Different levels of govt asked to coordinate for census

09 November, 2021

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KATHMANDU :

Nepal Policy Institute, established with the active involvement of the Nepali diaspora as an international think tank, recently organised a virtual policy dialogue session on the upcoming census.

The objective of the dialogue session was to underline the importance of the census in policy-making processes specifically, and for development in general. It also served to highlight the need of quality and completeness of the census.

The current national census exercise (the 12th in this series) will commence on November 11 and end on November 21. Chair of the NPI Board of Directors Khagendra Dhakal said the census exercise offered an opportunity to generate useful information and data that would help in broader policy analysis and research.

He focused on a ‘whole-of-society approach’ that would involve government entities, civil society, political parties, and the general population to ensure that the census was a meaningful exercise. This, he said, also called for a great degree of collaboration and coordination among the different levels of government.

Dhakal called on the Central Bureau of Statistics to coordinate among entities outside Nepal so that the census would be able to accurately capture all relevant information on people. Member of the Board of Directors of NPI Sharu Joshi mentioned that NPI’s research had shown almost 70 per cent of Nepalis residing abroad had little to no knowledge of what was transpiring in the country.

“The fact that the census contains 80 questions,” she opined, “Means that the government is very keen on capturing as much relevant information as possible. As this is the first census to be done after the introduction of the federal form of government,” she said, adding that this was an important milestone towards institutionalising federalism in the country.

Deputy Director General of the Central Bureau of Statistics Hem Raj Regmi, said it was a challenge to carry out the census, particularly as the CBI, with a staff size of 500 officials, would need to coordinate the work of over 500 enumerators and provide training to all of them and have them ready to conduct the exercise in 15 days. He said privacy issues in the census had been taken into account, and urged everyone to provide information freely.

A total of 9,000 supervisors have also been trained, as have been the 40,000 individuals who will be collecting data. Given that the census contains 80 questions, it has been termed ‘weighty’ but as it contributes to a range of variables, as well as the SDG indicators, this has been deemed appropriate.

Dharam KC, international coordinator for MigWorks (based in Saudi Arabia) pointed out that the census should also seek definitive information on returnee migrants, such as from India. Even though the number of Nepalis residing abroad number in the millions, there is no official record of this.

Published Date: 09 November, 2021

Source: The Himalayan Times

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