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LISGIS Needs Over US$12m To Conduct 2022 Census

The Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) is requesting US$12,575,000 to conduct the 2022 National Housing & Population Census (NHPC) in March.
LISGIS Director-general Francis Wreh, Deputy director-general Wilmot Smith and senior management team made three appearances at the legislature’s budget deliberation to reemphasize why funding must be made available to conduct a census for statistical and developmental purposes.
The statistics house has carved the 15 counties into 822 enumeration areas (EAs) with 649 clans demarcated while 173 EAs are outstanding with Lofa, Gbarpolu and Grand Kru Counties completely demarcated.
A pre-census test to test the adequacy of all instruments such as the EA maps (how correct are they, hope not misleading), test the questionnaire, test our logistical preparation, have ideas of what means of transportation enumerators would require to reach the nook and crannies of Liberia, how many days will be considered adequate for the enumeration (total coverage), public awareness, test receptivity and buy in of our stakeholders (public) gets underway this week.
But LISGIS can’t carry out a successful census without budgetary support ahead of mapping and other field work that will ensure the collection of holistic data.
LISGIS successfully conducted the last census in March 2008 with funding made available by the government and international partners.
Smith believes adequate resources are required to ensure enough data are provided quickly in order for decisions to be made.
“For the pretest, we have 268 EAs and 76 supervision areas. So total required human resource for the field enumeration is 244 but we might need to recruit some higher level officers for quality control.
“We may end up with about 15,000 persons for the census and required about 2,780 supervisors. It is going to be a 100-percent digital census with Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI methodology for the de-facto enumeration),” Smith explained.
At the legislature, Wreh disclosed that LISGIS trained 192 mapping personnel for a month in February 2020 but they couldn’t be deployed due to Covid-19 forcing a refresher in February 2021.
They were finally deployed in April 2021 to conduct the National Geographic Planning scheduled for seven months.
According to a factsheet presented to the lawmakers, the mapping has to be extended because the projected 10,500 EAs for 2018 is no longer valid.
Wreh said the annual budget was reduced, which impacted a lot of their operations including routine data collection, analysis, publication, training of statistical staff and effective running of its main and county offices.
In addition to the budgetary deliberation, Smith will appear on ELBC 99.9 FM on 13 December, which will be simulcast on Prime 105.5 FM, Bana FM, Truth 96.1 FM, Okay 99.9 FM and Freedom 89.9 FM, to create awareness.
“The law provides that we should conduct census after every 10 years. So we are late by three years. We need to conduct for a number of reasons”.
“The government has been engaging with lots of development partners, who will need qualified statistical information. Liberia’s scorecard on the Millennium Challenge Corporation, World Bank and International Monetary Fund will greatly improve with accurate data collection and dissemination”.
“The census, when conducted, will tell us how many doctors and teachers, for example, are in Liberia. So you don’t need the Ministries of Health and Education to conduct surveys or censuses,” said Smith.
Questionnaires have been designed and tested using the census and survey processing system with 281 enumeration areas having been sampled nationwide for the pre-test.
Finance and Development Minister Samuel Tweah promised government’s fullest support during the training of trainers on 6 October.
“The 2022 census disbursement will be done as early in February to ensure that the census is delivered in time. The government can’t achieve its development without the conduct of the census that will provide the needed data to inform decisions making in terms of development,” said Tweah.
LISGIS was established by an act of the legislature on 22 July 2004 as the prime and authoritative agency responsible for collecting, managing, coordinating, supervising, evaluating, analyzing, disseminating and setting quality standards for statistical associated geo-information for the nation’s overall socio-economic reconstruction and development.
It therefore needs the support of national and international stakeholders to effectively carryout its mandate as provided for in the law that established it as the government’s central repository of information and data collection.

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