Journalists and Media Houses have been cautioned to verify their information about the 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), before publishing such information.
Professor Samuel Kubina Annim, Government Statistician and also the Chief Census Officer, gave the advice at a day’s training workshop his out-fit organized at Winneba for selected journalists from the southern sector on “Media Relations on the forthcoming PHC”.
Journalists in the northern and the middle zones have already benefited from the training.
The participants were drawn from Volta, Eastern, Central, Western and Grater Accra Regions and the facilitators were Mr. Emmanuel George Ossei, Head of the National Census Secretariat, Mr. Owusu Kagya, Head of Census Methodology and Mr. William Addo, Publicity, Education and Advocacy.
They were taken through topics including; ‘Issues and concerns to consider, Census Methodology and Enumeration Procedures and resources available for Journalists’.
According to Prof. Annim, who is also the Chief Census Officer, the 2021 PHC will provide updated demographic, social and economic data for national development activities and for tracking the implementation of global and continental development goals.
This included; the Sustainable development goals, International Conference on population and development goal and Africa’s agenda 2063.
“As part of the GSS mandate to execute the PHC, all persons, including; foreign residents, outdoor sleepers as well as to enumerate structures and houses within the period from the Census night between April and May’.
The exercise will be conducted in accordance with statistical service ACT, 2019 (Act 1003), which empowers the Government Statistician to conduct statistical surveys and census in the country.
The law also required trained censuses officers, including; enumerators and supervisors to keep census information strictly confidential to avoid being liable to a fine or imprisonment, the Chief Census Officer revealed.
“We look forward to partnering with you to conduct a successful 2021 population and housing census”, Prof. Annim added.
Mr.Owusu Kagya in his presentation on “Issues and Concerns to consider”, informed the participants that the main goal of the 2021 PHC was to collect and complete accurate census data, adding that the success of the exercise depended largely on good planning, effective training and good collaboration with key stakeholders including the media.
He announced that census information would be used for only statistical purposes and would not be used for identifying people for taxation or punitive purposes, saying, persons who may have the perception should eschew such notions and to collaborate with the enumerators by giving out credible information to them.
On Census Methodology and Enumeration Procedures, Mr. Kagya highlighted few Census concepts and procedures to enhance understanding of the Census process.
According to him this year’s PHC, will be Ghana’s first digital PHC, which involved the use of technology as recommended by the United Nations (UN) instead of traditional paper questionnaires.
The, usage of tablets for electronic data capture and geographic Positioning System (GPS) for recording of structures was faster aids for better data quality of results.
Mr William Addo, who took the participants through Resources available for Journalists, indicated that the Media and all relevant institutions were recognized as its partners, in the dissemination of information on the 2021 PHC.
This, he stated will go a long way to create awareness for people to fully participation for accurate data collection for good governance.