*Data to help decision-makers in development plans
The Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA) announced Sunday the launch of the first phase of the General Census of Population, Housing and Establishments (Qatar 2020 Census), which will last for a month, with the participation of more than 400 field surveyors and skilled supervisors.
The first phase of the census aims to collect comprehensive and up-to-date data on individuals, families, buildings and establishments in order to achieve developmental and service objectives.
HE the President of Planning and Statistics Authority Dr Saleh bin Mohamed al-Nabit said the General Census of Population, Housing and Establishments 2020 is one of the most important statistical projects of the Authority. It is a national project, which seeks to obtain comprehensive and accurate data that support decision-makers for various development plans. During this phase, PSA assesses the availability of basic services for families, identify the areas in need and accordingly give priority to these areas in development plans.
He pointed that preparations for the 2020 census began more than two years ago to make sure its final phases are conducted according to global standards and criteria.
Dr al-Nabit explained that what distinguishes the 2020 census is the use of modern techniques to verify and update data, in addition to the full co-ordination with the different partners in the country throughout all the phases.
In response to a question about the electronic link between PSA and the source of data, Dr al-Nabit said the linking process is progressing gradually, and is constantly evolving, stressing that the 2020 census was used as a catalyst to accelerate such linkages and to overcome all the technical obstacles.
Regarding the possibility of conducting the census electronically in the coming years, he said there are successful experiences in this regard in some countries, and Qatar is ready for this type of census, hoping that the 2020 census will be an important milestone in building a central data bank.
The PSA president called upon citizens and owners of establishments to cooperate with the surveyors, who hold official IDs issued by the Authority, affirming that the data will be used only for statistical purposes, in accordance with the law of confidentiality, besides the stipulations of Law No 2 of 2011 on Official Statistics.
Head of the Department of Censuses, Surveys and Statistical Methods at PSA Nasser al-Mahdi said the 2020 Census is the first of its kind to be conducted through administrative records of the country's data source.
Al-Mahdi pointed out that the PSA call center can be reached at helpline 8000800 (free) in case the family wanted to verify the identity of the surveyor.
Surveyors will use electronic devices to collect the necessary data which will be fed into the PSA server every hour to ensure high security and confidentiality. The surveyor would not be able to retrieve or leak any of such information.
Al-Mahdi said that during the first phase, the surveyors will distribute a brochure with all the necessary details on the 2020 census and its importance for realising development goals in all the areas of the country. It is meant to make people ready for the main phase of the process that will be conducted in March 2020.
Head of Information Systems Department at PSA Mubarak al-Nabit, made a presentation on the preparations for the census at the technical level and the electronic systems used. He said that the hand-held devices carried by the surveyors contain various data which will be only verified during the field visits. The heads of families will be asked whether they prefer to fill in their data online or receive a surveyor at a time of their convenience.
Regarding the online registration, he explained that this service will be available during the second phase of the census scheduled for March 2020. All families and individuals can fill in their data electronically without the need for field surveyors through a certain link that will be sent to them, and verified by a unique code.
Last week, the PSA organised the main training programme for field surveyors as part of preparations for the first phase of the General Census.
The General Census of Population, Housing and Establishments is a statistical activity conducted comprehensively, once every five or ten years. Earlier, censuses were held in 1986, 1997, 2004, 2010 and 2015.