Explaining the recently launched NID–LF Survey

The Namibia Intercensal Demographic and Labour Force Survey was officially launched in Ongwediva over the weekend by Deputy Minister of Economic Planning Lucia Iipumbu.

The occasion was graced by the special advisor to the governor of the Oshana Region, as well as high ranking staff from the Namibian police.

The Intercensal Demographic Survey is essentially a survey that takes place between two censuses. Since the last census took place in 2011, and the next is one scheduled for 2021, the midpoint between the two censuses is five years in between, hence 2016.

The difference between the actual census and this Intercensal one, is the methodology. During a census each and every household, and individual, is counted. During this one, the methodology is sample-based, meaning a representative sample of the population will be taken. Hence, not all households and individuals are enumerated.

Indeed, the sample consists of around 12000 households divided into different sampling units.
As indicated before this survey is also contains an LFS part. That stands for the Labour Force Survey. Since NSA conducts annual labor force surveys, it was decided that these two should be done simultaneously. The reasons for these are threefold. One: it cuts major costs to go to households and ask them information on various indicators instead of doing it twice. Secondly, it provides for smoother organisation and planning on collection of data. The last one is to deal with respondents’ fatigue.

The population surely shows signs of fatigue of always having various enumerators coming to their homes to conduct research – in short people get tired of this. To mitigate this it was decided to only go there once.

This survey will provide data that will be useful for the evaluation of NDP4 and also provide important baseline information for NDSP5. It will also provide base indicators to update population projections, serve as pilot for the Population and Housing Census and also to provide data for the upcoming Namibia Master Sample Frame.

With regards to the labour force, what the survey aims to achieve is to measure the extent of available and unused labour time and human resources for the purpose of macro-economic monitoring and human resources development planning.

It also aims to measure the relationship between employment and other socio-economic characteristics for purposes of formulating and monitoring employment policies and programmes, income generating and monitoring schemes, as well as vocational training and other similar programmes.

The survey is fully adherent to the Statistics Act of 2011. What this means is that it will have to comply with the aspect of confidentiality. Oftentimes we are asked how confidential the information will be kept. All enumerators have been trained prior to the survey and have taken an oath of secrecy and confidentiality. This means that they are liable and prosecutable in case they break their oath. Also, the agency always aggregates data when it compiles statistics and never ever releases individual information.

We have also gone a step further this time. We have enlisted the services of the Namibian police to ensure the safety of both the households and our enumerators. What this means is that all households, in case they do not feel safe, are permitted to request the presence of the Namibian police when enumerators enter their households.

Also, our enumerators will be escorted, where possible, by the police, so as to ensure their own safety. The survey officially started yesterday, October 17 and runs until November 11. You are all requested to assist us in ensuring that Namibia has relevant, accurate, timely and reliable statistics for development. We thank you in advance.
Iipumbu Sakaria is the deputy director of strategic communications at the Namibia Statistics Agency.

October 2016
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