Online press conference

"We are prepared to conduct the Census this year," says President of the IBGE, who does not rule 2022 out

Section: IBGE | Alerrandre Barros

April 30, 2021 03h30 PM | Last Updated: May 03, 2021 02h38 PM

The new President of the IBGE, Eduardo Rios Neto, took office last Friday (30) and said, in a press conference, that Population Census project is ready and the Institute is prepared to conduct the operation this year, though it still needs budget resources so that it can start. He also mentioned that the evolution of vaccination against Covid-19 will be an important parameter for the start of the operation all over the country. He does not rule out 2022, once the original scheduled has been altered and some steps could not be concluded without the expected funds.

"We are technically prepared for the Census this year. There is a public outcry for it. Nevertheless, we have to wait and see if the R$2 billion budget will be reallocated, either by means of a judicial action or by the Congress, so that all the census operation planning can be carried out," Mr. Rios Neto explained.

Last Wednesday (28), minister Marco Aurélio Mello, stated, in a preliminary decision, that the Census must be conducted. That took place after the 2021 budget was sanctioned by the government and more than 90% of the resources for the Census were cut off, with a reduction from R$ billion to R$53 million. That would make it impossible to conduct the operation. A final decision on the issue will be made on a plenary session by Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court.

Rios Neto highlighted that, regardless of budget reallocation, data collection will not start on August 1st, as previous sucheduled. “Now we should consider postponing the start of data collection until September or October, according to what is found best by the General Commission on Census Planning and Organization (CPO)."

Hiring processes remain suspended until budgetary decision

Hiring processes for 204 thousand temporary workers enumerators and census agents - remain suspended and still depend on budgetary decision. As these professionals will visit more than 70 million households in all the municipalities in Brazil, sanitary conditionsbare of utmost importance for the start of data collection.

"We have requested from the government the inclusion of enumerators and census agents in some priority group for vaccination against Covid-19. But, regardless of vaccination, these professionals will have to use individual protection equipment and receive training in approach protocols that follow international patterns", says the President.

Mr. Rios Neto highlights that it is no longer possible to start data collection on August 1st - Photo: IBGE Collection

President Rios Neto dias not rule 2022 out

Although there is no consensus, and some experts advocate for the postponement of the Census due to sanitary reasons, Mr. Rios Neto says he believes in the viability of the operation for 2021. He highlighted that all the members of the Population Census Consulting Committee are favorable to have it this year, and so are many ex-presidents of the IBGE. The new President, however, does not rule 2022 out.

“In this alternative scenario, amore resources would be necessary, considering the Budgetary Law for 2021, in order to guarantee economicity and technicity of planning activities. What worries me is the continuity of the census process. It is also worth mentioning the convenience of having data collection in the first semester of 2022. In short, I am ready to lead the process, despite all uncertainties."

The President of the IBGE added: “My role, as President of the IBGE, is to fight for the Census and maintain its regularity in time and the quality of the other products generated by the Institute. I am going to make every effort to have cooperation from the Executive Power, by means of its Budgetary Execution Commission and also from the Congress, in order to make the census operation possible.”

Census Project, which has been updated in the last few years, is based on three pillars

Mr. Rios Neto also mentioned, during the interview, that the Population Census Project was improved in the last few years and is based on three principles. The first one is its mixed model with three types of data collection: regular face-to-face interview, interview by telephone and filing by the interviewee by the Internet.

The second pillar is a focus on health and safety, not only of enumerators and census agents but also of the enumerated population, by means of sanitary protocols that follow best practices at both national and international levels. The third pillar is a training model that merges both distance and face-to-face training methods.

Besides that, the census operation will count on modern monitoring tools, with two projects that aim at contributing to better coverage and quality of the census operation: one of demographic indicators, daily monitoring during the enumeration phase, the GradePop Project, intended to estimate household density in the enumeration areas during pre-collection, collection and post-collection phases.

New President had been in charge of the Surveys Department since 2019

Having been appointed last Tuesday (27), Eduardo Rios Neto had already been working for the IBGE as Director of Surveys since 2019. He took office after former President Susana Cordeiro Guerra resigned, in the end of March.

With a degree in Economics, the new President of the IBGE has a PhD in Demography from the University of California, in Berkeley, and a post-doctoral degree from the University of Texas-Austin, both in the USA. He is a retired senior professor from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG). Mr. Rios Neto is also a member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, in the field of Social Sciences.