The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) is encouraging householders to cooperate with the officers who are out in the field gathering data for the pilot of the 2022 Population and Housing Census.
Data collection got underway on April 19 and usually lasts for approximately eight weeks.
Director-General of STATIN, Carol Coy, says a significant portion of data gathering usually takes place on the weekends. However, due to the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the curfew hours, the eight-week period may be extended.
“We will be going to about 3,500 households right across Jamaica and our interviewers will come. They will have identification and so we are asking householders to cooperate,” she said.
She assured that the informationgathered is not shared with anyone nor is it used by any other systems in Jamaica.
“It’s only for statistical purposes…and if (persons) are unsure they can call STATIN at 876-630-1600 and we will verify the name of the interviewer so that they can be comfortable with the person who they will be talking to,” she said.
Ms. Coy explained that the pilot is a dry run for an actual census but on a smaller scale, noting that the census is the largest statistical undertaking done by any country or statistical office.
The exercise is conducted once every 10 years and allows the country to take a snapshot of its population to determine how many people reside within its borders, who they are, and where they live.It counts everyone in the country.
“What we usually do prior to the census is to run the pilot to ensure and to evaluate all aspects of the census operations,” said Ms. Coy, noting that collection, analysis and assessment of data, recruiting, training and payment systems are all tested during the pilot.
She says the 2022 Census will be the first to be undertaken using tablet computers and so the pilot will also test “when the data is collected, how smoothly it’s uploaded onto our systems here at STATIN.”
The Director General said that all interviewers will be provided with personal protective equipment (PPEs) and will be maintaining social distance.
The Population and Housing Census was initially scheduled to take place in April 2021 but was pushed back to next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.