Wednesday, November 11, 2020

UNFPA and UK Government handover IT equipment to Central Bureau of Statistics for census

 The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) handed over IT equipment today to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), as the later ramps up its preparations for the 12th National Population and Housing Census (NPHC).

The first census to be conducted under the new Constitution and federal structure is going to take place in June 2021.

According to a press note issued by the UNFPA, the IT equipment, which is worth $609,873 (Rs 72 million), has been procured by UNFPA with UKaid funding and comprises of 2,250 tablets with power-banks and accessories, 35 laptops, 47 desktop computers, five mobile work-stations, one server, three high resolution printers and relevant software licenses. “It will enable CBS to produce census data that meets the highest technological standards.”

The need for high-quality and reliable population data has been underscored by the global Covid-19 pandemic, and is also essential to measure Nepal’s progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with their strong commitment of leaving no one behind. The use of innovative technology in the 2021 NPHC – including tablets in selected census enumeration areas – will ensure that CBS captures detailed data on how many people are living in the country – disaggregated to the lowest administrative level¬– and how they are living – their health and well-being, problems and prospects and socio-economic circumstances, the press note reads, adding that the 2021 NPHC data will be invaluable for policymakers and planners to understand the situation across the country, development needs and where or how to invest in everything from schools to health care to roads.

The government is committed to conduct the 2021 NPHC in line with international standards, and to ensure that the data collected are used to improve the lives and realise the rights of those who are at risk of being left behind.

“We commit to undertake the census to address the data gaps at the lowest administrative level while ensuring that the health and safety precautions of our personnel and the respondents is in compliance with government guidance,” remarked director general of CBS Nebin Lal Shrestha. The CBS is leading census operations under the guidance of the National Census Steering Committee chaired by the National Planning Commission (NPC) vice chair.

The IT equipment will strengthen the CBS’s infrastructure and capacity and complements its efforts to modernise the census operation through amulti-method approach of data collection, the press note reads, adding that UNFPA is supporting Nepal to undertake the12thNPHC, recognising that reliable and timely data is the foundation of sustainable and inclusive development in Nepal. “The census is the cornerstone of the statistical infrastructure, it provides a numerical profile of the country hence is of great value to the public and government alike.”

UNFPA is proud to offer technical and financial support to Nepal to ensure that the census is of high-quality, upholds international standards, and produces data that are widely disseminated and utilised for development gains,” said UNFPA country representative in Nepal Lubna Baqi. “The UK’s support to Nepal always aims to be based on data that is reliable and which includes everyone,” she said, adding that the census is one of the most important chances to capture data so that any number of organisations – from government through to development partners and community organisations – can direct their assistance in the best way. “In turn this will help improve the services provided to women, men, children, poor, the vulnerable and other groups of people.”

“I am pleased that the UK has been able to contribute equipment and technology in this way through our partners at UNFPA and the CBS,” development director at the British Embassy Kathmandu Lisa Honan said.

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