Don’t open the door to strangers: How to identify census enumerators

Zachary Mwangi, Director General of the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), speaking at the launch of 2019 mock census. [Photo, Courtesy]
The government is set to conduct Kenya’s sixth national census on the night of August 24, 2019.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics has engaged about 138,572 enumerators, 22,268 content supervisors and 2,467 ICT supervisors for the exercise.

This is a fairly large number of staff and it is impossible for all Kenyans to master their names and faces.  

There are some obvious security concerns among Kenyans seeing as the exercise will be conducted at night; criminals could take advantage of the opportunity considering people are required to open their doors to enumerators.

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However, KNBS says security agencies are fully involved and are part of the national and county census committees.

So how do you identify the enumerators?

1. Enumerators will have official identification cards with the KNBS, census and government logos, displaying their name and ID number.

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2. They will wear branded orange and maroon reflector jackets for ease of identification.

These will bear the government (Kenyan coat of arms) and census logos at the front on the right and left side respectively. The census motto ‘Jitokeze Uhesabike’ at the back.

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3. There will likely be familiar faces.

You probably already know them or have seen them before. According to KNBS the enumerators have been recruited from where they live and are therefore, known to the locals.

They will be accompanied by village elders, leaders of residence associations and in certain cases, assistant chiefs who are well known by the heads of households.

4. The exercise is free of charge and no one should be asked for any form of payment by the enumerators.

5. Expect them to have gadgets, specifically black Computer-Aided Personal Interviewer (CAPI) tablets bearing the KNBS logo at the back.

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These will be used to capture the census data electronically. The questions should have been uploaded on the tablet which has in-built checks to ensure data quality.

6. They should not ‘knock’ more than once.

Once the enumerators are done collecting data for each household, a process that will take roughly 30 minutes depending on the number of people present, the officials will write a number on the door or at any visible place on the structure to indicate that enumeration has been conducted.

KNBS has urged that the number should not be erased, at least until the entire census exercise is complete.

If there is no structure, a structure numbering card will be issued to the household after enumeration.

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It is, however, important to note that before the material day, there will be a ‘census rehearsal’ where residents and enumerators will be able to familiarise themselves with the exercise.

As far as data security is concerned, KNBS says all information collected will be confidential as provided for by The Statistics Act 2006. All census officials will swear an “Oath of Secrecy” as embodied in the Act, which forbids them from divulging information collected to unauthorized persons.

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