Sunday Mail Reporter
A NEW high-tech data collection system that will be used during the 2022 Population and Housing Census by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) will likely see the exercise being completed within six months.
ZimStat will use the Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) system to collect data during the census.
Previously, it took the national statistics agency up to two years to collect and process data before producing the final census report.
The CAPI system is capable of transmitting data collected by enumerators over the internet to a central mainframe in real-time.
Enumerators traditionally used paper questionnaires to collect data.
ZimStat public relations officer Ms Mercy Chidemo, said this will be the first time Zimbabwe will use the paperless CAPI technique.
“The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) will be using tablets to collect data during the 2022 Population and Housing Census enumeration phase.
“Data collection using a Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) system is becoming an increasingly attractive substitute to using a paper questionnaire,” she said.
The system, she added, allows the enumerator to use an electronic questionnaire loaded onto a tablet to obtain information from a respondent.
“After enumeration, data is synchronised to a central server electronically via the internet.
“The system is capable of detecting errors during the interview, giving the enumerator an opportunity to rectify such errors.
“Further, CAPI has an added advantage of in-built skip patterns that enable the respondent to be asked only questions that are relevant to their situation on each module of the census questionnaire.”
Previously the process entailed gathering data on paper before it was manually captured on computers for a period extending up to 18 months before processing began.
“This scenario is unsustainable in the present environment of big and high frequency data which is ubiquitous.
“By going digital in the 2022 Population and Housing Census, results should be available within six months as data entry time would have been reduced.”