Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi Count Abu gave an overview about Abu Dhabi Census 2011 Project last Wednesday as part of SCAD’s participation in the Abu Dhabi Ramadan Barza (Discussion Platform), held at the Abu Dhabi International Exhibition, which began Tuesday and runs through 17 of this month, organized by the DED jointly with statistics Center-Abu Dhabi (SCAD), Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council and a number of government and semi-government agencies in Abu Dhabi. SCAD’s session was attended by senior officials representing SCAD’s strategic partners.The session program started with a video on the Centre and the importance of statistics, key indicators and data pertaining to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Welcome speech and greetings At the outset HE Butti Ahmed Al Qubaisi Director-General of the SCAD welcomed the audience and extended his congratulations to HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, and HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces on the occasion of holy month of Ramadan, praying to Allah Almighty to bring back the holy month with blessings and good health for their highnesses, and to safeguard the nation’s security and prosperity under their wise leadership. He pointed to that SCAD is keen to meet to meet with leaders of government departments and semi government and private entities in Abu Dhabi, during Ramadan nights, praising the efforts of all those involved in organizing this event, which is organized for the first time in the emirate, as a platform for leading officials and decision makers in Abu Dhabi to, to explore joint cooperation and ways of supporting the Emirate’s development strategies in all sectors. HE Al Qubaisi also praised the cooperation of all of the Centre’s strategic partners and data providers, acknowledging that without their cooperation Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi would not have achieved the successes the Centre has so far accomplished in the pursuit of its goal place itself among world’s top five statistical centres. Working towards this ambitious vision, the Centre is keen to sign agreements of cooperation with all governmental entities in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, targeting 43 SLA’s that are set to support decision- and policy makers and the business sector to shape their strategic plans on the basis of accurate figures and reliable statistics.
SCAD’s strategy The program began by shedding light on the strategy of Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi and its role in the supporting the strategy of Abu Dhabi Government to achieve sustainable development in line with the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, citing the center's efforts in collecting data from providers, and the analysis, dissemination and supply of results to data users, stressing SCAD’s commitment to cooperate with government agencies, the business sector, the media, researchers and all segments of society.
Economic Surveys The session also shed light on SCAD’s Economic Surveys Project , underlining its importance in assessing the contribution of each activity in the emirate's economy, especially in light of the unprecedented pace of development the Emirate is currently experiencing. The Centre’s Economic Surveys Project includes seven important surveys covering “industry”, “construction”, “wholesale and retail trade and repair services”, “transportation and storage”, “media and communication”, “banks and financial institutions” and “services”, and thus aimed at highlighting the most important economic sectors in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. These surveys aim to provide the data necessary for the preparation of national accounts and estimates of the contribution of these activities to the GDP, thereby supporting economic policy and decision-making in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and enabling performance measurement for these policies. They also provide businesses and investors with the necessary data for to make appropriate decisions and evaluate their investment decisions, both with regard to traditional activities as well as the ten activities of future development. In addition economic surveys help in assessing the extent economic diversification, the development reached in non-oil sectors, and the progress made in achieving the of the Abu Dhabi Government’s agenda and Abu Dhabi's Vision 2030, not to mention the contribution of survey data towards building a statistical system par excellence.
Abu Dhabi Census 2011 The Abu Dhabi Census 2011 was the main topic discussed during the Wednesday session of Ramadan Barza. Mr. Abu Baker Al Amoudi, Executive Director of SCAD’s Statistics Sector remarked that the census a major national project that will provide official statistics and build an updated database the residents of each of the regions of the emirate (Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region). The Census operations are due to start on October 1st, 2011 and are scheduled to last for five weeks.
Significance of the census project Al Amoudi observed that Abu Dhabi Census 2011 is in line with the internationally adopted methods in enumerating the inhabitants and determining the demographic characteristics of the population in the developed world, The Census will thus give us a detailed picture on the Emirate’s residents, both nationals and non-nationals, in addition to information to be learnt through analysing the information obtained through the census and comparing it with information collected through previous censuses in 2005 and 2001, to find out how the population of the emirate is growing and changing and predicting how it is likely to grow and change in the future. This will certainly help decision makers and businesses take important decisions, and to draw up development plans in various areas such as education, health, transport, employment, etc.Mr. Al Amoudi asserted that the census will follow a carefully planned process that will keep up the success tradition in the Centre’s previous projects. In this regard, the Centre conducted a census pilot during the month of May, covering about 10 thousand inhabitants in selected areas of the Emirate, in order to test all the details of work logistically and technically before the actual census is taken, so that any possible obstacles can be identified and overcome to ensure the smooth and successful running of the census project.
4538 enumeratorsMr. Al Amoudi added that SCAD is currently receiving applications for participation and volunteering work in the project, against which SCAD offers financial remuneration, proportional to the amount of work accomplished, explaining the Centre seeks to attract experienced staff from ministries and government departments, calling on those wishing to participate in the data collection tasks that will be undertaken as part of this project can seize the opportunity by registering their names and details and filling the application form through online through SCAD’s website www.scad.ae, noting that the project needs about 4538 enumerators. The Census QuestionnaireAs Mr. Al Amoudi explains, the Census uses two types of questionnaires: the electronic questionnaire is used for family households, individuals in share-households and individuals living in public housing-work camps, farms and other workers' accommodation; and the paper questionnaire for individuals living or staying in hotels, hospitals, student dormitories, etc.The electronic and paper questionnaires are available in both Arabic and English. Translators will be available at each Centre for respondents who do not speak either of these languages.
The information to be collectedMr. Al Amoudi further added that SCAD's enumerators will collect basic information about Abu Dhabi population like: age, gender, nationality, the rates of internal and international migration in the emirate, educational attainment, relationship to the workforce, occupational structure of the population, marital status, employment status, the economic activity and economic sector of the establishment where the individual works, etc. Data confidentiality is guaranteed by the law establishing and governing the work of Statistics Centre- Abu Dhabi.Mr. Al Amoudi remarked that the enumerators’ identity is verifiable through ensuring that they wear SCAD’s uniforms and the work ID cards proving the nature of their work. Answers for any questions can be obtained by contacting the census call centre, which employs about 40 staff members, to communicate with families and individuals, answer their questions and receive their suggestions. The call centre can be contacted through the Abu Dhabi Government Contact Centre 800555.
Hi-tech census According to Mr. Ghassan Saleh, Head of Information Technology Section at SCAD, the census project will take advantage of the world’s latest technology and will seek to automate all the procedures used for data collection - buildings , households and establishments, using IPAD/Samsung [Android based] tablets. The Control Panels data will be updated automatically. The system has features that will enable enumerators locate their geographic work areas and save, store and send forms electronically. Mr. Saleh added that the use of a full range of advanced systems, will contribute to the production better statistical output within a short period of time, using state-of-the-art devices for the collection of spatial data, aided with GIS maps, enabling the communication of directions to field staff in a timely manner, before the end of the field work, which is followed by auditing and quality control processes. SCAD has developed advanced software to be used exclusively by census through handheld tablet computers that ensure full protection of data confidentiality and facilitate the correspondence with the Centre. The program provides detailed reports via the dashboard, which is updated with data automatically to display daily results directly at the project operations centre, enabling a close follow up of the teams’ performance in various cities, villages and neighborhoods of the Emirate, in order to help overcome any difficulties.
Questions and answers sessionReply to a question on the expected frequency of censuses in Abu Dhabi in future HE Butti Al Qubaisi, Director of the Centre said “Despite international recommendations to conduct the census every ten years, the Centre is run a census every five years, in line with countries with similar conditions as Abu Dhabi, in terms of rapid demographic change, due to the continuous influx of foreign labour, and the consequent constant change in the characteristics of the population, stressing that this intention is meant to support decision-makers with the latest and most accurate data on the population to enable the formulation of accurate development strategies. Asked about the training of the field enumerators recruited by SCAD, Al Qubaisi explained that three levels of training will be imparted to them to ensure the implementation of the project according to the highest statistical standards. The first level will train enumerators in field work methods and will last for a week, followed by training at census centres, and finally, technical training in the use of the electronic units to be used in the census. In his answer of a question on the confidentiality of the data and statements given by respondents, SCAD’s Director General explained that, according to the law establishing the center, all the information and individual data, collected or saved by the Center, concerning any survey or census is confidential and may not be released by the Centre or any of its employees for any purpose other than statistical purposes. In addition, when publishing official statistics SCAD protects confidentiality by non-disclosure of any individual data. Answering a question about the census date, Mr. Al Amoudi explained that the census reference night will be midnight on 3-4 October, explaining that number of people present in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi will be taken with reference to this specific point in time. In response to a question about the integration of SCAD’s projects HE Al Qubaisi assured that the results of the Frames Update Project, which was conducted during 2010 and covered buildings, housing and households, will be used in all of SCAD’s survey projects, which demonstrates the integration of the Centre’s projects. In the field of planning, the project will be characterized by well organized distribution of workloads, real time assistance to field staff in locating work areas and reaching remote spots, as well as in monitoring and ensuring coverage, complete collection of data from the target individuals, households and units, in order to minimize omissions. Appropriate plans have also been set for the auditing and quality control stages of the project.Answering a question about the role of enumerators in the project other that counting, Al Qubaisi mentioned that they will seek to raise public awareness about the advantages of the census results with examples of the benefits of the previous census. Enumerators will also emphasize the importance of data accurate for development programs in all areas and in supporting government efforts to raise living standards and the welfare of the society, underscoring the role of families and individuals in the project success and stressing the confidentiality of personal data. He also warned against providing false, misleading or inaccurate information and the adverse impact of this on development plans and programs, urging everyone to cooperate with the census enumerators and provide them with the required information which would only take a few minutes.SCAD Director-General reiterated that Abu Dhabi Census 2011 is a major national undertaking the success of which requires mobilization of efforts from all segments of the society to ensure the achievement of its set objectives. Being mindful of the complementary role of society and, SCAD warmly invites all the residents of Abu Dhabi to lend a helping hand in implementing a successful census that will support the development plans of the emirate’s government and bolster Abu Dhabi’s efforts achieve the highest standard of welfare for its society.