The Lao Statistics Bureau (LSB), Ministry of Planning and Investment, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) organized the first partners briefing to inform partners on the 5th Population and Housing Census 2025 (PHC 2025) preparation and its processes.
PHC 2025 will be held in March 2025 with an approximated total cost of USD 16 million.
The PHC data is crucial to measure the achievements of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), assess the implementation of the 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP) 2021-2025 and provide a baseline for the development of the 10th NSEDP (2026-2030).
The PHC is the most important source of data for planning, monitoring, decision-making, policy formulation and demographic research, business, marketing, industry and labour. It is also crucial to prepare for the Lao PDR to plan for post graduation from the list of Least Developed Country (LDC) by 2024.
LSB and UNFPA shared information on the importance of those processes to support the planning and programming of development activities in the Lao PDR. LSB presented the 5-year strategic plan 2021-2025 and priorities that include strong data culture that inform on the situation, needs, gaps and areas of interventions to improve the life and wellbeing of the population.
In 2019, the government committed at the Nairobi Summit to strengthen the availability and use of population data for planning, policy formulation to achieve the three transformative results: a) end preventable maternal deaths, (b) end the unmet need for family planning, and (c) end gender-based violence and all harmful practices, including child marriage.
The data collected by census helps the government at national and sub-national levels as well as sectors make major decisions for the future.
Censuses are a comprehensive source of statistical information for economic and social development planning and for administrative purposes. For example, the results of a census are used to distribute and allocate government funds for education, health services and social development.
“According to the Lao Statistics Law, the PHC is to be conducted on a 10-years basis by the LSB. The PHC is the biggest and most important survey in the Lao PDR. A population census covers everyone in the country at the same time and serves as benchmark data on population and its characteristics. It provides a snapshot of the number of people and their demographics, social, cultural and economic characteristics as at the reference date for all administrative areas-country as a whole, district and village,” said Head of Lao Statistics Bureau Phonsaly Souksavath.
“Human capital is the most critical capital for contemporary societies’ well-being and progress in any country. Providing an accurate and reliable assessment of this capital at the national, regional and down to village level is essential for evidence-based decision making by governments, development partners, academics, civil societies, researchers and commercial business,” said UNFPA Representative to the Lao PDR Mariam A. Khan.
The meeting aimed to set up a collaborative mechanism amongst development partners, donors to participate and contribute to the upcoming PHC 2025 to ensure the smooth process and quality products. Many agencies are willing to participate and support the 5th Population and Housing Census 2025.
Source: Lao News Agency