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Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 01, 2018 (SKNIS): With the last Country Poverty Assessment (CPA) being done some ten years ago, officials in the Department of Statistics are currently in the process of updating the information on the living conditions of persons in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.


Against this backdrop, a CPA is expected to take place over the next few months right down to December of 2018. 


“Doing this survey at this time, this project is basically to update the statistics on poverty and living standards in general on the residents of St. Kitts and Nevis. This project at this time provides us with an opportunity to update the statistics, basically to gaze the progress that we have made since then and put plans and policies in place for improving the situation going forward,” said Carlton Phipps, Acting Director in the Department of Statistics.


Equally important is the training of staff and enumerators at the department who will be tasked with going out into the field to conduct the survey.


Edwin St. Catherine, Director of Statistics in Saint Lucia, is currently in St. Kitts and Nevis assisting with the training, which runs from May 01-04, and which is being facilitated by the World Bank. He noted that there are two broad areas in which staff would be trained.


“Staff will be trained on the use of the electronic questionnaires on tablets; how to manage the relationship between the supervisors in the offices and the enumerators in the field; how to assign the enumerator workloads; how to evaluate the quality of information that is received from the enumerators; and how to provide feedback to the enumerators, reject questionnaires if necessary, approve questions… so the staff will be the administrative layer that facilitates the correction,” said Mr. St. Catherine, while adding that that is just one aspect of the training. “The other broad area of the training – once you are an enumerator, data collector in the field – how do you go to the household and complete the questionnaire on the tablet? When you return to the office… how do you sync the data that you have obtained from the household into the cloud and how do you interact with your supervisor?” he added.


The use of tablets to carry out surveys is a first for the Department of Statistics in St.. Kitts and Nevis. In the past, papers were used for data collection.


“So we are basically charting a new course in terms of using tablets and computing devices for data collection household surveys and this is why with the support of the World Bank that Mr. St. Catherine is here to provide us with that technical capacity building for the use of these devices, data collection and data management,” said Mr. Phipps.


A CPA is a broad-based assessment of living conditions in a country. It has several 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 component that the staff of the Department is being trained to conduct is the Survey of Living Conditions and Household Budget Survey. The approach being used for measuring poverty is a multi-dimensional approach where data are gathered on education, health, living conditions and employment.

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