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No Files and Pens: Uganda’s 2024 Census Goes Digital :: Uganda Radionetwork

No Files and Pens: Uganda’s 2024 Census Goes Digital

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It will be the first paperless census in Uganda conducted on hand-held electronic devices or tablets in all the districts.
12 Dec 2023 20:40
President Yoweri Museveni launched the process for the 2024 National Population and Housing Census to be held on 10th May 2024

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Enumerators for the 2024 national census slated for May 2024 will not carry files and pens as it was in the past.

The 2024 national population and Housing census will be the first paperless census in Uganda conducted on hand-held electronic devices or tablets in all the districts. 

The Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) Executive Director, Dr. ChrisNdatira Mukiza said the census will be held from the night of 9th May 2024.  

He said Uganda like other countries has decided to go digital in conducting the census. He confirmed that the government will spend over 137 billion shillings to purchase tablets that will be used in the enumeration.  UBOS spent 11 billion shillings in the last financial year for preparations. It was allocated 320.9 billion this financial year and it says it has a deficit of 13 billion which hopes can be given by development partners 

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Apart from using tables and other computer-assisted devices and applications, they are using geo-referenced mapping. And that so far close to 90% of the country has been mapped. 

The remaining areas according to Mukiza are cities like Kampala. “And the mapping we are doing is completely geo-referenced. We can now know where a household that has been mapped is located. Instead of earlier mapping, we were only getting boundaries without knowing how many households are in the area” Mukiza explained.   

A number of questionnaires have already been developed to be conducted at household, community, and institutional levels.

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Army, Police, and prisons to enumerate themselves Unlike in the past, when the enumerators visited barracks of UPDF, Police, and Prisons to collect data, Mukiza said those institutions will with the aid of technology carry out their enumeration for the institutional questionnaire.

The upcoming national population and housing census will be the 11th one since Uganda got its independence

. “The actual counting will involve counting people and their characteristics. The characteristics include education status, health status, employment status, kind of economic activity. And we shall look at dwelling houses by type,” Mukiza further explained. 

The main output of the census enumeration will be the total population of the country, and population distribution by sex, age, tribe, and religion. It will also come up with the social, and economic status of the population, level of education, and quality of health. 

The Census Road MP. The Bureau has promised to give the country preliminary results of the census in June 2024 or one month after the census is held. Information about the population of Uganda, sex distribution, and population per district. The final results will be released in December 2024. 

“So this will be the record time because we have been taking 2-3 years to reach the final product. But now because of electronic devices, we have cut so many steps” Mukiza explained. 

The Minister of Information, National Guidance, Chris Baryomunsi said that a census is a very important undertaking. And an age-old exercise. “For the Christian, if you read the bible, there are many incidences where the censuses were carried out including the time when Jesus was born,” he said. 

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UBOS has decided to continue with the De facto method of conducting the census – meaning the enumeration of individuals as of where they are found in the census, regardless of where they normally reside. The census night in that case will be the night of 9th May 2024 with the actual census taking place on the 10th. The activities for the 2024 census were launched by President Museveni at Kololo National ceremonial grounds. 

Museveni took offense with the Uganda Bureau of Statistics about the wording on when the census will be conducted. 

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Gift Marunga who represented the UNDP country Director the fact that Uganda is launching its first digital census is a significant milestone

. “This huge investment is evidence that the government values the critical role of data and statistics as we strive to achieve the Uganda Vision 2040 whose ambition is in line with sustainable development Goal (SDGS) and the Africa Agenda 2063,” said Marunga.

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She commended the government for embracing the power of technology. She observed that by opting for a digital census, Uganda joins a growing trend globally and across Africa leveraging modern technology to generate data and evidence.

“In the countries that recently concluded their censuses preliminary results have been produced in less than two months. This is an imaginable occasion, especially based on traditional paper methods” she said.

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