No date set to publish census findings; exercise not complete – STATIN Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Despite updating the country on what it said were “unprecedented” challenges affecting the 2022 Population and Housing Census, officials from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) were unable to confirm when the census will be completed and its findings published locally.

At a press conference on Thursday, STATIN’s Director General, Carol Coy, explained that the data-collection phase using contract workers has ended, and efforts are being made to pay the workers, including census takers and supervisors.

She said the data collection phase was marred by the resignation and retirement of some key personnel; the attrition of census takers; issues relative to training and payment delays; lack of cooperation from some respondents; and issues stemming from the proliferation of gated communities.

STATIN’s Deputy Director General, Leesha Delatie-Budair, in responding to specific questions on the completion of the census, clarified the institute’s position relative to the national census.

“The census is not complete. What we have stopped is the main face-to-face data collection,” she insisted.

It was revealed that counting has been completed in 70 per cent of the country’s 6,111 enumeration districts, from which STATIN required 7,000 people to collect data.

The data collection process was set to be completed in December of 2022 after commencing in September of that year. However, various challenges saw the deadline being pushed to March of 2023, but counting remains ongoing.

“We are in the process right now of determining the post-enumeration activities,” Delatie-Budair said.

“So for every round of census that has ever happened in Jamaica, you have the main data collection.

“Following the main data collection, what usually happens is that there is an assessment of the under-coverage, and, if necessary, there’s supplementary activities,” she explained.

In noting the myriad of information in the public domain on the challenges relative to Jamaica’s 15th census, Delatie-Budair noted that “all countries” have been having challenges with conducting their respective census exercises.

“In the last census, our (Jamaica’s) coverage rate was 80 something per cent, but what we’re saying is that we are continuously assessing what’s happening, we are continuously adjusting in light of the challenges that come up, and we’re also ensuring that the conduct of the census is consistent with international standards and best practices,” she assured.

Meanwhile, Delatie-Budair said STATIN will provide periodic updates on the process, especially at its quarterly press briefings.

“The census is still being processed, so…, at this point in time, we would not be releasing a date for the publication of the census,” she stated.

In elaborating on the decision not to release a date for publishing the census, she said: “This census has been so unprecedented in the sense that there are so many unforeseen challenges that we have encountered, that (it) would be premature of us to give a date right now.

“However, we promise to provide the updates at our quarterly press conferences,” added Delatie-Budair.

Based on the original timeline, the census was scheduled to be executed in April 2021. However, with the onset of the COVID pandemic, the census was postponed to 2022.