Zimbabweans in the Diaspora are likely to be enumerated in the country’s next census in 2012.
A technical working group composed of officials from the Zimbabwe Statistical Agency, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), government departments and other development partners was set up at a workshop in Kadoma on Friday to deliberate on the methodology to be used in the census.
Kathleen Keer, IOM acting chief of mission, which is sponsoring the programme, said in a speech read on her behalf by Rangarirai Tigere of the IOM migration and development unit, official statistics on Diasporans were not available.
“With figures ranging from 500 000 to 4 million being mentioned, depending on the source one consults, this militates against evidence-based policy formulation and programming on issues related to labour migration and remittances among other issues,” Keer said.
Lazarus Zanamwe from the University of Zimbabwe’s Department of Geography suggested the combination of the biological parent method and the siblings approach be used on the enumeration, meaning the census could be carried out within the borders of Zimbabwe.
Under the biological parent method, census officials would interview parents who are then expected to report on their children resident outside the country. Respondents will be asked about the migrant’s age, sex, country of stay and duration of stay.
“It may be difficult to go all over the world to count Zimbabweans, but parents know where their children in the Diaspora are,” he said.
Zanamwe said the biological parent method had a number of weaknesses among them being that a number of migrants may not have parents due to death, while other parents may not be in the country.
Biological parents not living together may report the same child twice.
Zanamwe said the siblings approach, where the eldest sibling in the household gives information about the whereabouts of other siblings, may be used together with the biological parent approach. The siblings in this instance should be 15 years and above.
This will result in the Diasporans without parents being captured.
The technical working group will refine the proposed methods, develop appropriate census questions and explore international best practice.