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Geo-coded population census in Bangladesh

Bangladesh: Bangladesh is going to use digital enumeration maps and a geo-coding system for the first time in holding the 5th Population and Housing Census in the country. “Preparation is going on in full swing to hold the census in five days in March next year,” said Md Shahjahan Ali Mollah, Director General, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).

 “Digital enumeration maps and the computerised geo-coding system will be used to collect the data and disseminate results simultaneously in hard and soft formats as well as on the web page,” continued Shahjahan. Further, he added that over 70,000 maps, made by aerial photographs, containing each mouja and union across the country would be used in conducting the census.

To conduct the census, Bangladesh will be divided into 3,30,000 enumeration areas, each with about 120 households, the BBS chief said adding it will engage 2,700 zonal officers, 530 upazila or thana coordinators, 120 district, 35 regional and 10 divisional coordinators.

There will be 60,000 supervisors to be selected from the local educated youths to work across the country. One supervisor will be engaged for 6 to 7 enumerators in data collection.

The census will be conducted in three phases. The first one will be the main census for collecting basic characteristics of all households and population of the country. In the second phase, post-enumeration quality check will be conducted to determine the coverage and content error of the main census. Thirdly, a sample census-collection of data from about one percent household with a long questionnaire on detailed socio- economic characteristics will be done to supplement the main census.

The present government has taken a number of steps to strengthen the capacity of the state-run BBS to conduct the population and housing census. The Statistics Division has been geared up to produce and provide better data, the DG said. “Everybody will have their photographs, fingerprints in digital format to promote digital Bangladesh by 2021.”

According to the election pledge of the government, he said, the prime minister is keen to establish a national population register (NPR) and citizens’ database for everyone of the country. Ensuring reliable data, he said, the US Census Bureau is providing modern software and scanner while the European Union (EU) and UNFPA are giving financial assistance side by side with the Bangladesh government.

Of the total funding for conducting the population and housing census-2011, Mollah said the government is providing about Taka 145 crore while the EU and UNFPA Taka 102 crore.

Source: BSS