The population and housing recount in the country will begin in 2020. The new census starts in October next year and will last for two months at a cost of about 16m euros. Social Statistics Director Majlinda Nesturi told Report TV that there will be changes in the way data is collected, and will be more qualitative.

“The way they are done is the same, but the way the data is collected varies. In 2011, data were collected by paper questionnaire, while this year INSTAT will use the electronic form for collecting population and housing data, ie we will use the tablet in data collection. This new way of collecting data will provide us with a better quality of collecting information from the interviewer ”said Nesturi.

Questions prepared for citizens will reveal not only its demographic movement but also its educational, economic and social level. According to the director Nesturi will be asked for more detailed information from every Albanian family and citizen including personal data.

“Essential questions are mandatory to be in a censorship questionnaire because they provide comparability not only between censors in one country but also between other countries. Age is gender, is hometown, citizenship, habitual residence, marital status, some employment issues, ie employment status, in education. So these are all basic features we love about the population. So the census will give us a snapshot of the indigenous population in the country and in this population we also love according to their basic, social and demographic characteristics, ”she said.

The Director of Social Statistics has also stressed that sensitive questions such as ethnicity and religion will be self-declared, with citizens having the right not to answer.

“Apart from the two questions in the questionnaire that we consider to be sensitive questions, which are based on the free and non-binding declaration of the individual, which are questions related to religion and ethnicity. These two questions are based on the individual’s free expression, and only for these two questions are the persons entitled not to answer. So only these two questions in the questionnaire have the alternative I prefer not to answer. Meanwhile all other questions are mandatory. All individuals who are ordinary residents of Albania at the time of censorship must respond, ”said the director.

The last census was conducted in 2011, which resulted in the resident population being 2,821,977, down 8% from the 2001 Census

Full interview of Social Statistics Director Majlinda Nesturi

Where will the population and housing census of 2020 differ from the 2011 census?

Censorship is the largest activity that INSTAT performs, its periodicity is once every 10 years. The last census was that of 2011. Preparatory work has begun and this year we are also conducting pilot censuses. Unlike 2011, the census of 2020 will also be based on the traditional way of collecting data, which means that it will be conducted by surveyors who will go door-to-door in every residence on the territory of the Republic. of Albania. By the way they are done the same, but the way the data will be collected differs. In the 2011 census data were collected by paper questionnaire while this year INSTAT will use the electronic form for collecting population and housing data, ie we will use the tablet in data collection. This new way of collecting data will provide us with a better quality of collecting information from the surveyors.

How are the questionnaires formulated and are there additional questions from the 2011 census?

Preparation and compilation of population censuses is a very long process. for its design we base on the recommendations of EUROSTAT and the United Nations where there is a manual, or a special guide that guides us on how to design the questions in a questionnaire. This guide divides the questions into two major groups of questions we call essential and non-essential. Essential questions are mandatory to be in a censorship questionnaire because they provide a comparability not only between censors in one country but also between other countries. In addition we have non-essential questions that are included depending on the specifics of the country. But to include these non-essential questions in the cens we have a series of stakeholder consultations. We have organized 6 consultative roundtables with different users, with local government, with religious groups, with ethnic groups, with disabilities and through these roundtables we have received all opinions and suggestions in order to get a proper decision on a question we will include in the questionnaire.

What are the essential questions? Let’s mention some of them?

Age is gender, is hometown, citizenship, habitual residence, marital status, some employment issues, ie employment status, in education. So these are all basic features we love about the population. So we are going to give us a snapshot of the indigenous people in the country and in this population we also love them by their basic, social and demographic characteristics. So we want to know through censorship how many residents we have in Albania at the time the censorship took place? How are they by gender? What age structure do they have? What employment status do they have? What educational level?

So, censorship is an inclusive process, a major one which is very important because it gives us a picture of the entire population according to social and demographic characteristics.

What will happen to those citizens who refuse to answer or complete the questionnaire?

Censuses, unlike other social surveys conducted by INSTAT, are regulated by a specific law, and as all censorship matters are foreseen, penalties are also included. Every citizen is obliged to answer the questions in the questionnaire and if he does not answer there are also punitive measures.

Except for the two questionnaire questions that we consider to be sensitive questions, which are based on the free and non-binding declaration of the individual, which are questions related to religion and ethnicity. These two questions are based on the individual’s free expression, and only for these two questions are the persons entitled not to answer. So only these two questions in the questionnaire have the alternative I prefer not to answer. Meanwhile all other questions are mandatory. All individuals resident in Albania at the time of censorship must respond.

Has the pilot phase begun?

Yes. INSTAT is in its second week of pilot field censorship. The process started on October 21 and is expected to continue until the end of November and will last six weeks on the ground. By pilot censorship we are testing all the steps needed for a successful census next year, which means all methodological, cartographic, as well as data collection issues, the application we are collecting data we want to test , logistics, recruitment. So all the processes that make up the whole.

In 2020, the censorship is expected to officially begin, you have the support of the internationals throughout this process, how long will the censorship last, and how much funding is expected?

Censorship is certainly accomplished with the sport of internationals but a good part of it is the state budget that it covers, not only in financial terms but also in the whole business process, we are consulting. We have technical assistance from the European Union, we also have experts monitoring the process. So we have all the activities that include censorship as a process, are monitorable, and have the support of international experts. In general I can say that the costs of organizing the censorship can go up to 16 million Euros, where we have various donor support, the European Union and the state budget.

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