help carry out a strategic plan to help the trained Shortlisted Enumerators to enumerate the Floating Population and Outdoor sleepers. Persons who are in transit (long-distance travellers will be counted at major transit points such as lorry stations)
This year’s theme for the PHC Population and Housing Census is “You Count, Get counted “. For more information contact GSS.
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Overview of the 2021 Population Census in Ghana: Meaning of 2021 Census Night in Ghana
The 2021 population census in Ghana was conducted from March 15 to March 28, 2021. The exercise was conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), with support from the government and other stakeholders. The census covered all persons in Ghana, including non-Ghanaians, who had been in the country for six months or more at the time of the census.
The 2021 population census in Ghana was conducted using a digital approach, with the use of electronic devices to collect and process data. This marked a departure from the traditional paper-based approach used in previous censuses. The use of digital devices was aimed at improving the accuracy, timeliness, and efficiency of data collection and processing.
Devices Used in the 2021 Population Census in Ghana:
The 2021 population census in Ghana was conducted using two main devices, the Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) and the Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI). The CAPI device was used for face-to-face interviews, while the CATI device was used for phone interviews.
The CAPI device was a tablet-based data collection tool that allowed enumerators to enter data directly into the device during face-to-face interviews. The device was preloaded with a census questionnaire and other necessary software to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the data collected. The CAPI device also had GPS capabilities, which allowed enumerators to record the exact location of the household being interviewed.
The CATI device, on the other hand, was used for phone interviews. This device was used to conduct interviews with persons who could not be reached through face-to-face interviews, including those living in hard-to-reach areas. The CATI device was preloaded with a census questionnaire and other necessary software to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the data collected.
Features of the Devices Used in the 2021 Population Census in Ghana:
The devices used in the 2021 population census in Ghana had several features that made the exercise more efficient and accurate. Some of these features include:
- Offline Capabilities: The CAPI and CATI devices used in the census had offline capabilities, which meant that enumerators could collect data even in areas with poor or no internet connectivity.
- Real-time Data Collection: The use of digital devices allowed for real-time data collection, which meant that data was immediately available for processing and analysis.
- Automatic Skip Patterns: The devices used in the census had automatic skip patterns, which meant that the questionnaire was adapted based on the responses given by the respondent. This reduced errors and ensured that all necessary questions were asked.
- Quality Control: The devices used in the census had built-in quality control mechanisms that ensured the accuracy and completeness of the data collected. This included features such as data validation and data cleaning.
- GPS Capabilities: The CAPI device used in the census had GPS capabilities, which allowed enumerators to record the exact location of the household being interviewed. This was important for mapping and planning purposes.
- Data Encryption: The devices used in the census had data encryption capabilities, which ensured the security and confidentiality of the data collected.
Challenges Faced in the continue 2021 Population Census in Ghana:
Despite the benefits of using digital devices in the 2021 population census in Ghana, there were some challenges encountered during the exercise. One major challenge was the inadequate training of enumerators, which led to errors and inconsistencies in data collection. Some enumerators were also found to be unfamiliar with the devices, leading to delays in data collection.
Another challenge was the limited internet connectivity in some areas, which affected the real-time data collection capabilities of the devices. This meant that some data had to be collected using paper-based methods and later entered into digital devices.
There were also some concerns about the accuracy and completeness of data collected, especially in hard-to-reach areas where phone interviews were conducted. It was feared that some people might have been missed, leading to an underestimation of the population in those areas.
Despite these challenges, the 2021 population census in Ghana was largely successful, with over 49,000 enumerators deployed across the country to conduct the exercise.
Data Analysis and Use:
The data collected during the 2021 population census in Ghana is currently being analyzed by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS). The results of the census are expected to be released in the second half of 2021 and will provide crucial information for planning and development in Ghana.
The data collected during the census will be used for a variety of purposes, including:
- Resource Allocation: The data collected during the census will be used to allocate resources to various regions and districts in Ghana. This will help ensure that resources are distributed fairly and equitably across the country.
- Planning and Development: The data collected during the census will be used for planning and development purposes. This includes the planning of infrastructure, social services, and other development projects.
- Policy Formulation: The data collected during the census will be used to inform policy formulation in various sectors of the economy, including health, education, and agriculture.
The 2021 population census in Ghana was a significant exercise that provided crucial data on the size, structure, and distribution of the country’s population. The use of digital devices for data collection and processing was a major innovation that improved the accuracy and efficiency of the exercise. However, there were some challenges encountered during the exercise, including inadequate training of enumerators and limited internet connectivity in some areas.
The data collected during the census is currently being analyzed and will be used for planning, development, and policy formulation in various sectors of the economy. The results of the census will provide policymakers, researchers, and the public with valuable information on the country’s population, which will help guide decision-making in the years to come.
When it comes to planning the development of our nation, you count, and everyone counts.
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