Lusaka, 20-23 March 2017: The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) in collaboration with the Central Statistical Office of Zambia, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) is facilitating a “2020 Global Round of Censuses” regional training for East and Southern African Member States (SADC) in Lusaka, Zambia from 20 -23 March 2017.
Attended by 8 Member Countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe), the training is aimed at introducing recently revised international guidelines, standards, concepts and methods to support national planning and preparations for the 2020 round of Population and Housing Censuses. The training is also providing a forum for sharing national experiences and good practices in the use of contemporary technologies for Census data collection.
Results of Population and Housing Censuses are central to knowledge management in any country. They provide data used for evidence-based planning and in monitoring progress made towards achieving national, regional and global development agenda’s
Speaking during the official launch of the training on 21 March 2016, Permanent Secretary – Development Cooperation, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Zambian Ministry of Development Planning, Dr. Auxilia Ponga, noted the central role of national Censuses in advancing sustainable national and regional development.
"Results of Population and Housing Censuses are central to knowledge management in any country. They provide data used for evidence-based planning and in monitoring progress made towards achieving national, regional and global development agenda’s. As such, the importance of this regional training cannot be over-emphasized as it will not only share guidance on Census procedures, but will also provide an opportunity for member states to share experiences and best practices” she said.
Dr. Ponga further appreciated the United Nations Statistics Division’s recognition of Zambia as a partner in hosting the regional training, as part of the World Programme on Population and Housing Census, adding that “Zambia is one of the few African Countries that have followed the decennial Census calendar [undertaking of Census every 10 years]”.
If we are to achieve sustainable progress, today and every day going forward, we all, in our respective roles need to collectively commit to investing resources both financial and human, to ensure timely, quality and accurate data, and evidence to inform development of the African people – particularly women and young people
Also speaking at the official launch, UNFPA Zambia Representative Dr. Mary Otieno highlighted the central role of quality and accurate data in driving the ambitious and far reaching 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as Africa’s Agenda 2063.
“Over five decades ago - when several SADC Member States embarked on the path towards peace, unity and freedom - our central mission as a region was to build a better life for all women, men and our future generations. In this regard, the region has continued to seek prosperity and sustainable development over the years - a process which has recognized the central role of quality and accurate data to drive this agenda” she said.
Dr. Otieno further reaffirmed UNFPA’s support to Member States, towards improving the processing, in-depth analysis and dissemination of timely, quality and accurate Census data.
“If we are to achieve sustainable progress, today and every day going forward, we all, in our respective roles need to collectively commit to investing resources both financial and human, to ensure timely, quality and accurate data, and evidence to inform development of the African people – particularly women and young people. Population and Housing Censuses are a fundamental component of any nation’s heritage and collective knowledge - critical for good governance, development planning, risk reduction and crisis response, social welfare programmes and business market analyses” Dr. Otieno added.
2020 World Population and Housing Census Programme
The 2020 World Population and Housing Census Programme was approved by the Statistical Commission at its 46th session and adopted by the United Nations Economic and Social Council. The Programme recognizes population and housing censuses as one of the primary sources of data needed for formulating, implementing and monitoring policies and programmes aimed at inclusive socioeconomic development and environmental sustainability.
It further recognizes population and housing censuses as an important source for supplying disaggregated data needed for the measurement of progress of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially in the context of assessing the situation of people by income, sex, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability and geographic location, or other characteristics.
The 2020 World Population and Housing Census Programme comprises a number of inter-related objectives and activities aimed at ensuring, among others, that Member States conduct at least one population and housing census during the period from 2015 to 2024; and that Member States set quality standards for the conduct and evaluation of population and housing censuses in order to uphold the integrity, reliability, accuracy and value of the population and housing census results.