The first extensive Population Estimation Survey in Somalia (PESS) in over four decades was launched on Tuesday 26th May in Mogadishu. The survey was carried out by the Somali authorities with the help of UNFPA between October 2013 and March 2014, and was supported by UKaid. It will assist in understanding the size and characteristics of the Somali population and providing data which Somali authorities and development partners can use for planning purposes.
Speaking following the launch of the PESS the Head of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) Somalia, Phil Evans said:
As one of the first donors to support the PESS, DFID is delighted to see that it has come to fruition. The data will enable the government, international partners, and all those involved in Somalia’s continued progress, to ensure our efforts are best focused as we work towards a more prosperous and peaceful future for Somalia.
Phil Evans encouraged the Somali authorities and UN to open the data to academia, civil society and international statistical specialists so that the maximum insight into the Somali population can be extracted and shared.
Somalia has over the years operated without comprehensive information on population and social and economic characteristics making it difficult to plan and measure development impact. The last available census was conducted in 1975.
The International Community has been working with the Somali authorities to help build the capacity to produce high quality statistics within Somalia. Aid agencies are taking seriously the question of doing the right things in the right places, and the PESS offers a foundation from which we can all build robust statistics to track Somalia’s governance, social and economic progress.