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Statistical Office Needs Accurate Data

By Fidelis Sukina – EMTV News, Port Moresby

The People of Papua New Guinea continue to use data that is outdated.

And as the 2020 National Census draws closer, the National Statistics Office is looking to collect data using a Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing technique.

The office has been lacking proper support over the years and will be looking to improve census data with the new technology.

Clear and accurate data in Papua New Guinea is scarce.

We say that 97% of the land is customarily owned, 87% of the population live in rural areas, and we are tossing between 7.5 or 8 million, as the current population of the country.

But where is the data coming from, and from which sources?

The National Statistical Office had setbacks with data collection and its management of it, coupled with funding issues. They have struggled with collecting data for public consumption.

Their last project was the Provincial Data System, which couldn’t be maintained, because of funding constraints.

“Using the 1980 Census as the base to establish the Provincial Data System, along the way, it was not well supported financially so we dropped the issue.”

“Then in 1980 and 1990, we also established the Provincial Data System, also we started entering names of all individuals in the country on the census and similar to 1980 we don’t have the funding support,” said Bernard Kiele, the Acting National Statistician.

The way forward for planning for the 2020 national census is a new system of data collection.

“This year we are planning for the National 2020 census. It is also important to know that as of now we are trying to collect data using the Computer-Assisted Personal Interviews (CAPI) system,” said Mr. Kiele.

The success of the system lies with the office ensuring that the system is ready for the collection of data, during the census if it eventuates, this will help the Civil and Identity Registry as well to source some of the data.

“And if we establish this, it will be very easy for us now to capture data in the field.”

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