Posts Tagged 'census'

Census:My Experience

I had been patiently waiting for the enumerators to knock on my door since the census process started and was almost giving up, when I heard a knock on my door and a young energetic lady requested to count me. While sharing my experience, I noted that it would have been far much better if the enumerator had been prepared adequately on the importance of asking a variety of questions. For example, I was totally baffled by being asked the type of material used for my ceiling. Can someone please explain to me why such a question? Based on some of the questions asked, I think I need to get a Tuktuk and a boat; some of the things they were interested in knowing if I had but were not in my possession.

Speaking to the enumerator I was enlightened on a number of challenges they were facing. As an example, while some enumerators got the privilege to be allocated areas in which they reside, others were not very lucky thereby incurring various costs that limit their ability to save owing to the limited allowances allocated for the exercise.

The compensation provided for conducting this tedious work is fair; around KES 25,0000.00 (around 320 US Dollars) for the period between 24th August 2009 and 31st August 2009. The enumerator attested that the whole experience was getting a good response from majority of Kenyans interviewed with few cases of hostilities and a number of Kenyans questioning the importance or relevance of a number of the questions asked. Based on my experience I had the following suggestions:

  • The enumerators should have a good understanding of the whole census process and the relevancy of the questions they ask.
  • From the viewpoint of a Kenyan who appreciates application of technology in our day-to-day lives, it would have been interesting to have a census website where you can post your queries, maybe a Facebook census group, a twitter account where supervisors can track the pace at which the enumerators are conducting the exercise. Basically, use of technology in making the census an easy and effective process that is accountable.
  • The identification of structures and house numbers is not effective since the use of chalk to write on the wall or on the door will not last especially for a whole month.
  • It is my sincere hope that in recruiting the enumerators, the unemployed youth were considered.
  • It would have been a great opportunity to get feedback on distribution of resources and government policies, maybe a short structured questionnaire would have been adequate where Kenyans could write down what they feel about a number of issues.

What was your census experience? Please do tell us and lets help Kenya in making the process better.


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