SPELLS OUT ROAD TO 2008 CENSUS
The Liberia institute of Statistics and Geo-Information
Services (LISGIS) became an autonomous agency of Government
by an Act of the NTLA on July 22, 2004, and was subsequently
signed into Law by former Chairman Charles Gyude Bryant.
is responsible for compilation, analysis, publication
and dissemination of all data from individuals, establishments
and Geo-spatial Information in the country.
what are the vision and goals of LISGIS? The vision
of LISGIS is to be the center of excellence in statistical
and geo-spatial production, management and coordination
for better planning and national development. Its goals
are (1) to establish, develop and maintain a holistic
national statistical and spatial data system (NSSDS)
and Integrated National Statistical and Spatial Database
(NSSD), and (2) to coordinate, monitor and supervise
the NSSDS and the NSSD to allow for the provision of
holistic gender and geographic sensitivity analysis
for timely, relevant and acceptable standard for information
to institutions of government, the business and the
wider national and international communities.
provide proper management to this Institution, LISGIS
is managed by a Board of Directors, a Director-General
and three Deputy Director-Generals who are heading three
important departments. LISGIS has and continue to benefit
from supports provided by the Government of Liberia
and its development partners, including, among others,
USAID, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNDP, IMF, World Bank, AfDB, ECOWAS,
UNSD, EU, etc.
To further build the human resource of LISGIS, Development
partners are providing experts in various fields. They
have provided expert to work on staff development and
capacity building on the job, study tours in the areas
of GIS, National Accounts, Consumer Price Index, etc.
the 14 years of the civil crisis, Liberia lost all of
her statistical databases, comprising of social, economic
demographic, population and Housing census data. Since
the end of the civil war, data from secondary sources
reveal that there have been tremendous changes in Liberian
society. Among these changes are partial or complete
destruction of villages/towns; massive displacement
of people; breakdown in family, law and order; increase
in unemployment and poverty, occasioning an increase
in casual prostitution; a decline in the age at first
sexual intercourse; increase of teenage pregnancies,
abortions, and sexually transmitted infections; and,
spread of HIV/AIDS.
addition, the war led to the destruction of the national
economy and the country's physical infrastructure such
as roads, dwellings, offices, hospitals, educational
and health centers, water supply, electricity and telecommunications
systems. The war also contributed to the disruption
of social institutions and created other social and
economic problems such as high levels of disability,
trauma, illiteracy, loss of skilled human resource,
disruption to formal education, increase in violence
against women and children, rape and other forms of
sexual assault. The war also led to higher proportions
of children living on the streets or away from their
is widely believed that the war led to the death of
over two hundred thousands of people and to the displacement
of hundreds of thousands of others. However, the actual
number of people who died, migrated or were displaced
is not known since there are no data on which any reliable
estimates could be based. It has become difficult to
plan for a population without these basic statistics.
government is keen to measure the extent of health-related
changes in Liberian society, especially to determine:
the population size, structure and distribution in Liberia;
socio-cultural and educational characteristics; economic
activity; marital status; fertility; mortality; migration;
profile of the female, children and youth, elderly and
handicapped population; characteristics of households
and housing; profile of non-monetary poverty in Liberian
households; county monographs; demographic atlas of
Government of Liberia conducted censuses in 1962, 1974
and 1984 and the results were 1.1 million, 1.5 million
and 2.1 million, respectively. Liberia did not participate
in the 1990 and 2000 rounds of the World Population
and Housing Censuses due to the civil crisis. Liberia
has stayed for the past 23 years without an accurate
data on its population base and development program.
United Nations also recommends that countries conduct
censuses every ten years to be able to generate reliable
and timely data.
for reasons indicated above, the Government of Liberia
in 2006 requested the UNFPA for support to prepare a
Road Map for undertaking the census in March 2008, and
the UNFPA provided a CST expert who assisted LISGIS
prepared the project document. The document, which placed
the estimated cost of the census at US$5.6, was signed
by the Government of Liberia and UNFPA in ---- 2006.
Of the estimated cost, the Government of Liberia has
committed about US$0.4 million, UNFPA about US$1.0 million
and USAID about US$0.2 million; leaving a funding gap
of about US$4.0 million.
accordance to the Constitution of Liberia, the National
Legislature passed Act on April 21, 2007 mandating the
Executive Branch of Government to conduct the National
Population and Housing Census in 2008. LISGIS is tirelessly
working to meet the target date to conduct the National
Population and Housing Census.
this light, geographic planning being one of the most
important preparatory activities that have to be undertaken
before conducting the census, LISGIS has recruited,
trained and deployed 5 regional coordinators, 16 field
mapping teams of 16 supervisors and 48 mapping assistants
in all the 5 regions and 15 counties to map the counties.
Also, recruited and trained were 75 interviewers (5
from each county) to conduct the pilot census in 75
enumeration areas (5 each selected from each county).
International Census Cartographic/GIS, a Demographic
and a Data Processing Experts have been hired by UNFPA
to train LISGIS staff as well as field staff for the
mapping, the pilot census and data processing exercises.
To date, LISGIS staff and the field staff have been
trained. The mapping exercise is ongoing and the pilot
census data collection has been completed. The training
of the data processing staff and the data processing
and analysis of the pilot census data are progressing
as scheduled. The census questionnaire and instructions
manuals have been developed. A data users and producers
workshop was held to discuss and vet the census questions
and indicators and their concerns were in cooperated
into the final version of the questionnaire. Also considered,
were indicators from previous censuses and those recommended
by the UN.
UNFPA and USAID bought and delivered equipment such
as vehicles, mapping, data processing, GIS, computer,
and software, computers, GPS, etc.
and its development partners are planning to launch
the census activities shortly. Meanwhile, LISGIS is
soliciting the support and corporation of every resident
of Liberia to make the census a success.