Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 26, 2019 (SKNIS): Officials of the Department of Statistics within the Ministry of Sustainable Development are encouraging residents to co-operate with enumerators who are currently in the field conducting the Survey of Living Conditions and Household Budgetary Survey as a part of the Enhanced Country Poverty Assessment (ECPA) in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
In 2018, the Department proceeded with the first phase of the data collection process- to update the information on the households’ living standard and patterns of consumption and reached out to the general public for their co-operation.
During an interview with the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service (SKNIS), Carlton Phipps, Director in the Department of Statistics, gave an update on the progress thus far.
“Let me indicate to the public that we are still out there in the field and we are seeking their cooperation as we make this final push to complete the final set of interviews for the survey,” said Mr. Phipps. “Notwithstanding, there have been several issues in the fields in terms of the cooperation of households, as well as the ability of some enumerators to complete the assigned work in a timely manner.”
He noted that training continues so that staff at the Department of Statistics, as well as enumerators, can better perform their duties, going out into the field to conduct the survey.
“So, we have been having some ongoing training of persons to try to get the surveys moving. We are nearing that end of the period that was designated for data collection and we want to make a final push to have as many interviews completed in this last period of data collection,” he said.
The SLC-HBS is basically a study of the social and economic situation of households within the country. A random sample size of seven percent of the household population of St. Kitts and Nevis was selected for this survey.
The Director pointed out the importance of having the ECPA done in St. Kitts and Nevis, as there are benefits to be derived from it. He expressed thanks to the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the OECS Commission for being the key supporters/partners in conducting the ECPA, and for financing a significant portion of the project.
“They [the CDB and related agencies] have used the data coming out of such a survey to offer assistance in impoverished and at risk/vulnerable communities,” he said, while reflecting on the benefits coming out of the last Country Poverty Assessment some 10 years ago. “A lot of the work that would have happened under the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) was as a result of the last Country Poverty Assessment conducted in 2007/2008.”
The Enhanced Country Poverty Assessment (ECPA) is a broad-based assessment of households’ standard of living and consumption patterns, as well as the capacity of government and non-governmental organization to address the issues associated with poverty in a country. The ECPA has five components: The Survey of Living Conditions and Household Budgetary Survey; Institutional Assessment; Poverty and Vulnerability Mapping; Participatory Poverty Assessment; and the Macro-Social and Economic Analysis.
The staff of the Department, and by extension the Ministry of Sustainable Development, have been trained in these five components to undertake the ECPA, with focus- at this time- on the conducting of the Survey of Living Conditions and Household Budgetary Survey. Notably, this approach being used for measuring poverty is a multi-dimensional – approach in which data is gathered and analyzed on such categories as education, housing, health, living conditions, personal consumption patterns and employment- to name a few.