Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) has expressed concern over the reluctance by some companies to provide adequate data during survey exercises leading to unreliable statistical conclusions.
Speaking during a data training workshop held recently, Zimstat Director-General Taguma Mahonde said they were facing challenges in obtaining adequate data sufficient to draw representative and reliable statistical conclusions.
“We’re facing challenges of low response rate from companies during survey exercises, we give them, for example, 100 questionnaires and we struggle to get at least 70 responses and for us to have representative statistics we need a response rate of 70 percent and above,” he said.
Mahonde said the company data training workshop is aimed at capacitating and equipping enumerators with skills and tactics to gather data even under impossible environments.
“With household-based data and response rate there has been sufficient training and less challenges but we’re encountering problems with reference to company-based data collection enumeration, we want to solve that through capacitating our enumerators,” he said.
Mahonde highlighted that Zimstat has been working on the modalities to embrace current technologies used in data collection as a move to eliminate biases and increase reliability of statistical data.
“We know they’re web based applications which are now being used across the world so we’re in the process of developing them, we are also working with international bodies such as the African Union and World Bank to improve our skills and techniques and that would also aid in us having an enhanced response rate as well as in the general generation of statistics,” he said.
He added, that after the training their enumerators will engage companies in a better fashion, and establish good working relations that would ensure an increased response rate.
The agency is the main source of official statistics in Zimbabwe and is mandated to play a coordination and supervisory role within the National Statistical System and has the authority to certify any statistics produced in the country as official statistics.