For Supporting Data Quality, BPS Gets Ready to Count the Number of Indigenous Papuans – The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) for West Papua has stated that it is ready to conduct a special population census to calculate the number of indigenous Papuans (OAP) in the region. This readiness depends on the availability of budget support.

A Head of West Papua BPS, Maritje Pattiwaelapia said, until now, West Papua is still using 2021 data to determine the number of AOP. The data, she said, was only an estimate of the total population based on the results of the 2010 population census.

“The obstacle we deal with is related to the availability of the budget. The budget can come from the ministry, it can also come from the regional government. The budget is needed because it will involve a lot of energy to collect accurate data,” said Maritje in Manokwari, Sunday (11/6/2022).

She thought, data on the number of OAP is needed, especially regarding the implementation of the special autonomy policy, which is currently entering its second volume. If in West Papua the OAP data is only an estimate, in Papua Province it uses data sourced from the Population and Civil Registry Offices from each district/city.

Maritje said that her staff had suggested the Ministry of Finance to insert a budget for OAP data collection, integrated into a comprehensive census such as the population census. In addition to the issue of budget availability, another obstacle faced in conducting the OAP census is that there is no technical guideline regarding the criteria for indigenous Papuans.

In the 2020 population census, she said, there were questions regarding ethnic origin. However, until now, the results have not been presented. “If there is a clear definition regarding indigenous Papuans, then we can present temporary data from the 2020 population census, but the main option is data collection,” she said.

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