JM | Jan 25, 2023

Opposition not confident new Census target will be met

Tamoy Ashman

Tamoy Ashman / Our Today

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Julian Robinson, opposition spokesperson on finance.

Despite reassurance from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), that issues causing the delay of Census 2022 have been fixed, Julian Robinson, opposition spokesperson on finance, says he is not confident that the new target of March 2023 will be met.

Robinson was responding to a series of questions posed by Our Today when he shared some administrative issues at STATIN that he believes will further delay the data collection process.

“I recently spoke to persons who worked there, they are working on IDs that expired on the 31st of December and they are out in the field with these expired IDs. Many of them don’t even know how long they will continue to work for,” said Robinson.

STATIN Director General Carol Coy, in an update on the National Population and Housing Census 2022, shared that only 4,800 workers were recruited for the data collection exercise that initially had a target of 7,000 recruits. Additionally, she shared that several workers have opted out of the job for various reasons.

Carol Coy, Director General of Statin. (Photo: JIS)

According to Robinson, the workers have complained about a lack of organisation on the part of STATIN and he believes many of them left due to frustration.

“There are clearly some internal management issues at STATIN that are creating a lot of problems in this area. Even though the executive director set an extension to March 31, I am not sure whether they will be able to complete the exercise by then, given that they have lost close to a third of the persons who were working with them,” he stated.

Robinson added that the loss of census workers means that STATIN will have to recruit additional people, train them and get up to speed, a task he says can be very time consuming.

Census 2022

“I am concerned about the ability to complete the exercise by the end of March and also whether they will have the resources to do it given that they are now going to have to train so many new people,” expressed Robinson.

The data collection phase for the 2022 National Population and Housing Census started on September 12, 2022 and is being conducted under the theme: ‘Yuh Count, Mi Count, All A Wi Count’. The data collection exercise was originally supposed to end by December 2022, with the aim of having the entire process completed by December 2023.

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