Determined and Fearless Pakistan Bureau of Statistics Enumerators Brave Harsh Terrains and Extreme Weather to Reach Each and Every Person Living in Pakistan
Whether it is waist-high snow, rain, or parching heat, the brave enumerators of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics draped in green are climbing every mountain, crossing every river, trudging through every desert, every plain, every winding crowded path to reach every person living in Pakistan, making sure no one is left behind.
They are using any means of transport to fulfil their national duty, despite the many challenges. The inspiring dedication of these census heroes is truly commendable proving that if there is a will there is a way. This is yet another testament to the resilience of our people.
There is continuing heavy snowfall, in Gilgit-Baltistan, Balochistan and KP, but that is not stopping the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics on the ground team from fulfilling their duty. To ensure their security police and jawans of our forces are accompanying them. In the deserts of Sindh and Balochistan, the only means of transport are camels or foot, these hardworking enumerators are trekking through extreme conditions to reach the remotest of areas in every corner of Pakistan to collect census information to play their role in ensuring better policy planning, services, and facilities for a brighter future for the country and everyone living in Pakistan.
It is heartening to see this kind of commitment, especially in the current environment of despair and uncertainty. The first-ever digital census is bringing hope to the people. Enumerator Hyder shared “I feel very positive, working for the census feels like I am contributing to the betterment of Pakistan, it is our honour to be able to contribute towards the growth and development of our nation.” He added that “when we go to homes, people welcome us and see the census as a ray of hope. Many say that finally, Government is coming to their homes to ask them about their situation and needs. They are hoping that the census will improve their condition.”
Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) launched the 7th Population and Housing Census as the first digital census of Pakistan with an option to self-enumerate and started field operations where enumerators (census field staff) are going door to door across Pakistan over a period of one month to collect census information or if self-enumerated then verify the information. Every person living in a location for six months or is planning to live there for the coming six months will be counted in that location as they will be using the facilities of that area.
Pakistan has entered a new era with this phenomenal and massive digitization of the census process and we as a nation are proud to be of this historic milestone. It is not only the first-ever digital census of Pakistan but also the largest of its kind in South Asia.
This is no mean feat and the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics and its dynamic leadership, Chief Census Commissioner, Mr Naeeem uz Zafar, Member SSRM, Mr Muhammad Sarwar Gondal and women leaders like Ms Rabia Awan, supported by hardworking teams across the country deserve a standing ovation. First time in the history of census, the Bureau’s leadership met with all stakeholders and relevant provincial and district leadership to apprise them of the digitized census approach and methodology in detail. They received full ownership and endorsement for the process at all levels and from every quarter. The Bureau is supported by sincere endeavors from partners and stakeholders at the federal, provincial and district level, including NADRA, for technology support and Armed Forces, for security.
The objective to conduct the census digitally is to ensure transparency, wider acceptability of census results and expedite the census results. The digitization process of the census has been a long and arduous journey, overcoming many challenges. Innovation is never easy, but in a country like Pakistan, rife with ever-evolving changes economically, politically, and environmentally, it is even harder to bring in technology transformation at the width and breath that Pakistan Bureau of Statistics has managed in this short time, and they truly deserve the accolades they are receiving.
The digital innovation of the census includes the self-enumeration portal, a helpline supported through a dedicated call centre, use of handheld devices for door-to-door information collection, GIS tracking and geo-tagging among many others.
Along with demographic and housing characteristics data, this digital census has some additional features like geo-tagging of all the structures and buildings used for residential and economic activities and collection of data of economic activities as per international classification to utilize it as frame to conduct much awaited economic census in the country. The additional features of the census will provide basis for evidence-based policy, planning and decision making to ensure good governance as well as to determine diversity, expansion and share of various economic activities in our economy which is pivotal to ensure prosperity of the nation.
The citizens of Pakistan are the most important stakeholders and beneficiaries of the census. The success of the digitized census lies in their full participation. The census is not only our moral duty but our legal obligation, it is an opportunity to provide information that will inform evidence base policy planning for ensuring rights and better service delivery at our doorstep.