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Lack of experience, training leaves data ‘compromised’

By Harlyne Joku PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Aug. 9, 2011) - We have lost the plot in the 2011 census," a former Census boss Ben Kiele has commented about the conduct of the 2011 National Population and Housing Census in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Mr. Kiele said the 2011 Census is a failed one because the senior management officers of the National Statistical Office are not well versed experienced in conducting previous census and surveys.

Hence, no proper listing, training, logistics and planning was done prior to the census enumeration which has resulted in many problems faced during the recent Census, Mr. Kiele told the Post-Courier yesterday.

He said the real definition of a census is ‘a cross section count of a population at one point in time’. The date set for the national census is July 10 every year and the duration is five days. For the case of the 2011 Census, it has gone over a week.

"In this 2011 census, the census started on the eve of July 10. But enumerations have not been completed therefore it has become a rolling Census, therefore a failed census. The census figures in a rolling census become defective in statistical terms and the data becomes unreliable for planning," Mr. Kiele said.

A press statement from the National Statistical Office (NSO) sent last Friday stated that enumerations for the 2011 National Population and Housing Census have come to an end in almost all Local Level Governments (LLGs) in the country but also added ‘a few LLGs (Local Level Governments) have in fact completed that task’.

The statement further explained that all Census activities in the provinces will be completed and returned to the national census office in Port Moresby by the end of this month.

The NSO statement said the bulk of quality controllers are into phase now which is the mop-up and tally up of the households and workloads in LLGs.

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