The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) recently conducted a pilot census data collection programme covering 12 counties. The activity helps to assess the adequacy of the instruments and services that will be deployed in the national census scheduled for August 2019. It provided opportunity for KNBS to test the IT equipment, questionnaires, manuals and control forms and to validate the enumeration procedures among other issues.
In addition, the pilot census was aimed at enabling the agency to check the quality of the enumeration area maps and the efficiency of logistics, the flow of data from the field to the central data hub as well as to establish the appropriate human resource requirements for the main census and to test the adequacy of the enumeration period. The pilot was conducted selected sub-locations in Nairobi, Kwale, Kilifi, Makueni, Nyeri, Tharaka-Nithi, Mandera, West Pokot, Kericho, Busia, Kisumu and Kisii counties. It took place over seven days from 24th August, 2018 to 31st August, 2018, with reference being made to where respondents spent the night of 24th/25th August.
Since August 1969, Kenya has held a census after every 10 years. The last census, conducted in 2009, revealed that that a little over 38 million people were then living in the country. Population estimates and projections are released on a regular basis, and in 2017, the number of people living in the county was estimated to be about 49 million (UN Data). Census data is important for national planning and policy making, and gives detailed socio-demographic statistics for all population groups.
Besides basic demographics (age, sex, marital status, ethnicity, religion), the 2019 census will also record fertility of females aged 12 years and above; mortality; migration; and disability. It will also establish education and labor force participation in each household as well as the use of Information and Communications Technology, and involvement in agriculture (crop and livestock farming), ownership of household assets; and housing conditions and amenities. Unlike in the past, enumerators will use mobile devices instead of paper, as recommended by the United Nations that all countries consider the use of mobile technology for census data collection to improve the quality of the results.