Starting October 1st, the local community can complete the 2020 Census online
A simpler and shorter questionnaire this time
When some people thought it would no longer happen, this week started with the beautiful news that the 2020 Census will still take place, and this time it will be more modern than ever.
The is what Desiree Helder, who is the Deputy Director of the Central Bureau of Statistics, indicated during a press conference.
A Census is held every 10 years in Aruba, to have a snapshot taken of the island. However, the novel Coronavirus pandemic and the island’s economic situation, have altered the plans for the 2020 Census.
Nevertheless, the final decision was to still organize the 2020 Census this year, which will begin on October 1st. However, the organizers of the Census have considered all aspects of safety, not only for their staff but also for the citizens of the island.
Helder explained that for this reason on October 1st they will not start as they usually do, by having enumerators visiting each home. But they will start the 2020 Census through an online system.
She made it clear that on October 1st, 2020, the questionnaire will be available on their website, where all the households that wish to fill this in through this system could do so and this should be done completely.
The households that complete the questionnaire online, will not be visited later on. Therefore, it is important that everyone is aware of the following; from October the 1st until October the 10th, the questionnaire will be available online, and this can be filled in by using your parcel number which is used by WEB Aruba NV for your house.
Every house in Aruba has a water meter, therefore everyone should have a parcel number, and this is what the 2020 Census will use to ensure that all the households are included in the count. In case you live at a place where there is not a water meter and you still wish to participate, then you could call the Central Bureau of Statistics so you can be included.
Helder further explained that this parcel number is a ‘unique’ identification for each household that has a water meter in Aruba. You have to fill in this number to gain access to the online questionnaire.
Innovation in the Census
According to Desiree Helder, this new system for the 2020 Census is not only for the safety of everyone but it is also part of the innovation that the Central Bureau of Statistics has been working hard on in the last years.
She explained that for many years it has been a wish to execute the 2020 Census on a completely digital manner. But the intention was for each enumerator to have e.g. a tablet and fill in all the information.
Now that the pandemic has emerged, they decided to go a step further, and make the 2020 Census available online. Seeing that the Coronavirus crisis, has brought different complications for the households, who might have a problem with allowing a stranger to enter their homes.
From March up to now, the 2020 Census organizers have adjusted the questionnaire entirely, to make it possible and easier to complete online.
Desiree Helder clarified that they have simplified the questions, and even removed some, to make this less lengthy. As a result, the questionnaire is now easier and shorter which makes it possible to be completed online.
The Deputy Director of the Central Bureau of Statistics disclosed that it is still not a simple questionnaire, and that is why during the period of October 1st until the 10th, the staff of the Central Bureau of Statistics will be available to assist, answer calls or emails to everyone who might have questions, or might need further explanation on certain questions. Therefore, support will be available for all citizens. Their main goal is to have all the 2020 Census information coming from the online system.
Visits in November
In relation to the social distancing rules and the sanitary rules, it is wished upon for everyone to complete the 2020 Census through the online system in the month of October. It is their goal to have as many households as possible completing the 2020 Census online.
However, they understand not every household will be able to complete the questionnaire online, and this might be due to many different reasons.
Consequently, starting November the 1st until November the 10th, the enumerators will start visiting the households that were not able to complete the 2020 Census yet. In the past, about 1200 enumerators were hired to do this, and usually these were school teachers.
For this year they might only need to hire about 500 enumerators, and seeing that in November it will be difficult for teachers to participate, they hope that they could hire civil servants, retirees, or persons that are currently not employed. There are some minimal requirements, such as, a Highschool degree and the ability to communicate fluently in Papiamento, Dutch, English, and Spanish.
Only those addresses which have not completed the online questionnaire will be visited in November.
Please keep in mind that it is important to gather data through the Census which is held every 10 years. This is especially the case seeing that new information is highly necessary at the moment. The information will give details on e.g. how many people are currently living in Aruba, how many are unemployed etc.
The 2020 Census will need a complete count of everyone in Aruba! Everyone that has the intention of living 1 year or more on the island, will be counted! Please remember that all this information will be kept safe. By law, it is prohibited for an enumerator of the 2020 Census to reveal any information, and could be punished with time in prison.