The census is Burkina Faso’s biggest and most complex effort to collect population data. Between December 2019 and January 2020, more than 20,000 enumerators spread out into remote and non-remote areas to count Burkina Faso’s population, canvassing households, collecting individual information, and compiling millions of completed questionnaires.
Before the exercise, INSD Burkina Faso (Institut National de la Statistique et de la Démographie – the National Statistics Office of Burkina Faso) was able to cover more areas than initially expected by taking a community-centred approach: as part of the cartography stage, where the whole country is mapped in preparation for census enumeration, INSD successfully trained local people from hard-to-reach areas to conduct enumeration. Their inclusion in the enumeration workforce increased access to these areas.
At the end of the exercise, the government amassed a wealth of data that included numbers of people and information on their spatial distribution, age and sex structure, living conditions and other key socioeconomic characteristics. This information is critical for good governance, policy formulation, development planning, risk reduction, crisis response, social welfare programmes and business market analyses, among other applications.
Despite the enormous efforts and measures taken to expand coverage, enumeration in certain areas of Burkina Faso still turned out to be impossible due to insecurity. To ensure that no one is left behind, the GRID3 Burkina Faso team produced modelled population estimates for the uncovered areas.
“Burkina Faso’s 2019 census has been a great success. INSD and partners were able to guarantee more coverage than expected. While GRID3’s modelled population estimates are not census data, we are very pleased that the alliance with GRID3 gave us the opportunity to combine their findings with the data we collected from our recent census. The availability of this data will allow us to implement national programs and policies better tailored to the socio-economic needs of the people of Burkina Faso,”
says Hervé Bassinga, research officer in demographics at INSD.