A microcensus contains less-detailed questions and covers a smaller number of households than in a full national census. The data obtained from these interviews are combined with data from high-resolution satellite imagery into a statistical model that uses a ‘bottom-up’ approach to estimate population numbers in unsampled areas. A microcensus is a fast way to obtain a solid demographic picture that has the added virtue of being significantly cheaper than a national census. In the DRC, the microcensus effort was led by the GRID3 Mapping for Health team at Flowminder. GRID3’s WorldPop team contributed to the survey sampling and provided technical expertise to support implementation; the Kinshasa School of Public Health led the fieldwork; and the Institut National de la Statistique (INS) (via the Bureau Central de Recensement, BCR) provided the necessary authorisation and oversight.
In advance of enumeration, the partners sampled a number of survey sites and created digital and analogue maps that would enable field teams to navigate to select field locations. These maps showed the locations of the survey clusters in relation to settlements and displayed building footprints for each survey cluster (to aid identification of the locations to be surveyed). KSPH trained the 210 enumerators and 35 supervisors who comprised the field teams. Following two pre-tests conducted to discover and troubleshoot challenges that might arise, enumerators began data collection. By the end of the 46-day enumeration period, the teams had covered 1,497 out of the 1,596 identified clusters, or 94 percent (substantially above the target of 80 percent). The remaining clusters were not reached due to insecurity or other challenges such as geographic inaccessibility and the misidentification of settlements in satellite imagery.