Tonga’s national population census this month uses new technology

Tongans who will participate at the  National Population Census on November 28 – December 16 will fill out their forms online.

The new technology means the national survey would be easy, fast and timely.

But to be able to do that, Tonga’s Statistics Department is currently training 92 trainees in Nuku’alofa on how to record information that could be gathered on tablets.

These trainees will test-run the new technological programme on certain households in Tongatapu on November 14-25.

Statistician Winston Fainga’anuku claimed Tonga was the first in the Pacific Islands to do her census online.

“The program is similar to the apps in the google play and it was designed through collaboration with SPC and myself. The questions are in English and Tongan,” he said in a statement published by the government’s Information website.

He said this was a significant move as in the past it was difficult for enumerators to make corrections on the spot.

“Now using tablets will allow supervisors to check the data and will be able to make correction if errors will be made. The technology will also allow enumerators to collect information such as the locations (GPS) of the houses.”

“In the past using manual print out forms would take six months for data entry, checking, coding and the editing and compiling the report would take more than two months. Now we have the tablets to ensure data quality and improve the timeliness of data collection”.

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