Census of India 2011: Census with Sensitivity
CARD in partnership with the National Alliance for ‘Census with Sensitivity”, an initiative of the UNICEF extended support to the Office of the Registrar General of India (ORGI) for 2011 Census. CARD was partner NGO in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and provided support to training of Master Trainers in these states. CARD s provided 5 out of 90 National Trainers and 35 Master Trainer Facilitators out of 60 MTFs in MP & CG states.
India completed the 15th Census of the country on 9 February 2011 where every citizen of the country was enumerated to update the national population database. This was a massive task involving a few millions of functionaries (2.7 million enumerators, support and supervisory staff). It was essential that each of these individual at every stage had a clear understanding of Census operations and the knowledge and skills to effectively perform the task of enumeration. To ensure highest quality result, a series of capacity enhancement activities at critical levels were proposed and executed. Both the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have large area of operation and diversified cultural areas. It had to carry out collection of data among large proportion of illiterate population in villages and settlements situated in isolated backward places in forests and hills, and even in Naxal affected regions, and everyone was to be enumerated. In short, it was a very difficult and complex task. On the other side the Decadal Census is a one day enumeration every ten years and in less than a months’ time around 27 lakh enumerators cover around 25 crore Households. The Department of Census has staff strength for its routine post-Census operations and therefore all the operational staff is optional arranged from various departments
Role of NGOs in Census Operations & Its CB Strategy:
A bold step was taken by the ORGI in support with UNICEF by extending participation to the Civil Society to assist with the task of capacity enhancement of the Functionaries through a participatory manner. A National Alliance was established between NGOs and training Facilitators to assist with the CENSUS 2011. The National Alliance was led by "SPARSH - Centre for Participatory Learning” and was supported by Six Lead NGOs for Six clusters of all the States. These were: Development Network (DevNet), CINI, NESPYM, SJDT, TARA and SPARSH. For the States of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh- SPARSH in support with CARD was the NGO Partner.
A pool of 90 National Facilitators (45 each by NA and ORGI) and a larger pool of 725 Master Trainer Facilitators (MTFs)- 375 from NA and 350 from ORGI helped train a pool of 54,000 Master Trainers (MTs) who eventually provided training support to the Enumerators. The MTs would finally train the Enumerators (27 lakh) and the MTs were trained by the Master Trainer Facilitators (MTFs) and MTFs by NT. The UNICEF support was limited to State level capacity Building by MTFs due to financial constraints.
The State Partner NGO- CARD Provided 5 National Trainers and 35 Master Trainer Facilitators. A pool of 60 Master Trainer Facilitators (MTFs) covered the State of MP comprising 50 Districts and over 300 Blocks and 23000 GPs. A Pool of Over 3000 MTs was trained from over the State to cover lakhs of Supervisors and Enumerators. It was Practically Impossible to Ensure Quality considering the Team of Part Time Personnel without the outside NGO support.
The CB Strategy at MP Level: Role of NGOs:
A Large Pool of around 600 Master Trainers were needed to ensure Quality Training at Enumerator Level. A much larger team of personnel (in thousands) was needed to ensure supervision of Census Operations over the State. Much more than that- There was Need to Ensure Sensitivity in Census Operations for Key Issues of Gender, Child Protection, Disability, Fertility, Migration, etc. It just could not be possible without a Mass Movement of Civil Society Organizations who organised Mega Mass Awareness Campaigns. Volunteers from NGOs across the State pooled together under the umbrella of CARD to Make this Maha-kumbh of Population Census Possible.
The NGOs therefore had to play very active role in this exercise at all the levels; division, district and block level as they were better placed to do so. The MP Census Department and CARD developed a network of around 40-50 NGOs who provided around four hundred volunteers to help in the process. The NGOs in MP support in the following:
- Provide help/ material in developing IEC material for Census sensitization of all stakeholders,
- Help in awareness campaign for the Census-2011 at all levels, ie; district/ block, urban/rural, and specifically to reach the marginalized castes and communities in schedules/ nonscheduled areas,
- Provide volunteers at district/ block levels for helping in Census- capacity building and monitoring in enumeration process.
Further separate teams were developed to help work on thematic areas of disability, gender, fertility, migration, women and child, etc. They helped sensitizing all stakeholders of Census operations on these issues and as a result the “Madhya Pradesh Census 2011” is the best. CARD also provided support to the MP Census Department in drafting the Analytical reports.