The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has, for the second time, extended the mop-up enumeration exercise for the 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC).
To last for 12 days (July 19 – 30), the latest extension is to allow the GSS to exhaust the remaining six per cent of households that are yet to be covered in the exercise in some parts of the country.
The 2021 PHC, which started on Monday, June 28 in all 16 regions, was expected to end on Sunday, July 11, 2021, but the GSS extended the deadline to Sunday, July 18.
According to the GSS, the move was to ensure that all persons in the country were reached and counted.
At a press briefing in Accra on Monday, July 19, the Government Statistician, Prof. Kobina Annim, said at the end of the initial mop-up exercise, 94 per cent of the listed households were enumerated, leaving a backlog of six per cent to be cleared.
He indicated that in line with the GSS’s principle of leaving no one uncounted, the service gave a second window to ensure that everyone was counted to get reliable data on the country.
Prof. Annim added that as of Sunday, July 18, the data collected showed that apart from the Greater Accra Region where 75 per cent of the households had been enumerated, all the other regions exceeded 90 per cent enumeration status.
He said 25 metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) had been identified as priority areas for the next phase of the mop-up exercise because they hosted most of the remaining six per cent of persons yet to be enumerated.
The MMDAs are located in the Greater Accra, Central, Western, Eastern and Volta regions.
“The identification of these selected areas for the extension and the accompanying duration are driven by a number of factors including calls received by persons in Ghana on their status and experience of the enumeration, departure from benchmark indicators, assessment of the coverage and quality of data received so far,” he said.
The Government Statistician added that the enumeration could not be completed in some of the areas, particularly in the Greater Accra Region, because those were fast-growing areas.
Additionally, he said some respondents were unwilling to participate in the exercise for various reasons while the enumerator also faced challenges such as motor accidents, snakebites and dogs attacks.
Although some of the challenges delayed the completion of the enumeration exercise as scheduled, he said the GSS was focused on reaching all the six per cent of outstanding households by the July 30 extension period.
Responding to a question on what the implication of the extension of the exercise was on the PHC budget, he said adequate provision had been made for the mop-up exercise so the GSS was confident that it would complete the exercise within the stipulated budget.
Prof. Annim said the GSS had instituted spot checks in enumeration areas to get individuals who had not been enumerated to call and be captured.
The move, he said, was part of measures to be sure that quality work had been done by the field officers.
“In the process of spot-checking, verification and validations are done at three levels – listing of all structures, covering of all households in structures and counting of all members in the household,” he said.
He said the GSS had also instituted physical visits to selected households for the purpose of verifying information collected by its field officers.
“These visits will be done by field monitors who will be wearing field monitors’ jackets, branded with 2021 PHC and GSS logos and carrying photo ID,” he added.
Furthermore, Prof. Annim said as part of the quality assurance process, the GSS had instituted outboard calls to selected members of the public seeking to verify and validate information collected by the field officers.
The GSS boss assured members of the public who were yet to be enumerated that they would not be left out of the exercise.
He also appealed to members of the public who were unwilling to participate in the enumeration exercise to cooperate with enumerators by allowing themselves to be counted.