The head of the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (Indec), Marco Lavagna, said on Wednesday that the National Census planned for this year and that it was postponed due to the pandemic could be held in May or November 2021, although the completion of the survey is contingent on overcoming the health emergency,
Lavagna, when presenting in the framework of the Population Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, chaired by the deputy of the Civic Coalition, Héctor ‘Toty’ Flores, referred to the postponement of the 2020 census due to the pandemic and considered that it evaluates two Tentative dates: “One in May and one more likely in November 2021“.
Through a decree, the national government announced days ago the postponement of the National Population, Household and Housing Census, at least until next year since Law 27,541, which was expanded by Decree due to the Covid-19 pandemic, establishes the health emergency for a period of one year until March 12, 2021.
However, the official did not rule out that the census could be postponed until 2022 “if the pandemic spreads.”
At the beginning of his presentation, the official – who was a national deputy until December 2019 – thanked the invitation to speak and said he felt “part of the chamber”, while saying “he missed the parliamentary work.”
According to Lavagna, the National Census will allow “population projections, vital statistics and see what are the unmet basic needs (UBN)“, in addition to” having a reality of the entire Argentine territory and where some public policies have to be applied or even for the distribution of co-participation. ”
Among the different measures carried out, Lavagna specified that the agency develop a pre-census of homes, for internal use by INDEC, to carry out a survey of the dwellings with the basic characteristics of homes “by observation” in towns throughout the country with more than 2000 inhabitants.
Likewise, Lavagna highlighted that the agency analyzes the completion of the E-Census so that citizens can self-census, through a web page, with which at least 15 percent of the population could be reached, and that it will be the kick so that censuses are “increasingly digital” as it happens in other countries of the world.
After specifying that the agency adapted to the crisis generated by the pandemic, Lavagna said that Indec works almost 95 percent remotely and stressed that the schedules and planned dates established for the publications made by the entity with 1 year in advance.
He highlighted the realization of the economic census, the first stage of which will take place between November and December 2020, with an online registration of economic units with basic company data.
He argued that, so far, 1,200 people have been trained remotely and specified that the agency plans to carry out some 37 million questionnaires, the use of 1,500 tons of paper, and explained that the Census will require a budget of 14,500 million pesos.
After answering questions from the deputies, Lavagna said that Indec “has a commitment to provide information that is useful and serves in decision-making. We have to give bad news at this time but we cannot ignore it or hide it.”
Stressed that the organism is “the tomograph that measures all the parameters: then the doctor will be the one who will arrange the medications, in this case the policies to be taken. The essential thing is that the tomograph works well and provides information in a timely manner. ”
“We are going to need a lot of help from everyone to be able to carry out the Census. Surveys are impossible if there is not a political commitment not only from the governing sector but it has to be a commitment from all political spaces,” Lavagna said.