Díli, 22 March 2022, Mr. Elias dos Santos Ferreira as the Director General of Statistics, under portfolio of the Ministry of Finance Timor-Leste, together with UNFPA representatives in Timor-Leste Ms. Lorna Rolls in an opening of the pilot census for population and housing 2022, the event was held at GDS REHA conference room, Caicoli, Dili.
Director General Mr. Elias dos Santos Ferreira and UNFPA representative Ms. Rolls by informing during the opening training by saying that, Timor-Leste is planning to conduct a Population and Housing Census in 2022 (OHC). The fieldwork for the census will take place in September 2022. This will be the fourth census since the country attained independence. The first census was held in 2004, while the last census was conducted in 2015. The Directorate General of Statistics (GDS) in Timor-Leste is the institution mandated to undertake the census in the country. The census plays a crucial role in providing information for national policymaking, planning and administration. Information on the size, distribution and characteristics of the population of Timor-Leste is vital to understanding the economic, social and demographic circumstances of the country. This information is needed for developing sound policies and programmes to improve the living condition of the citizens of Timor-Leste. The census remains the most important source of statistical data for the country.
In a separate interview with the coordinator for the next round census, Mr. Silvino Lopes by stating that the census is a massive and complicated operation that requires solid preparation. These preparations have been going on for several years. As part of the preparation, a pilot census will be organized from 23rd March till 23rd April 2022. During this pilot census, the questionnaire and census instruments will be tested.
GDS has recruited ten enumerators and two supervisors to conducting pilot in two selected municipalities such as Municipality of Manatuto and Municipality of Aileu. As an enumerator in the pilot census, they will play a crucial role to test the census system. In the 2022 PHC, for the first time, digital questionnaires will be used using tablets. Although GDS has experience with using handheld devices, these devices are new to the census and need a lot of testing. For the census, the country is divided into enumeration areas (EAs). The EAs are designed so that one enumerator will be able to enumerate all dwellings and all households and individuals residing in the EA at the time of the census. During the pilot census, you will be asked to visit the dwellings and households in the EA assigned to you and do the interviews precisely the same way as they will be during the main census. This will allow the census team to evaluate whether all procedures and instruments work correctly. This means that the way you execute your tasks will directly affect the quality of the 2022 PHC. We count on your sense of responsibility and civic sense to do the work to the best of your abilities.
The census coordinator Mr. Lopes adding by saying that when the teams went to field, they will also be obtaining census manual and in this manual, all aspects of the pilot census are discussed. The manual will be used during the training, but it is also a reference document that you can use when you have problems during the fieldwork. Please study the manual well before going into the field.