Palestinian NGOs representatives, human rights activists and national figures, stressed the importance of exerting all efforts and cooperation of various parties to ensure success of General Census of Population and Housing that the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics intends to conduct in December.
The Palestinian NGO’s Network (PNGO), on Wednesday, held a around discussion table on “The General Population, Establishments and Housing Census – 2017”. Palestinian NGOs representatives, human rights activists and national figures participated in the workshop; which held as part of project “Enhance Civil Society Capacity to Work for Democratic Independence in Palestine Project in Partnership with Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA).
The participants of the workshop stressed that the importance of holding the general census of population, housing and establishments lies in the data and National Identification Number it offers which facilitates policy-making, planning, monitoring sustainable development, and creating administrative boundaries for the Palestinian communities who consider census as legal and national entitlement.
Director of the Palestinian NGO’s Network, Amjad Shawa, opened the workshop session, saying, “Census is a national project that enhances planning and prospects for development in various fields.”
Shawa stressed the necessity of cooperation of all Palestinian parties specially the Non-Governmental Organizations with the national census team for a successful surveying process by facilitating the process and benefiting from its outputs.
Member of PNGO general assembly, Muhsen Abu Ramadan, said, “holding the general census of population, housing and establishments is one of the important indicators and methods of clear and accurate planning. It also indicates that Bureau of Statistics managed to overcome confusion in social and economic data and figures. As well, it will enable NGOs and international organizations to use high quality and accurate data.”
Director of census operations in Gaza Governorate, Zaher Tantish, in his paper said, “Census is a legal entitlement according to General Statistics Law and a response to the related technical recommendations,” pointing out that holding census is of great importance in providing statistical information on the demographic features and describes the characteristics of the Palestinian population.”
He stressed that holding a successful census is a kind of sovereignty exercised by the Palestinian people on the ground.
“Holding Census facilitates updating data and statistics about the Palestinian communities and creating administrative boundaries with the different ministries and authorities,” Tantish said.
“It also provides comprehensive data on the characteristics of the Palestinian people in terms of a database of building, housing and facilities even tents and barracks, types of building as well as characteristics of the population and statistics of buildings which always change,” he added.
As for the population census, Tantish said, “Population census will enable us to identify the characteristics of the population and their geographical distribution in different geographical areas in Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza, and the available services as well as their economic activities including the number of employees in different economic activities even street hawkers and private service employees.”
Tantish also spoke about those who will be included in the census. He said that census will include the family members who reside in the family residence permanently, and those who are present in Palestine whether they reside in Palestine or abroad, Palestinian visitors currently present in Palestine, newborns, and those who are temporarily absent for less than a year; such as pilgrims, tourists and patients travelled for treatment in addition to students, whatever the length of their stay.
He asserted that census will facilitate planning for all groups of the Palestinian society and identifying the needs of the population.
Tantish went on saying; census will also facilitate monitoring sustainable development and using data to develop policies, programs, commercial purposes and constituencies.
He also spoke about the importance of the census, its stages, implementation mechanism, and objectives, saying” The census will provide comprehensive data on many different sectors such as population, education, employment, health, agriculture, economy, environment and others.”
Tantish added, “The census is important for development planning; it provides data for real data comparisons between census results for the current year and the previous years in various statistical indicator as well as data needed for measuring fundamental changes of population, especially in fertility, migration, labor force and housing conditions.”
He noted that 2017 census will be computerized as it will be implemented using modern technologies in the collection of data such as tablet computers and a geographic information system (GIS).
Tantish concluded his speech expressing his gratitude to PNGO for its cooperation, hoping participants have found the workshop beneficial and fruitful that it would promote a mutual cooperation between PNGO and national census team in Gaza Governorate to achieve success of census.