Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has been working tirelessly to ensure the success of the first-ever digital census of Pakistan. The PBS has been using digital innovations to receive data in real-time from field enumerators and monitor and analyze trends and gaps daily.
The data is then augmented by physical monitoring and fact-finding field work by Pakistan Bureau of Statistic’s Head Quarter teams, who were specially deployed in big cities for this purpose, along with regular personal monitoring visits of the Senior Management of the Bureau.
The findings are collated, and the data and lists are shared with provinces for their due action. This support provided by PBS, made possible through the digitization of the census process, is ensuring 100% coverage, making sure there is universal and inclusive coverage, and no one is left uncounted in the place they reside in.
The Efficiency of Digital Innovations
The technology and digitization of every phase and layer of the census process provide all stakeholders with confidence in a true picture of the Pakistan population emerging from this census, with authentic and credible information as shared by the people. The dashboards and geo-tagging provided to provincial governments, along with the in-depth data analysis by expert statisticians of PBS, and constant engagement with all stakeholders, including Chief Ministers, Ministers, and Key Political Leaders, add to the transparency, shared ownership, and authenticity of this census process, and accountability of the field operation teams.
A recent example of the efficacy and efficiency of the technology innovation of the first-ever digital census of Pakistan is the identification of missed households, missed members of households, and miscounting and underreporting of collective residences, especially in high rises in big cities like Karachi. This issue was shared with the relevant provincial departments and consequently resulted in a significant increase in the population count. As a result of this high-tech expertise and hard work of PBS, between April 12 and April 25, 2023 alone, the population count has increased by over 7.4 million increased all over Pakistan, with 2 million in Karachi alone. This showcases the value of digitizing the census process and also gives authenticity and credibility to the process. It also shows that working together with all stakeholders, ensuring shared ownership, providing all possible support to the provincial government to conduct their field operations, and the commitment and dedication of PBS at all levels has led to a successful census coverage and is making sure that no structure or person residing in their locations is left un-enumerated.
Implementation of the Digital Census
The first-ever digital census of Pakistan started in the last week of February 2023, after months of preparations which included the development of software, development and launch of a self-enumeration portal, dashboards, procurement of hardware, intensive training, building awareness and extensive and continuous engagement with all stakeholders, especially provincial governments who identify, train and manage the enumerators and execute the field operations. 99% of the census activities are now complete successfully and with the satisfaction of all stakeholders.
At present sweeps and deep work is being carried out to find any and all missed areas and people and counting them to make sure they are part of the country’s future and receive their basic rights.