Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a pleasure for me to welcome you to the
third meeting of the Working Party on the Application
of New Technology to Population Data, to be
held here in Bali.
It is intentionally arranged here in Bali because
we are in Indonesia still in the process of
exercising a new political system, which there
are cases where we have to face a political
turbulence, especially in the capital city of
Jakarta, which is quite far from here.
I hope with Bali, taken as the site of this
meeting, will encourage you to be more active
in your discussion and deliberation during the
As member of ESCAP, we are always aware that
we are coming from countries with different
degree of development with regard to the application
of new technology. Especially with the developing
members of ESCAP, during the last rounds of
population census undertaking, we were still
using the "conventional" technology. By the
end of this century, the information technology
is developing very fast and even many developing
member countries have to apply the new technology
Since the developing member countries have
limited resources, it would be wise for them
to learn the experience from the more advanced
countries, to avoid jumping into adopting a
costly and in-efficient technology.
Since we are talking about the application
of new technology, to population data, we know
very well that the main sources of population
data are the population census, the intercensal
population survey and more frequent sample surveys
of household. The population census and to a
certain extent also the intercensal population
survey are very costly undertaking and require
a lot of energy to plan and execute. Since it
is a large scale undertaking, we always feel
that the budget provided by the government is
limited, but still with that limited budget
we have to produce timely and accurate population
In the last rounds of population census, to
release timely population data using conventional
technology sometimes we had to sacrifice the
accuracy, either by cutting the cycle of data
validation or by reducing the size of sample
in the collection of detailed statistical information.
The use of new technology will enable us to
increase the timeliness and accuracy of data
through better mapping, data collection, data
processing, data presentation and dissemination.
In Indonesia experience, one reason why there
is a delay in data presentation is because the
delay in data entry work in obtaining clean
file before tabulation. That is why we feel
that the use of OCR/OMR technology for data
capture is one of the most useful application
of new technology, beside other applicable technology.
At this opportunity I would like to inform
that BPS has been selected to be the site of
the pilot application on OCR/OMR technology.
We have been studying the technology with the
cooperation with JICA. JICA has granted us with
a set of OCR/ OMR system that allows us to conduct
the study and also expert assistance. The study
has scrutinized various capabilities of OCR/
OMR systems, particularly in the census form
design and recognition capabilities. We learned
how to conduct a census or survey using OCR/
OMR technology. By carrying this study, we are
now ready to perform the 2000 Population Census
using OCR/ OMR system. We will record our experience
in conducting the study so other NSOs are able
to learn from our experience.
Looking at the agenda, I think most of the
recently developed technology will be discussed
in this meeting. I hope you could come up with
a useful and feasible recommendation with regard
to the best available alternative of new technology
which are the most suitable to meet our requirement.
I just want to raise a small point, that is
whether there is any country has the experience
to apply new technology to facilitate a better
training for census enumerators and supervisors?
I heard that China will train more than 6 (six)
million enumerators and India more than 3 million,
while Indonesia about half million field workers.
To increase the quality of census data, I am
sure the contribution of better training of
the enumerators will really be significant.
One possible alternative to apply a new technology
in training of enumerators is to adopt sort
of distance learning technique through data
communication network. Even with self-enumeration
approach, when a respondent get confused with
the manual of instruction to fill out the questionnaires,
at least they can refer to a more elaborate
explanation with more examples through the web-site.
I suggest that this Working Party also make
use the proceeding of the recurrent Population
Census Conference as one of the reference material,
since the discussion in the recent Population
Census Conference also focused on the use of
new technology in the population census undertaking,
rather than discussing the demographic characteristics
to be analyzed. Their concern is how to analyze
the result better using new technology, that
is why the suggestion is to capture everything
Finally since you are in Bali, please don't
forget to spare your precious time to see around
and observe not only the scenery, the landscape,
the art and capture, but whether new technology
spreading in all ways of life have influenced
the behavior of Balinese people which was regarded
as a peaceful society far from any turbulence.
In any case I really hope that you have a pleasant
and enjoyable stay here in Bali. Just in case
you have any problem, please do not hesitate
to talk to our staff, who will be glad to help
Lastly I wish all the success with your discussion
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.