South Asia’s Largest Digital Census Undertaking Launches with Great Success in Pakistan – A Milestone Achievement

Business Tech and Telecom

Pakistan Bureau of Statistics has launched the 7th Housing and Population census process, which started on February 20, 2023, and offers the option to self-enumerate through a specially designed portal. Over 4 million people have visited the portal in just a few days, and this is the first-ever digital census in South Asia. The self-enumeration option will continue till March 3, 2023, while field enumeration will start on March 1, 2023. Mr. Muhammad Sarwar Gondal, Member (Support Services/Resource Management) of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, shared detailed information about the digitised census approach and methodology in a press conference held in Islamabad. He also explained the extensive system devised for the digital census after comparative studies of the region/globe and taking all stakeholders into confidence.

495 census support centers have been established all over Pakistan fully equipped with IT facilities, and 121,000 field staff provided from provincial governments have been extensively trained. 126,000 tablets with SIMs have been provided for secure transformation of data. There are some minor issues that have been reported, which are being communicated to NADRA, who is taking care of the technology solutions behind the census.

Mr. Gondal also responded to concerns being raised from Sindh, Karachi, Balochistan, and other quarters about the census process. He clarified that extensive and intensive consultations were held at all levels, especially with provincial stakeholders, to explain the complete digital process, and the apprehensions being raised are due to a lack of understanding of what the census process entails. He urged people to be careful of fake news and misinformation and emphasized that any slander to the national census is dishonesty to the country and to the people.

Mr. Gondal also shared the details of how the safety and security of the data has been secured, and assured that over 100,000 fully trained enumerators will be using tablets to fill out census information visiting door to door, while geo-tagging the structures.

Pakistan Bureau of Statistics aims to provide credible, transparent, and timely data for decision-making through the first-ever digital census. The digitization of the census guarantees transparency, accountability, and efficiency, and it is our national duty to participate in the census actively.

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