13 Dec 2016

Tablets in use for novel Tonga census

5:25 pm on 13 December 2016

After successes in Tokelau and Vanuatu, Tonga is the latest Pacific nation to modernise how it conducts its Population and Housing Census by adopting a fully automated system.

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Photo: AFP

Tonga's census began two weeks ago and currently has enumerators and supervisors in the field with access to 600 tablets.

The Pacific Community, the SPC, is providing technical support to the Tonga government for the initiative.

An SPC statistics expert, Phil Bright, said Tokelau was the first in the region to use the automated system with only 30 tablets and Vanuatu is in the process of conducting its census with 350 tablets.

He said Tonga tested the use of tablets when a household listing was conducted earlier this year and is now confidently pursuing this method for its census.

The new system eliminates paper, provide more control over the collection of data and allows location maps to be generated using satellite imagery.

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