Gov’t plans to address people’s needs, refine development plans with upcoming census
Every 10 years, Guyana engages in a national population and housing census exercise to collect valuable data on how the country and its people have developed, and President Dr. Irfaan Ali says the upcoming census will inform the country’s development plans.
The process is set to begin again on September 15, with enumerators fanning out across the country.
At the official launch of the census on Wednesday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre at Liliendaal, Georgetown, the Head of State reminded the public that this data collection exercise is one that provides the much-needed insight into the country’s needs.
For example, people’s social needs- be it more health facilities close to their communities, or other social services, are among the gaps that can be identified and addressed.
He said the census also allows the government to analyse how certain adverse events, like natural disasters or the closure of sugar estates, affected people.
With that information, he reasoned that more responsive policies can be formulated.
“We cannot formulate policies in the absence of data,” Dr. Ali said.
Additionally, the President said the census can measure the progress towards achieving the government’s commitments, including the target of 50,000 house lots and the creation of thousands of jobs.
The data, President Ali continued, can also be used in other critical areas, including crafting an immigration policy, social sector planning, and family planning, as well as in identifying other developmental gaps which exist across communities, within communities and across regions.
The Population and Housing Census is a complete count of the population, to provide detailed data on population size, age, educational attainment, labour force, housing, and many other socio-economic characteristics.
Chief Statistician and Census Officer at the Bureau of Statistics Errol LaCruez explained that the enumerators will collect information on demographic data, population changes, information about housing, education, health, food security, access to development and other areas.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh explained that the ongoing transformation that Guyana is experiencing has been informed by the 2012 census- the last one done in Guyana.
“All of the developments that you are seeing today are as a result of years of careful planning and analysis that went into the mapping out of a comprehensive development path for the country,” he said.
Cognisant of that, he urged all to participate in the exercise so that the government’s plans are responsive to their needs.