The SIB is working on a census of the population for 2020. It has access to funding via a project that will assist with the modernization of the SIB. The SIB census for 2020 will be upgraded with questionnaires which will be comparable to what’s done regionally. With a growing population since the last census was done over 8 years ago, the work of the SIB for a field census is more complex. Y yet the SIB expects to complete the work in a shorter time. The Director General of the SIB, Dr. Leopold Perriott explained how they plan to collect data in challenging neighborhoods.
Dr. Leopold Perriot: “Yes the last time we conducted a census in 2010 the issue was that there was a huge number of dropouts of interviewers and so we are left with a small number of interviewers having to do a huge population which then just extended the lifetime of the field work. So this time what I am telling them is that we have to load up in the front end, if we need 675 people to do the job in two months, we have to hire 1000 people but from loading the people in the Census and in places like Belize City where we have most difficult it is going to be a heavier overload so it might 50% more in Belize City and maybe in Orange Walk or Toledo where it’s much more reasonable then it is much less percentage of overloads and so that’s the first thing so we are hoping that we can do it. There will be an issue in security, there is always an issue in security in these kinds of things and so we have to be in conversation with Police and the forces to see how we can get around these particular things, you are caught between a rock and a hard place. We do not want our people to be exposed to dangers and so there will be issues, we have to first of all talk to the people who are in these areas and come to an agreement of some sort, we have to have dialogue with them, that’s the first line of defence, the other line is to hire people who are from the region, from the area that are known and are respected in the particular area, that is an issue we have to be looking at and so on three fronts and then as a last backup we have some very respected people who really understand how to do interviewing. Interviewing are not easy thing to do, it is not easy and this is one of the problems people had, people think it’s not easy, you just go and do it and it’s done and when it gets to the field it’s a bear.”
The census will also implement the use of GIS. So issues like health, crime and even poverty can be tagged by location and used by various Government departments in their work with communities.