Thursday, July 2, 2020

STATISTICS BOTSWANA GOES DIGITAL

Statistics Botswana has partnered with technology firm Hexagon Geospatial which will provide the state agency with a solution to the previous error-prone census processes, as the country readies for 2021 census.

According to Hexagon, Botswana grappled with the issue of updating its census procedures, and says part of the need for modernizing Botswana’s census process required taking advantage of technology to add dynamic and simplified visualization capabilities throughout the project.   

With a population of almost 2.3 million people, Statistics Botswana in the past conducted the Population and Housing Census (PHC) through a  manual, paper-laden process. Fieldworkers would receive paper maps to orientate themselves to their assigned enumeration areas (EA). Then they would go into the field with paper forms to collect the census information manually. The method was tedious, complicated, error-prone, and required fieldworkers to have advanced map interpretation skills.

In line with UN recommendations and following international  trends, Statistics Botswana decided to dramatically  streamline this process and modernize their census-taking methods, for their upcoming PHC in 2021.

“Additionally, the data collection process for Botswana’s census was complicated. Facts and figures were manually recorded on forms by field workers who used paper maps to navigate their assigned Enumeration Areas. Doing so was time-extensive and sometimes led to inaccuracies,” said Hexagon in a statement.

To help transform, streamline, and democratize the entire census process, Hexagon offered Statistics Botswana its HxGN Smart Census solution to be fully implemented in time for the 2021 census. HxGN Smart Census is a client-server software platform designed exclusively with census management in mind, and the company says its software integrates traditional GIS functionality with a powerful workflow and workforce management tool to provide a total solution for census strategies.

“With this solution, Statistics Botswana aims to reduce the cost of census-taking, improve the quality of data, eliminate the duplication of efforts, and save time,” Hexagon said.

The country’s ministry of Finance and Economic Development has allocated P49 million for the upcoming census.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper

Sunday Standard June 28 – 4 July

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of June 28 - 4 July, 2020.