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About the decision of the Federal Justice of Acre, IBGE informs

About the decision of the Federal Justice of Acre, the IBGE informs that, less than two months from the beginning of the operation of the 2022 Population Census, it is not possible to include in the questionnaire a question on “sexual orientation/gender identity” with responsible and suitable techniques and methodologies, let alone with the care and respect that this subject and the society deserve.

A severe financial impact will be caused, especially if it requires a methodological change, in case the questions need to be answered individually - requiring that the information is collected with each person -, which would increase the need for repeated visits, running the risk of impairing the census operation. These changes can reduce significantly the productivity of enumerators and rise the time of the data collection as a whole, increasing the expenditures with monthly wage earners and rental, among others.

Furthermore, aspects related to “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” are already investigated in the surveys comprising the IBGE´s Integrated System of Household Surveys, such as: Continuous National Household Sample Survey (Continuous PNAD), in the first quarter of 2023; National Survey of Demography in Health (PNDS), which will go to the field in the second quarter of 2023; National Survey of Health (PNS), scheduled to go to the field in 2024; and in the next edition of the Consumer Expenditure Survey (POF).

To include such aspects in a Population Census, at the eleventh hour, without previous studies, tests and training, means ignoring the complexity and rigor of a census operation of continental size like the Brazilian one, whose discussion and development of the questionnaires and successive planning and preparation began in 2016.

It means collecting information in nearly 76 million households. To do this, the IBGE has been hiring and training more than 200 thousand enumerators, who will knock every door from August 1st onwards. An operation that has already mobilized governments (federal, state and municipal), Legislative Assemblies, Municipal Chambers, Armed Forces, Guards, Brigades, Military Policies and other public instances, including international and non-governmental organizations. Which also counts with the private sector. Every process required and involved - in the very long term - strategic negotiations and conversations, with refinements thoroughly designed.

The IBGE tested the systems last year, everything completely and duly ready. The assessment of the technicians is that changing these systems now, to include unexpected aspects, considerably jeopardize the entire census operation. The measure can produce unexpected impacts, in the time and in the quality of the answers of the interviewees. And it will evidently increase the costs (federal resources) not included in the budget of the 2022 Census: nearly 2.3 billion reais.

It would be irresponsible risking the integrity of the Population Census as the major survey in Brazil, albeit by an initiative inspired in legitimate causes and good intentions. So, the IBGE reaffirms its commitment with the quality of the surveys it carries out for 86 years, always with the historical mission of portraying Brazil and subsidizing public policies with relevant data.

In this case - to fulfill the injunction of the Justice of Acre -, the only possible alternative would be to postpone the 2022 Census. The IBGE is aware that a new postponement of the Census would impose huge social and financial impacts, jeopardizing several national plannings, like the sharing of the State and Municipal Revenue Sharing Funds, as well as the transference of funds to social programs.

Technically and methodologically speaking, a Census cannot be carried out based on a questionnaire not studied, not tested and with a team not duly trained.

Therefore, the IBGE asked the Federal Attorney General´s Office (AGU) to appeal and avoid the postponement of the 2022 Census.

The Management
June 9, 2022


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