Zambia’s Central Statistical Office Prioritizes Paperless Collection of Migration Data

Central Statistical Acting Director Goodson Sinyenga holds up one of the tablets donated by the IOM, as IOM Chief of Mission Marianne Lane looks on. 

Lusaka — Improving migration management at the national level has been identified as a priority for the Government of Zambia; migration dynamics in the country, region and indeed globally, have become increasingly complex. They are influenced by instability and conflict, unemployment, as well as environmental and economic factors. This includes mixed migration flows, including regular and irregular migration within the Southern Africa region, as well as from the Horn of Africa and East Africa, and beyond. The Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) has requested assistance from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to strengthen its capacity to collect, analyse and utilize migration data, and ultimately to prepare the country’s Migration Profile.  

Migration is one of three key determinants of population change, along with births and deaths; adequate data is necessary to ensure sound policy making, planning and migration governance. Historically, a lot of investment has been channelled into collecting data on births and deaths, while migration has not featured as prominently in most data sources. However, GRZ, with coordination efforts from the Central Statistical Office and the Department of Immigration, has significantly strengthened the collection and reporting of key migration data through periodic surveys, the national census and administrative data (e.g. through government entities responsible for immigration, national registration, labour, among others). Zambia is preparing a 2020 national census of population and housing. IOM has provided support to these processes.  

On Wednesday (27/03) IOM donated 25 tablets to the Central Statistical Office, which will be used to facilitate the collection of real-time data by analysts — including migration data indicators, which have been incorporated in the census and surveys. This is part of an IOM Development Fund initiative to support to help the GRZ strengthen its capacity to collect, analyse and utilize migration data.  

During the handover ceremony, Marianne Lane, IOM Zambia Chief of Mission, presented the tablets to Central Statistical Office Acting Director, Mr Goodson Sinyenga. 

“Migration is gaining prominence nationally and beyond, as well as in the public discourse. Sound, credible data is needed to ensure effective, evidence-based dialogue, as well as good governance of migration in Zambia,” Lane said. “This also contributes to the attainment of the targets set out in the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, leaving no one behind.” 

The Central Statistical Office expressed its gratitude to IOM. In his remarks, Mr Sinyenga stated: “Migration can only be reported and managed effectively when migration data capture is enhanced through modern technology. As an office we are very pleased to receive this equipment from IOM, which will go a long way in helping the Government of Zambia to deliver effectively.”  

For more information please contact Emmanuel Sinkala at IOM Zambia, Tel: +260 211 254055, Email;