Source: Vientiane Times
Laos will conduct a population census in 2020 to provide updated information for indicators, baselines and targets to be incorporated in the 2021-2025 National Socio-economic Development Plan.
The population census is used to set targets in national development plans, and directly contributes to efforts to ensure Laos graduates from Least Developed Country status.
Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment and Head of the Lao Statistics Bureau, Dr Samaichanh Boupha, told a workshop titled Regional Consultation on Census Methodology that quality data was of great importance for planners, policy makers and data users in all countries and sectors.
“This is a good time for us to take into account lessons learned and experiences shared by delegates and UNFPA experts in our preparations and in conducting the census in 2020,” she said.
She explained that many countries including Laos were in the process of preparing for a census in 2020 so the consultation was taking place at a good time. It allowed sufficient time for preparation, especially in personnel capacity building to ensure the census yielded a worthwhile outcome.
The 4th Population and Housing Census carried out in 2015 had been important because it provided statistics to facilitate planning and decision-making by government planners and policy-makers.
The information provided by almost every individual in Laos is invaluable for devising a broad scope of development plans and programmes, particularly those relating to poverty alleviation, health, education, drinking water, sanitation, improved infrastructure, promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as the improved quality of life of people living in remote areas.
The data and information obtained from the 2015 census helped to ensure inclusive, sustainable growth and development, in particular in the planning, monitoring, and evaluation of the implementation of the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (2016-2020) and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Also speaking at the meeting, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative to Laos, Ms Frederika Meijer, said the 2020 population census would contribute to demographic knowledge and was necessary for sound policy-making and planning.
Laos and the UNFPA would share information about the 2015 census, which was the fourth to be conducted by the Lao government, she added.
In the coming years, UNFPA and Laos will coordinate closely with other development partners to provide technical support to produce high-quality census data for planning, monitoring and evaluating the Sustainable Development Goals and other targets, Ms Meijer said.