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AMERICAN DEMOGRAPHICS. 1995 May; 17(5):48-54.The authors discuss "how Americans' anger and suspicion toward government could hurt the quality of federal statistics....Research shows rising public alarm over threats to privacy and confidentiality. These fears adversely affect people's perceptions of the Census Bureau....Without the help of strong privacy legislation in other arenas, their fears are likely to affect the accuracy and ultimate cost of the next census." (EXCERPT)
Interview with Mr. Morkeh-Yamson, Public Relations Co-ordinator, National Population Census Secretariat.
Popleone. 1985 Aug; 2(3):8-11.In an interview, Morkeh-Yamson, the public relations coordinator for the National Population Census Secretariat (Sierra Leone) stated that the success or failure of any population census depends ultimately on the cooperation of the public to respond willingly to the questionnaire. To realize this, the census publicity strategy must be directed towards educating the population on the need for and the benefits which would result from the 1985 National Population Census. Sierra Leone's publicity program is aimed at motivating the general public for maximum cooperation during the enumeration. The publicity campaign has been structured to cover the various target groups, with program content designed to meet the perceived requirements of each group. At the public relations level, contacts have been established with most of the important institutions in the country. At the level of the masses, the basic effort has consisted of public meetings, street campaigning, and film shows at which the census message is conveyed. In the province, it is effective to operate at the grassroots level, through the paramount chiefs and chiefdom authorities. The school publicity program works to involve all the secondary schools. On return to their respective schools, teachers are expected to explain and disseminate the census message in some organized form to their students. In addition, there has been wide press and radio coverage of census activities. At this stage it is rather presumptuous to make any definite pronouncement as to the effectiveness of the publicity strategy, but there are indications that the campaign is progressively achieving its goals in terms of evoking popular support at the grassroots level. During the last 4 days of May 1985 the Census Secretariat carried out a pilot census in 57 specially selected enumeration areas covering the entire country. The objective was to test certain aspects of the modalities of the census operation, including the effectiveness of the publicity campaign. The degree of support and cooperation revealed by the favorable reaction of most of the respondents to the census questionnaire suggests that the publicity strategy is achieving results. In answering the question of how much success has been achieved in correcting the negative attitudes toward the census exercise, Morkeh-Yamson reported that instances of negative attitudes toward the census have been minimal. He also indicated that a serious handicap in the publicity campaign is the inadequacy of the national radio coverage and that more vehicle and mobile cinema vans are needed. Morkeh-Yamson urged readers to cooperate with the census and to help create awareness about the census so that other people also would cooperate.