ISLAMABAD (Eshfak Mughal):- The Advisory Committee of the Population and Housing Census has recommended to the Govt. to establish National Census Coordination Centre (N3C) for increasing credibility and better coordination between Provinces and Federation during the process of upcoming Census.

The Committee has completed its recommendations for the upcoming Population and Housing Census which will be conducted by digitally instead of manual. Yesterday, the Council of Common Interest (CCI) has direct to conduct 7th Population and Housing Census in the end of the current year.      

The Committee proposed that for Proper Coordination, Effective Monitoring, Credibility and Ownership of whole census process, National Census Coordination Center (N3C) (model of NCOC) may be established to oversee the Coordination & Management of Census and for taking appropriate policy decisions with following hierarchy: –

A National Census Coordination Centre (N3C) will also be equipped with well-designed multi-purpose dashboards for monitoring, trend analysis and day-to-day decision making for successful completion of the National Task.

Since, the 7th Population & Housing Census is going to be conducted digitally first time in the country, therefore, in order to keep the process smooth and ensuring availability of system alive 24/7, and end user and field-enumerator support, Dedicated Census Support Centers will be established at Tehsil level. These centers will act as backbone for census field operations having main responsibilities of Handing/ Taking of handheld devices, Installation & Configuration of Apps etc. Moreover, they will perform every support function in the field. The Census Support Centers will also act as Control Room and Complaint Inquiry Office etc.

A mechanism may be designed to authorize general public to view their respective enumeration data through secure login/password during census activity for their satisfaction / verification (if required) as was demanded by the Technical Committee on Data Processing of Sindh Government during 6th Population & Housing Census. Respondent can report about discrepancy in his data to Census Support Centre established at Tehsil Level (if any). Call Centers equipped with Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology may be adopted for not only complaint resolution but also for data validation and verification.

The Committee recommended that it was found that the role of armed forces in Censuses was not clearly defined in the process and army was also involved in parallel data collection, which is against the International Standards. It is worth mentioning that as per International Standard, census should be conducted by independent Civil body, and there should be no role of any other agency, therefore Parallel data collection is against the UN principals and should be avoided.

Keeping in view the particular ground realities of Pakistan the committee is of view that as security conditions have been considerably improved, therefore blanket decision of used of Armed Forces in the 7th Population & Housing Census may be avoided and hybrid area-specific approach may be adopted by consulting all provinces. To provide security and to avoid any inconvenience during the process, three tie security arrangements can be made. Areas with no security issues can be dealt by the enumerators alone, however the District Management may be directed to depute law and enforcement agencies during census process to avoid any unforeseen events. Police can accompany enumerators in areas of some concern, and army may be deputed at District/ Tehsil level as the Rapid Response Force.  

Army be involved to provide security in areas where the security situation is of a bigger concern. However, keeping in view the importance of matter, Involvement of Armed Forces regarding security issue may particularly be discussed with provinces and political parties and decision may be taken with consensus to avoid any controversy in the future.

Original Results of the Census will be locked with reference dates of Census. However, for smart updation of records under the UN Principals the general masses will be informed through media / portal and social media to update their records through a well-designed customized web-application using authentication code. This exercise will help to real time updation of records like Births, Death, Education and other important indicators In-line with afore UN principals. This innovative technique will help to create deferent insights/ reports of multiple updated indicators. By adopting this mechanism PBS will be enabled to design short surveys following the census in efficient, cost effective and timely manner.

The committee reviewed that approximately 200,000 field staff was hired for the 6th Population & Housing Census with ten percent reserve staff. Further after reviewing the issues faced in the 6th Population & Housing Census & different countries experiences. The committee proposed to increase the reserve staff from 10 percent to 15 percent and also involve more female enumerators for quality data collection and option of using LHW may be explored as they are usually local and have better understanding of the socio context of area especially for data collection of Sample form. The committee also suggested to the government to involvement of Graduate level students’ along with teachers may be made for training, data collection & monitoring. Students may be hired from all over the Pakistan through Higher Education commission(HEC).

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