By Shadrach Aziz Kamara
Statistics Sierra Leone (Stats-SL), has on Monday 27th September 2021 commenced 13days 2021 Mid Term Population and Housing Census Pilot Training workshop for Census Field Officers at Hotel 5/10 in the East End of Freetown.
The Monitoring & Evaluation’s Manager at Stats-SL, Yeabu Tholley, said that the Pilot Census is a dress rehearsal for the main census and all systems and processes that will be used in the main census will be tested. He maintained that it is now their duty to allocate the required resources and refine methodologies to ensure that the 2021 Mid-Term Population and Housing Census is delivered efficiently and effectively, adding that the trainees are from the country’s 16 districts including the Western Urban and Rural of which he stated that over the next thirteen days, the Field Officers will be trained comprehensively on all aspects of the Census. She furthered that the training will include the concepts and definitions of the Census as well as how to carry out the fieldwork. She continued that it would also cover the duties of the field officers before, during, and after enumeration. She maintained that the training would adopt a participant-centered approach which involves lectures, face-to-face interactions, mock interviews, assessments, field practice, small group discussions (using English and local languages) to ensure that concepts, definitions, and procedures for collecting data are well understood. He said that at the end of the training, it is expected that each participant would be able to interpret and use an Enumerator Area Map, carry out a listing of structures and complete a listing form, know how to enumerate a household population, institutional population, and floating population using the CAPI system, continuing that Field Officers would be selected for fieldwork based on the following criteria: Performance in assessment, Contribution made during training sessions, Performance during field practice, Fluency in one or more local language(s) spoken in the district, General appearance, attitude, and behavior and Punctuality and attendance.
The National Census Coordinator, Abdulai Brima, said that they have already concluded the geographic mapping and how to go about the census, disclosing how it is now digital-driven and no longer paperwork. He further informed the gathering that they have been planning the census long ago in order to ensure that they are able to reach every household across the country. He assured all that the census is going to be credible during which every individual will be counted.
The census consultant, Adebayo Olatobosun said that Sierra Leone is making history among African countries in conducting a digital census of which he expressed gratitude to be part of a history-making event. He further assured all of providing credible data that will inform decision-making that will affect hundreds of thousands of Sierra Leoneans, adding that the enumerators will be using tablets to undertake the census. He concluded by encouraging field officers to take the training very seriously, saying it will help them to do their work effectively. Climaxing the event was the official opening of the 2021 Mid Term Population and Housing Census Pilot Training workshop for Census Field Officers by the Chairman Board of Directors of Statistics Sierra Leone, Moses Williams who also used the opportunity to encourage participants to treat the training very seriously as it is for the benefit of the country.