LAHORE, Pakistan: The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has called the attention of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) and the government of Pakistan regarding the complications found in the ongoing 1st Digital Census across Pakistan.
In a joint statement, the Chairman CSJ Wajahat Masood and the Executive Director CSJ Peter Jacob observed that the field operation of census had confronted obstacles.
The statement appreciated the positive developments such as provision of helpline to assist and resolve complaints related to the census however, due to a lack of information and trust, the public response to the census teams is not encouraging.
The statement said that a vast majority of the population appears to be unaware of the census process hence the enumerators are facing difficulties. PBS is also actively updating its social media platforms but less in the mainstream media.
Referring to media reports, the statement underlined the manifestation of lack of preparation, training of field enumerators, and insufficient staff.
The observation by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) of the census process shows that the enumerators were also facing issues in finding locations on tablets for houses to be geo-tagged.
The staff complained about insufficient payments to carry out their duties in the field which impacted work. Authorities should ensure the funds are disbursed immediately to avoid delays.
Given the recent attacks on the census teams (Dera Ismail Khan and Swabi) security needs to be beefed up.
Peter Jacob observed that his organization held numerous meetings with PBS and gave recommendations to ensure the census process is, participatory, transparent, and inclusive of all beings.
The executive director CSJ further said, “As the count is being conducted across the country with limited resources, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics must ensure that the above-mentioned issues must be addressed immediately to help in building trust in the system and the final results.”