Mazar-i Sharif, 8 November 2015 - Today the Central Statistics Organization (CSO) of Afghanistan and the provincial government of Balkh announced the start of the operations to conduct the Socio-Demographic and Economic Survey (SDES).
The SDES objective is to gather information on socio economic and demographic status of the population from all 34 provinces of Afghanistan. SDES will provide village-level data for local development policy and planning.
Balkh is the ninth province undertaking the SDES with the technical support of the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA. The survey was already conducted in Bamiyan, Ghor, Daikundi, Parwan, Kapisa, Kabul, Samangan and Takhar.
The survey involves different stages: mapping of the province, data collection, and data entry and analysis. More than 2,600 surveyors and 280 cartographers will be in charge of mapping the province and collecting the data which will be analyzed and released in a provincial report next year.
"When we get good data and information on the population, the social indicators and the economy of Balkh, we can use that to make better plans for services for the population. When we plan better, we improve the delivery of health, education, water, livelihood and employment services to our people. When services are improved, we improve the quality of life of the people. When people have improved quality of life, they contribute better to improving the overall development of Balkh province and Afghanistan in general", says Dr Wilfred Ochan, UNFPA Deputy Representative for Afghanistan.
The findings of the survey will provide up-to-date and accurate information on the number of households in the province, age and sex, distribution of household members, and information about education, health, employment and other socio-economic facts.
Using new technologies
For the first time ever, a Short Message Service (SMS) system will be introduced for data collection in four districts of the province including the provincial capital. The system will help CSO monitoring the work of the surveyors while they are conducting their activities. The SMS system will provide CSO with data regarding the number of houses surveyors are visiting per day and the key data collected.
The United Nations Population Fund provides technical support to CSO, for improving survey planning, data collection, processing, analysis and data dissemination.
Since 2011, UNFPA has supported the Central Statistics Organization (CSO) to conduct the provincial level Socio-Demographic and Economic Survey (SDES). Bamiyan was the first province to conduct the SDES, followed by Ghor and Daikundi in 2012. The survey has also been done in Kabul, Parwan, Kapisa and Samangan provinces. CSO and UNFPA intend to ensure that all the provinces of Afghanistan have a complete and up-to-date SDES by 2018, so that future planning occurs on the basis of robust and technically sound data.
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