Ghana is spending GHS 521.3 million to count the population and many people have needlessly been left out because technologies that could have made the Census more inclusive and conclusive was not used.
Ask three people this simple question, have you been counted and you will know whether they count in national development or not.
Since the 1790s technology has evolved in such a way that it makes counting people more effective. Ghana has a unique opportunity to learn from experiences of many developed countries and probably get ahead.
There are over 40 million mobile telecommunications connections in Ghana. Many other databases like the National ID, SSNIT, NHIS, DVLA, Birth & Death Registry, Registrar Generals, Employers workers database all provide means of verifying and complimenting data collected through electronic means.
Access to satellite imagery, GPRS and Ghana Post location naming could provide most of the housing and population density information. No approach to counting people will provide 100% accuracy but Ghana’s reliance solely on door-to-door excludes many people.
Solutions that could make Census more inclusive and probably more cost efficient include:
- Online / Mobile Phone / SMS self-response data collection through questionnaires
- Integration of national database. This could help verify information collected from the population via electronic online questionnaire
- Use of Satellite imagery to check Home addresses. Google Satellite does this well. Uber & Bolt mostly navigate using this app to a very high degree of success.
- Mobile Devices Enumeration. Census takers who go door-to-door to help people respond will collect information on smartphones using a custom application in areas where purely online / electronic data collection will be feasible.
- Encryption technologies for protection of data and ensuring confidentiality
With these technologically enabled approaches to census taking a higher number of people will be counted so they count in national development.
Source: Prince Kpasra – ICT Security Consultant, Crux Institute 0509149675 email@example.com