10 Nov 2016

Vanuatu mini-census a tech first for Pacific

6:45 pm on 10 November 2016

A mini-census underway in Vanuatu is a technological milestone for the Pacific according to a spokesperson for the Pacific Community.

Vanuatu football fans find a vantage point in Port Vila.

Phil Bright said mini-census data would provide useful cyclone recovery information for Vanuatu in 2017. Photo: OFC via Phototek

The SPC's Phil Bright said Vanuatu is the first country in the Pacific to perform a fully automated census.

He has been working with the Vanuatu government to deliver a 'tablet based' snapshot of the country's recovery from last year's Cyclone Pam.

Mr Bright said 350 tablets were being used to capture census data over a three week period.

He said the 300 'enumerators', each with a tablet, began gathering data on Monday and uploading it daily to the office server in Port Vila.

"We also have 3G simcards in all of the tablets so the data's being synchronised whenever there's a connection, and I'm looking at that server right now and we currently have 8-thousand-and-39 households who have been entered into the server," said Phil Bright.

Mr Bright said the data is checked as it comes in via the 50 tablets at the Vanuatu National Statistics Office.

He says a preliminary mini-census figure should be available before the end of the year so that useful cyclone recovery information can be produced and disseminated early next year.