The Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers and Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste Ágio Pereira
October 31, 2011, Díli, Timor-Leste
In an ambitious program to widely share valuable information collected in the 2010 Census, the Government of Timor-Leste is implementing an innovative project called Sensus Fo Fila Fali, (Giving Back the Census).
The project was launched in each of the 13 districts of Timor-Leste on the 4th of November with the process of disseminating the census information throughout the country continuing through to the end of the year. By then it is anticipated that the project teams will have held special workshops in each and every one of the 442 sucos of the Nation.
The 2010 Census provides some of the most up-to-date and comprehensive data on Timor-Leste. Reports have been produced for each suco with a specific collection of local statistics along with information allowing comparative data on the district to the national level. Each 24-page report includes information on population size, education, health, the labor market, agriculture, water and sanitation, electricity, mortality rates and poverty levels.
A special emphasis has been given to provide information relating to the Millennium Development Goals so that community leaders can assess local progress and plan strategies for their communities. This information will also assist communities to articulate and advocate for their specific local development needs.
Reports will be presented in a full day workshop for the Suco Chief, community leaders, civil society and other local stakeholders with training provided to help local communities interpret social indicators and identify the relationship of various indicators to the MDGs.
Workshop participants will also learn how they can use social indicators to set their own local development targets and monitor their progress in achieving them.
Prime Minister, His Excellency Xanana Gusmão, noted that the Sensus Fo Fila Fali project is a vote of confidence in the Timorese people as it is built on the premise that local people should and can be agents of change, becoming the driving force behind the development of their communities. He affirmed “If you want to develop the local community you first need to know what the current situation is, and by disseminating the statistics we make it possible for Suco Chiefs and others to identify priority areas, set targets and monitor the progress being made.” This gives ownership to the people of Timor-Leste to articulate their own needs to formal donors, NGOs and INGOs, aligned to the Strategic Development Plan.
The Prime Minister thanked the people of Timor-Leste for generously giving of their time to make the collection of the 2010 Census information a success and affirmed the Sensus Fo Fila Fali project reflects the Government’s commitment to an inclusive development process that is decentralized and customized to the specific needs and priorities of local communities. “It is also our hope that this direct involvement of community leaders will speed up the development process of our country and give every citizen a role in nation building”.